Rudy Giuliani's decision to push his lead national fundraiser, Anne Dunsmore, out the door has been in the works for close to two weeks, according to Giuliani insiders, who claim that the candidate himself made the decision to can Dunsmore, who previously had done extensive work for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
"We set a goal, and two weeks ago it was clear we weren't going to make the goal," says a Giuliani adviser.
That goal, according to other Giuliani staff, was a $20 million quarter.
"We set a goal that would keep up in line with the Democratic frontrunners," said a Giuliani fundraiser on the West Coast. "We don't care about the other Republicans. Mitt's just going to cut himself another fat personal check, and Thompson and McCain aren't revving their engines yet. It was all about us, and we didn't meet our own goal, not even close."
Gossip inside the Giuliani campaign put the fundraising number somewhere north of $10 million, which would still put him ahead of Romney and others
Earlier this week, former Sen. Fred Thompson met privately in Washington, D.C. with senior members of the Arlington Group, a coalition of social and religious conservatives. The meeting, according to Arlington Group members present, included members who had previously met with Thompson at a private meeting in the spring, prior to Thompson's speech before the Council on National Policy.
At the meeting this week Thompson answered questions and discussed his views on social issues, as well as his own faith, for more than an hour.
"He's impressive, and a number of us want to help him," says a member of the Arlington Group who was present. "The group itself can't endorse, but I sense that a majority of the major players here will help Senator Thompson. From a social conservative's perspective, he's the most electable of the bunch, and he made it clear that he would not disappoint us if he were elected. He'll work with us to accomplish our goals."
Most critical to the members, according to an Arlington Group staffer present, was Thompson's more in-depth explanation of his position supporting a Constitutional amendment barring gay marriage, but not the one most members of the Arlington Group have been supporting.
"It doesn't go as far as many of us would like, but it goes a lot further than Rudy Giuliani, and he's got a much more solid record on the issue than Mitt Romney. It gets us closer to where we need to be. I am satisfied," says another religious leader at the meeting. "In the end, Thompson's position would bar judges from changing the definition of marriage, and he said that he would be supportive of a Constitutional amendment if we were able to get it passed. What I came away from the meeting with was that, first, he is one of us, and second, he will actually work with us and use the bully pulpit of the presidency to help us and our nation's culture."
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