[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/17/art.vert.dealhudson.jpg caption="Deal Hudson at a press conference in Washington, D.C., Sept. 2003." width=292 height=320]
CNN Political Correspondent
The McCain campaign deliberated much of Wednesday about how to handle a demand that Deal Hudson, a volunteer on outreach to Catholics, to step down.
They decided not to cut him loose.
“He’s a name on a list, a volunteer, so when are we going to start talking about gas prices, jobs and the issues facing Americans? The McCain campaign is all done with the gotcha games,” said campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds.
A McCain aide tells me they made a determination that Hudson is so "loosely affiliated" with the campaign, why throw him under the bus because of what the aide called a gotcha game from a Catholic group that's "clearly liberal."
The group, "Catholics United," wrote the McCain campaign a letter Wednesday demanding that Hudson be dismissed from Catholics for McCain National Steering Committee.
Why? Hudson allegedly solicited sex from an 18-year-old female student in 1994 when he was a professor at Fordham University in New York, and was forced to leave his tenured position there.
Hudson was forced out of a volunteer post in the Bush campaign in 2004 when the story surfaced then.
"He doesn't know McCain and McCain doesn't know him. He's a name on a press release from a year ago," one aide said. "He did bad things, but he wasn't convicted of a crime and he has lived a repentant life for 15 years."
The McCain campaign is clearly learning what some outside Republican strategists have complained about for months - that their self-inflicted wounds are often made worse by rash decisions that keep the story going.
Case in point, according to some advisers, is how McCain reacted to news that two staffers were lobbying for the repressive regime in Myanmar.
McCain was so angry that he demanded new strict rules on lobbyists working for the campaign. The result was more stories dripping out for days as other aides were forced to resign to comply with the new rules.
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