April 28th, 2008
09:31 AM ET
7 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. Robert

    I think Tunde said it best.

    April 28, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. Uncle Sam

    By the way, elitism is not matter about how much wealth one has, its about one's arrogance toward those who have less of it.

    April 28, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  3. Herman LA, CA

    I am glad that he is speaking out, why should he be quite when he is getting attacked. If its not European then it's not unacceptable is that what this country is all about? why is it that we can't not express ourselves with out being looked at as someone who is divisive.

    April 28, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  4. deeds

    mmmmmmm

    April 28, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  5. Keith

    Momma moneybags lent me her jet for chump change so I could spend more on campaigning. What is all this idiotic nonsense about saving money? I never said I wasn't elitist. What are you fools ranting about? it was legal. That's all YOU need to know.

    April 28, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  6. Ryan Green

    who cares cnn? me? not a chance..............

    April 28, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  7. JayCee

    If you talk the talk then you better walk the walk. Don't forget that McCain was among the Keating 5 which is why he preached about being beyond the slightest look of impropriety. Just because Mccain says he is beyond reporach and rides the Straight Talk Express doesn't mean that he doesn't quite often get off the train.

    April 28, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  8. Dee

    There wa a report said Cindy's father paid for Mc Cain getting into the Senate so why not help with the Presidency? I thought he was riding a public airplane. That was the impression the media gave us. I quess it was part of the Republican media elitists wanted us to believe so they told us that- a lie but it's their stories. They tell us or show us what they want us to know.

    April 28, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  9. Candace

    Is this the best reporters can come up with against McCain??? Clinton is corrupt, Obama is inexperienced...enough said...McCain For President!!!

    April 28, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  10. Debra, MO

    Republicans it time to get a little nervous. LMAO

    April 28, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  11. Ryan Green

    a vote for obama is a vote for 4 more years of bush Beuracroacy.

    April 28, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  12. Ryan Green

    Want 4 more years of bush Beuracroacy? vote for obama in nov.

    April 28, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  13. Ryan Green

    vote for obama in nov and get 4 more years of bush Beuracroacy

    April 28, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  14. Grif

    "Man of the Moment" in Miami.. That was one Inspiring Video...Thank's CNN..

    April 28, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  15. Ryan Green

    Don’t forget about freedom of speech cnn, thanks for blocking anti-obama comments. Cnn is obviously pro-obama for some ridiculous reason. Good luck with that.

    April 28, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  16. Ryan Green

    a vote for obama is a vote for four more years of bush Beuracroacy.

    April 28, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  17. Ryan Green

    Want four more years of bush Beuracroacy? vote for obama in nov.

    April 28, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. Ryan Green

    vote for obama in nov and get four more years of bush Beuracroacy

    April 28, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  19. Richard, Madison, WI

    When the rhetoric hit the fan - Uncle Johnny ran, ran ran. See Johhny run. Run Johnny run.

    April 28, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  20. Tom Eyemdaman

    I think the Obama News Network likes to run up stories like this to see if they'll get any coverage, regardless of whether or not it's a real story that needs to be run.

    April 28, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  21. CommonSenseGuy

    McCain to U.S.: Do as I say, not as I do.

    His use of the loophole (which he no doubt had a hand in creating) reveals deep hypocrisy on behalf of McCain.

    April 28, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  22. Joe in Cali

    As a life long Republican, I pray every night that the Democrats get their acts together and beat this guy. Everytime I look at him, I think DRAFT.

    April 28, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  23. mjaber

    It's perfectly legal to do something legal.

    April 28, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  24. Ian

    The Straight Talk Express must've been in the shop for a tune up.

    April 28, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  25. Darlene, NC

    The best Michelle could do is buy Barack a plane ticket. I don't think the Obamas are elitist, do you?

    April 28, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14