July 2nd, 2007
02:35 PM ET
4 years ago

McCain lags in fundraising, cuts staff

McCain raised $11.2 million in the second quarter.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign announced staff cuts Monday after a decline in its quarterly fund-raising, a slide advisers blamed on the Arizona Republican's support of a failed immigration bill.

McCain's 2008 effort took in $11.2 million between April and June, down from the $13 million raised in the first quarter of 2007, the campaign announced. His first-quarter receipts trailed two other GOP contenders, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Romney and Giuliani have yet to announce their totals for the second quarter, which ended Saturday. Candidates have until July 15 to file quarterly reports with the Federal Election Commission.

In a conference call with reporters Monday afternoon, McCain campaign manager Terry Nelson announced a major "restructuring" of the campaign, which had $2 million remaining in the bank as of Saturday. In addition to across-the-board staff cuts, Nelson said he will work without pay for the next few months, and several other top aides will work at reduced pay.

Nevertheless, senior McCain strategist John Weaver said McCain still intends to stay in the race and win.

"In the environment we're in, the amount of money raised by this campaign and the finance team is a remarkable achievement, and to do so with a principled candidate makes us proud," Weaver said.

Nelson blamed the skid on McCain's full-throated support for a "grand bargain" to overhaul U.S. immigration laws, which would have established a guest-worker program and provided a path to legal status for an estimated 12 million-plus illegal immigrants now working in the United States.

"John McCain has fought for change throughout his entire career. He's taken principled stands that have made him a courageous leader and courageous presidential candidate," Nelson said. "And these things will make him a remarkably effective president, but it sometimes makes fund-raising more challenging."

At a June 5 debate among GOP candidates, McCain was a lonely voice in support of the White House-backed bill. The measure failed in the Senate on Thursday amid intense opposition from much of the GOP base, who derided it as "amnesty" for illegal immigrants.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll in late June showed that 52 percent of Republicans opposed the plan, and two out of three said immigration will be extremely or very important to their vote in 2008.

Nelson said McCain's stand demonstrated his adherence to principle, and called it "the right decision for our country." But he said the campaign is scaling back "incorrect" early assumptions that it would raise $100 million in 2007, and would consider taking public funds for the GOP primary race.

"The decisions we made today were not easy. They were tough decisions," he said. "But these decisions will make John McCain the nominee of the Republican Party." 


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Providence, RI

    McCain is a dead horse! He will have to withdraw sooner or later.

    July 2, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  2. Chris, Carlsbad, Ca

    The results of not listening to the will of the people on his illegal alien amnesty bill. Hopefully his AZ voters will leave him as well during his next senatorial run since he wont be buying the presidential nod for 08. Secure the borders FIRST and THEN deal with the illegal aliens.

    July 2, 2007 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. Will - Miami, FL

    McCain, you're an idiot. You need to let ALL of your campaign staff go. It's a futile effort. Give the staff members the last bit of money in the fund as a bonus for screwing up thier resumes by working on your campaign and close up shop. I have a better chance of becoming the next #1 NFL draft pick than you do of winning the Republican nomination...

    July 2, 2007 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  4. Connie

    When is he going to get out of the race and quit embarrassing himself? I think he is suffering from dementia.

    July 2, 2007 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  5. Major Dick

    McCain, quit now.

    July 2, 2007 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  6. Adam, San Francisco, CA

    Na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, good-bye!!!

    July 2, 2007 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  7. Ann Hoppes, Apple Valley, California

    JOHN MCCAIN IS A TRAITOR TO OUR COUNTRY. HE SELLS US OUT EVERY WAY HE CAN, FIRST OF ALL PUSHING THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION BILL. HOPEFULLY ARIZONA WILL DUMP HIM TOO. HE IS NOT FIT TO BE OUR PRESIDENT. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE NOT STUPID. HE IS A DISGRACE TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

    July 2, 2007 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  8. Pfc Marjus Andreason

    Can you say T-O-A-S-T?

    July 3, 2007 04:37 am at 4:37 am |
  9. Doug Whitney, Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan

    Usually this kind of thing is the beginning of the end. However, I for one will continue to support John McCain, and hope that he can pull it out because he is the only candidate that I agree with on every issue, including immigration. I guess that if he is not the nominee, I will no longer be a Republican.

    July 3, 2007 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  10. Dozie Uzoma, Hillside NJ

    John McCain should be our president because he's actually been in combat,and has the intestinal fortitude to take a stance on illegal immigration that is not only practical, but has the ability to soften the blow of the social security shortfall. By increasing the number of younger workers that pay into the social security system, the imbalance caused by the throngs of retired workers that will soon outnumber those that pay into the system will be allieviated and cause a larger group of Americans to recieve benefits than would happen otherwise. We are all descendants of immigrants in this country, and although illegal immigrants have by their very definition committed crimes, it is similar to the dilemma of prohibition, wherein the laws were changed due to the overwhelming demand of the population to find a middle ground.

    July 10, 2007 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |