For the first time since losing the presidential race in 2008, John McCain and Sarah Palin campaign together in Tuscon and Phoenix as Palin helps McCain tout his conservative credentials.
The former Republican presidential candidate and his vice president pick will campaign together Friday for the first time since losing the presidential race in 2008.
Palin was a first-term governor of Alaska when McCain plucked her from relative obscurity to be his running mate. She went on to become a conservative star and a key Republican critic of President Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress.
McCain is fighting for his political life. Fending off a primary challenge from the right, the four-term Arizona senator is facing the toughest re-election campaign of his Senate career.
Former congressman and conservative talk-radio host JD Hayworth says McCain is too moderate for Arizona Republicans. He points to McCain's reputation for working with Democrats on key issues such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and restricting campaign donations.
Palin will help McCain tout his conservative credentials at rallies in Tucson on Friday and the Phoenix suburb of Mesa on Saturday. They'll hold a fundraiser on Friday at the same Phoenix hotel where they conceded the presidential election on Nov. 4, 2008.
Hayworth has tried to define himself as "the consistent conservative" in contrast to the "maverick" McCain.
Before Hayworth left his radio show to officially enter the race, he used the airwaves to attack McCain's congressional record, most notably his work with the late Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy on a bill that would have created a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.