Senator John McCain campaigned in Iowa on Sunday
JEWELL, Iowa (CNN) - At a house event in rural Iowa Sunday, Republican presidential candidate John McCain expressed frustration over the current trend by states to accelerate their early nominating contests and said he would consider not campaigning in states that break party rules to do so.
"Caucus-goers in the state of Iowa take their responsibility seriously," the Arizona senator said. "They examine the candidates and that's what this whole process is about–the same thing in New Hampshire and the same thing in South Carolina."
McCain continued, "Now we're in the bizarre situation, my friends, where the nominee of both parties is going to be selected at the latest by probably the first of February, beginning of February, and our conventions are not until September. Dwight David Eisenhower announced that he was runnning for president of the United States in the 1952 elections in June of 1952."
"We have to fix it," he said. "We need to fix it and we need to preserve the Iowa caucuses. I don't care where I finish in the Iowa caucuses I will not change my view because this is what its supposed to be about."
McCain's comments are, in part, a response to a pledge released Friday by the only four states who are allowed by the Democratic National Committee to hold their nominating contests before February 5–Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. The pledge asks candidates not to campaign in any state–other than the four sanctioned– that holds a primary or caucus before that date. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Joe Biden, and Chris Dodd have all agreed.
When asked specifically about the Democrats who've agreed not to campaign in those states that move their primaries and caucuses, the Republican senator said, "I certainly want to consider that as well, because I talked earlier about how serious I think this problem is, the acceleration of the primary process."
–CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch