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.
It would be nice if this article contained the reporter's question.
I hope the admission was an accident.
More straight talk.
I think all the wheels fell off of the bus and is riding on the rims.
This is turning into the second coming of Bob Dole himself.
All John didnt accomplish yet is falling off of a stage and looking like a fool when you dont get up after 30 seconds.
For Pete's sake, so what? I know this will get all the Republican haters agitated and making crappy little statments, but it's legal, folks, pure and simple. Move on.
As an Obama (originally Biden) supporter I don't have any problem with this. Let's talk about the real issues that matter.
Sure. Hypocrite alert.
Will the Times investigate what his campaign and the Nevada GOP did to thier own convention yesterday? They knew they had lost the delagates to the real conservative Republicans & the Ron Paul campaign, so they closed the convention, and rescheduled it. They needed a closed convention to ensure they wouldn't lose the whole state to the people.
Hell I bet CNN won't even report on the Nevada Convention.
MSM is destroying this country by not reporting the truth.
McCain (and McCainites)...you're going to find many, many, MANY more questions of this nature when what you've said does not add up to what you've done.
Stay tuned for more McCain stumbles and bumbles along the way! He's already made a pretty good start of it.
Oh I get it now...and Obama is the elitist....what a joke. I guess Hillary and McCain have a definition of elitist that must not include being whitebread multimillionaires who use the rules hey proclaimed but includes others not of their kind.
Boy! When I think about the iresponsible people, who waste fuel. Just to break some stupid Record, Dream. Waste thousands, and Public Money Looking for these Idiot's... John McCain Paid his own Gas Bill...
Wow, John McCain is almost as good a liar as Hillary!
Since when does the NYT have a solid basis for determining what is ethical???
Just because it was legal doesn't mean it was right.
Just because it was legal doesn't mean it was ethical.
McCain is trying to out smart the system. In same breath accusing Obama for being insensitive to the poor for objecting to McCain's so called gas tax holiday?? Hello? what is his plane running on if not fuel? hot air? like him?
Wow – maybe a way for the little people to get a tax break – elect him and make him use his wife's private jet !
What could one expect from somebody like McCain. Nothing about him has changed and it won't.
I can't wait for more of this stuff to come out in the general election.
I used to like Senator McCain because he seemed so different than the Washington power elite, but he has obviously sold his soul to get the Republican machine behind him.
What happened to the Straight Talk Express?
Looks like John knows all the loop holes and intends to use them since he was instrumental in creating the loopholes as a Senator.
John McCain is just another "Bush" league politician and he can't be trusted.
No no no. McLame is a warmonger with no economic expertise. But he is not a crook.
Sure thing, Greasy John, you just keep pretending you're not another corporate thug.
In my experience, whenever someone points out that what they did was "perfectly" legal, they forget to point out how it was so borderline......or even so 'completely' unethical.
Which is exactly why they have to point out that it was so "perfectly" legal.
When you have to plead "It was perfectly legal!" it's usually a sign you're on the wrong track.
How is this even a story?
The only positive point I can see to CNN paying attention to this non-issue is that at least CNN is now acknowledging that there is a nominee for president other than Clinton and Obama.
Well, you are quite the elitist, aren't you, Sen. McCain?
This is the most poorly set up and poorly phrased story in the history of news. Way to go, CNN.