The Detroit News reports that John McCain is set to meet with “10 social conservative activists and religious leaders from around Michigan” on Wednesday, though the stop does not appear on his schedule of events and the names are not being released.
Meanwhile, Marlys Popma, the campaign’s director of evangelical outreach, is scheduled to join former Mike Huckabee supporters to be told, once again, that he had better not pick Mitt Romney as a running mate:
McCain’s vice presidential selection is likely to be a major topic at both meetings. Matney said Huckabee supporters want the former Arkansas governor on the ticket; failing that, she said, many would oppose Romney. While the Michigan native and former Massachusetts governor got significant support from many conservatives during his primary campaign, others say they are suspicious of his relatively recent move to social conservative positions on issues such as abortion and gay marriage.
Some Huckabee supporters will not back McCain if Romney is on the ticket, Matney said. “That’s not the sentiment of everybody,” she said. “(But) we would certainly rather have somebody other than Romney on the ticket. Who he chooses will speak volumes to us.”
The Saginaw meeting also will include supporters of the so-called “Fair Tax,” a proposal Huckabee embraced during his primary campaign. It would eliminate income taxes in favor of a flat-rate sales tax.
It was unclear Monday exactly who McCain himself would meet with and where.
One person familiar with the planning, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the meeting, said arrangements could change, but that the meeting would involve about 10 social conservative activists. Again, opposition to Romney was likely to be among the topics, this person said.