(CNN) - As presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain battle over whether to accept public financing in the general election, a top McCain campaign official was on Capitol Hill Friday trying to reassure House Republican staff members that the campaign’s fundraising woes are not as bad as they appear.
McCain campaign manager Rick Davis described how a fundraising structure would be set up if McCain decides to take public financing, according to two aides who attended the meeting.
"This was the campaign saying that everyone is predicting doom and gloom, but we have a plan in place to compete with Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton," one GOP aide said.
At a briefing for about 100 GOP staffers at the Capitol Hill Club, Davis and other senior campaign advisors explained that the campaign plans to raise money through the party’s RNC Victory Fund and multiple state party Victory Funds. This would add to the $84 million in public money it would be limited to spending by the Federal Election Commission. Campaign officials emphasized that state party chairs would be given more responsibility and a greater role in the campaign.
Another aide who attended the meeting said the McCain campaign structure contrasted with President Bush's 2004 campaign, which was largely run out of a national office. This aide described McCain's approach as "more regional," relying more on local officials and operatives, rather than a large national staff. The campaign handed out maps showing the swing states it was targeting.
Although Friday’s meeting focused largely on organizational and fundraising issues, Davis was asked about McCain's pick for Vice President. After joking that all of their Congressional bosses were on the short list, Davis said that it was a decision McCain would make personally. He declined to give any timeline.