McCain won’t go clubbing

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is skipping his fourth conservative gathering in two months, declining an invitation to speak at the Club for Growth’s winter meeting despite his fellow 2008 hopefuls’ commitments to appear.

McCain raised eyebrows in Republican circles and among his own supporters last month by turning down a chance to address the Conservative Political Action Conference, which bills itself as the nation’s largest conservative conference. McCain was also a no-show at the Heritage Foundation’s members’ retreat this year and at the National Review Institute’s conservative summit.

The fiscal hawks at the Club for Growth, led by former Rep. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), will hear from several of McCain’s rivals in Florida later this month, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Sen. Sam Brownback (Kan.).