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Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) raised $27 million in July, narrowly eclipsing his June total and marking the fifth straight month his campaign has increased its total take, according to campaign manager Rick Davis.

Davis, who briefed reporters early Friday, said the campaign at the end of July had $21.4 million in cash on hand. The campaign must spend all of its money by the end of the month because McCain has chosen to accept federal funding for the general election. However, the Republican National Committee and other related committees can continue spending, and these groups along with the McCain campaign have over $100 million to spend. “We feel very confident that we’re in a very good position,” Davis said. The RNC in July raked in nearly $26 million.

Davis said McCain has “consolidated” the Republican base behind him, but he also suggested that the convention platform will be tailored to appeal to moderates in the party, including those who back abortion rights.

He acknowledged that the party is still digging itself out of a hole it has been in since losing control of Congress in 2006. “We have to rebuild and win an election in the process,” he said.

The campaign also released its newest TV ad on Friday, a piece directed at McCain’s expected opponent, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), titled “Taxman.” It warns: “Higher taxes. Higher gas prices. Economic disaster.” Davis said the campaign’s “new phase” in which it has increasingly “contrasted” Obama to McCain — some would call it negative campaigning — has been effective in energizing the GOP base.

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