April 28th, 2008
09:31 AM ET
6 years ago

McCain: 'What we did was perfectly legal and appropriate'

ALT TEXT

Sen. McCain was joined by his wife, Cindy, at a Florida press conference Sunday. (AP Photo)

(CNN) - Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, didn't waste a lot of verbiage reacting to the New York Times report on his use of a private jet belonging to his wife's company for campaign trips - at less cost than normal charter flights

At a news conference in Coral Gables, Florida, McCain used just eight words to respond to a reporter's question before moving on. "What we did was perfectly legal and appropriate," McCain said. The Arizona senator didn't answer the part of the reporter's question about whether the use of plane contradicted McCain's stance on campaign finance reform.

There is nothing illegal about what McCain did. Under a law which McCain supported, presidential candidates are now required to pay charter rates rather than just less expensive commercial first class rates when they use corporate jets. But under an FEC exemption, candidates don't have TO reimburse full costs if the plane is owned BY a candidate, a candidate's family, or by a privately held company controlled by a candidate or a candidate's family member. (The FEC has tried to end the family exemption, but didn't have enough sitting commissioners to change the rule, according to the Times report.)

The Times story said McCain used the jet over a 7-month period starting last summer, mostly for campaign trips. The campaign paid $241,149 for the trips.far less than the cost for normal charter trips.

Why are some raising questions over it? The Times reported some campaign finance experts said using the exemption goes against the spirit of the new law, and McCain has championed campaign finance reform. McCain had also said he didn't plan to use his wife's wealth to help with the campaign last summer.


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (330 Responses)
  1. Stepehen McDowell, Shippensburg, PA

    Hey what do you expect! The law only applies to democrats. Republicans are above it. Ask Baby Bush and Chainey. Hell they've been wiping there but on the Constitution for 8 years now.

    April 28, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  2. Mike

    Way to go McCain. That's the type of president we need, one who will saves on expenses at every level.

    April 28, 2008 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  3. Ton de Korte

    What's would a 72 years old man do in your white house?

    You better give him a one way ticket to an old people's home!

    April 28, 2008 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  4. JB

    McCain and Hillary have more experience than Obama...evading ethics violations!

    April 28, 2008 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  5. John

    I'll tell you why the NYT ran the article – its because they are a political rag of a news organization, just look at their track record.

    April 28, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  6. Chuck

    John McCain and his wife are ordinary people??????

    April 28, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  7. Tom Eyemdaman

    "Why are some raising questions over it?"

    Probably because they can't hang anything else on him. People will be grabbing at any straw they can to try and drag this guy into the mud.

    When your character is built on concrete, you don't have to worry about the mud so much, but that won't prevent people from throwing mud at you...

    April 28, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  8. Roger

    I don't care what his transportation is.

    April 28, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  9. kat1park

    No one said it was an issue. It's an article just like the many others that they have written. Again, non-issues, but they paint a candidate that you didn't choose in a bad way, you are happy to see them. I agree that this is a non-issue, but Republicans sure have enjoyed all of the articles about Hillary and Barack that were non-issues as well.

    April 28, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  10. Marc in DeKalb, IL

    Oh no, he's trying to save money, look out America!

    April 28, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  11. Cerebral

    Herd line on TV which aptly describes modern media;

    "Media is a circus and reporters are clowns in the circus"

    I admire McCain for believing in what he tells Americans.

    Clowns must not have had any other good circus they could catch for the day.

    April 28, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  12. Ann Aloha FariMedia, PA

    Ratings are dropping for the Pro-Obama Media. Stacking the blogs for Obama and Stacking the positive news reports that also favor Obama was a mistake from the beginning and continues as we speak.
    McCain will be the real winner because of the bias and subjective media coverage that favored Obama from the start.

    April 28, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  13. cjvwise1

    We stand on a threshhold that has the potential to lead this nation down a new path. A path where all people, all color and all religions could learn to live together as a unitied nation. A united nation with a goal. A goal to leave behind our differences, our past, our fears and our hate. A goal that could bring us together, to work together to forge a future of peace that can build bridges, not bombs. The powers are rallying their "controllers" to derail this goal and hinder the progress of this future. Hate, bigotry, racial divide and differences in religious belief earn big money for the manipulating game of power and politics. They will not reliquish it quietly or with grace. They rely on conditioned responses to overcome the threat. They utilize fear to interrupt the message that speaks to one nation united. Do we dare listen and believe? I for one.who was raised with the cold war threat of tuck and cover beneath the desk, amired of being afraid. Obama has no ties to special interests or lobbiest monies. Jesus dared to walk among sinners to spread his message of faith. It is easy to walk among believers and blend in. I want to believe Obama may just be comfortable enough with his message,that he can stand among the narrow minded and dare to speak with a different voice. He carries a great message for everyone. I do not feel he can damage this country if given the chance to move our country into a direction of change. He is refreshing. Our Congress is in peril. W do not need the same rhetoric and corruption to continue. It is time for change. I have faith that Obama is a voice of hope in a hopeless world.

    April 28, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  14. kat1park

    No one said it was an issue. It's an article just like the many others that they have written. Again, non-issues, but if they paint a candidate that you didn't choose in a bad way, you are happy to see them. I agree that this is a non-issue, but Republicans sure have enjoyed all of the articles about Hillary and Barack that were non-issues as well.

    April 28, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  15. Ian

    It's not about whether he broke the law, it's that he is a complete hypocrit and a liar. He's doing the very things he's speaking out against. Yet another reason why I am voting for Ron Paul. At least his actions are consistent with his words.

    April 28, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  16. Eugene Oregon

    Perfectly Legal, perfectly Elitist!

    April 28, 2008 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  17. kj

    Yeah and going to Iraq wasnt for his campain. sure, ok.

    April 28, 2008 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  18. JDinAustin

    It's okay – McCain was sitting in the non-elitist section.

    April 28, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  19. Alonzo Demetrius

    How is this anti-American, to use his wife's plane for travel?

    April 28, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  20. Brian

    Sounds a bit like, "we looked and there was no controlling legal authority that prohibited it".

    I wonder if the MSM will hound Saint John like it did Al Gore over this?

    April 28, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  21. Tupac

    If McCain added a "Yes" or "No" to his response would have resolved the issue. If Republicans are going to harp on Al Gore for his lifestyle while preaching Global Warming then this issue is also legit.

    April 28, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  22. MomGrandma

    "...goes against the spirit of the new law." The 'SPIRIT'?! The NYT is loosing it's credability.

    April 28, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  23. Mike, Calgary Alberta

    Business & politics as usual. Nothing will change if McCain is elected.

    April 28, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  24. Barbara Fischer

    It seems that McCain's wife is running things, hey Nancy ran the White House, but this one is rich and power hungry. I think we should be a little hesitant.

    April 28, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  25. Todd Hunter

    Another remarkable display of hypocracy on McCain's part, more evidence that no matter what he says about his ethics, he's simply a Republican without any.

    April 28, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
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