Posted: June 18, 2007 4:15 PM
McCain Plays Catch Up on Fund Raising
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., campaigned in Alabama over the weekend, where he attended a convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and spoke at a Republican state dinner, continuing his steady march of fund-raising events. McCain has more than three dozen fund-raisers planned for this month alone.
McCain plans Monday to give the commencement address at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in New York, where campaign spokesman Kevin McLaughlin reports he will “administer the oath to midshipmen going on active duty in the U.S. Navy and shake each graduate’s hand.” Afterward, McCain travels to Boston for a media availability and another fund raiser. More fund-raising events are planned throughout the rest of the week: Tuesday and Wednesday in Florida, Thursday in St. Paul, Minn., and Friday back in New York.
In a front page story Monday, the New York Times’ David Kirkpatrick and Michael Cooper report on McCain’s struggles to attract campaign contributions and catch up with his opponents. The authors say McCain has alienated military companies and lobbyists, and cite a statistic, reached by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, that “Mr. McCain’s campaign filings show just $61,000 from the military industry in the first quarter — less than half as much as the long-shot campaign of Democratic Sen. Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut.”
The latest polling numbers showed McCain coming in a close third among Republican candidates. The Gallup/USA Today poll conducted June 11-14 had McCain getting 18 percent of the Republican vote, just behind senator-turned-actor Fred Thompson at 19 percent. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani came in on top again with 28 percent.
The fight over earmarks in the House of Representatives last week spilled over to the Senate side when McCain criticized Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., for her additions in the 2008 defense authorization bill. The Hill’s Roxana Tiron and Ilan Wurman noted that Clinton “has secured more earmarks [in the bill] than any other Democrat except for panel Chairman Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.” Speaking on the Senate floor, McCain said, “We can’t do this earmarking and pork-barreling if we ever are going to be careful and serious stewards of the taxpayer’s dollars.”
The official John McCain campaign blog adds: “Is that how the Clinton campaign spins voting against the funding for our troops actively engaged in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan but then trying to sneak in nearly $150 million in unwanted projects to help the big defense contractors in her home state?! Are these the priorities we should expect from the next Clinton presidency?”
In a June 17 appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was asked whether McCain’s support of comprehensive immigration reform would cost him South Carolina. Graham, who along with McCain supports the compromise immigration bill that stalled in the Senate, responded, “I don’t believe that’s true in South Carolina. I think what will cost John more than anything else is not to be John McCain. … John is telling the Republican party, ‘If you want to win in ‘08, you can’t win with 22 percent of the Hispanic vote.’ How are we going to be a viable party if we leave this issue unresolved?”
McCain plans to travel to Columbia, S.C. for fund-raising events June 25.
And Rich Shapiro of the New York Daily News gives a sneak peek at Cindy McCain’s interview in the July issue of Harper’s Bazaar. She spoke of her addiction to painkillers after having back surgery in 1989, which she called “the darkest period of my life,” her series of difficult miscarriages, and life with her husband. John McCain also is quoted in the article: “Am I hard to live with? God, yes.”