Growing popular opposition to the ultra right agenda of Sen. John McCain had President George Bush on the run in McCain’s home state.

The McCain campaign cancelled a May 27 fund raising appearance by Bush at the Phoenix Convention Center because of lagging ticket sales.

When threatened by mass protests by peace, labor and community groups, and fearing that protesters would outnumber supporters, the fundraiser was moved to a private residence in suburban Mesa where McCain’s well heeled supporters shelled out donations of $1,000 to $25,000 each for McCain and the Republican Party. The press was excluded, apparently so as not to embarrass McCain and other Republicans candidates who no longer clamor to be photographed with Bush, but wanted some of the cash raised.

In spite of the cancellation, hundreds of protesters marched in downtown Phoenix denouncing Bush and McCain. Hundreds more confronted Bush’s motorcade in Mesa demanding an end to the aggression against Iraq, justice for immigrants, and the clear message that ‘Bush is not welcome in Arizona.’