Fiscal conservatives are ganging up on the GOP leaders in Congress for spending like drunken sailors, and they blame President Bush for not reining them in. If Bush doesnt start showing some discipline, conservatives say, core voters may just decide to stay home in November, no matter who Bush faces. Meanwhile, a Georgia Bush fundraiser says would-be supporters there think the presidents guest worker plan is rewarding lawbreakers so theyre refusing to donate to his reelection fund.
Bush also faces pressure from evangelicals to use his State of the Union address next week to promote a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Social conservatives are also hinting they could punish Bush at the polls if they dont get what they want.
Clearly Karl Rove has a challenge: placating the Republican base without making his candidate look like a right-wing extremist.