2008 GOP candidate Ron Paul has surged ahead of John McCain into third place in fundraising among Republican candidates. Paul reported approximately $2.4 million in the bank, while McCain had only $2 million. The Ron Paul team was not surprised, especially since McCain temporarily withdrew from the race once before.
The pressure on McCain to withdraw again is building. Major Republican figures have criticized his inability to keep up the pace. For example, respected conservative columnist George Will faulted McCain for falling behind "that loony Ron Paul. McCain better get out now or he'll look worse than the Yankees chasing the Red Sox."
The McCain camp remained quiet, but sources say that McCain is angry about all the contributions Paul has been getting from small business owners, web developers, and others who want lower taxes. Rumors that McCain smashed up the Tucson Chamber of Commerce could not be confirmed at press time, but at least one lawyer says he has three clients who suffered emotional distress from McCain's harsh language.
Meanwhile, all appears well at the Ron Paul campaign. Asked about his fundraising success, the candidate repeated the tagline he's been using of late: "Freedom is popular. Seems like a lot of folks like our message of freedom, and spreading democracy by example instead of by force. Bush, McCain, Giuliani and their cronies just don't get it."