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

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


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. tom, Boston

    CNN i dare you to sensor this:

    you are the worst, worse than fox that is at least honest about their bias.

    your neo-con masters' spin shows all over whatever you say.

    April 28, 2008 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  2. Dave

    Legal doesn't mean it was ethical. McCain is a hypocrite who has always said one thing and done another.

    April 28, 2008 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  3. Rupe

    CNN is digging deep to save their golden child Hussein Obama from the fallout of the (Ir)reverend Wright.

    April 28, 2008 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  4. Donald from SC

    I guess straight talk does not relate to straight walk. This testifies to John McCain's moral values.

    April 28, 2008 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  5. Western Voter

    Reminds me of my mother's old saying, "Do as I say, not as I do!" The reformer proves himself once again to be in need of reform...but hey, why reform when spin will do the trick

    April 28, 2008 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  6. James

    Do you now how many other rich people in this country get away with far worse? This is not even an issue. Next problem.

    April 28, 2008 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  7. Ian

    I'm not feeling the straight talk John.

    April 28, 2008 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  8. american

    stop picking on McCain while you give that black muslun a free ride!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 28, 2008 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  9. Lisa

    Who cares?

    April 28, 2008 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  10. G

    Oops, "did NOT disclose it as was required by him."

    April 28, 2008 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  11. Dan

    Illegal?....no. Why not save a buck, everybody else would. Including every one making neg. comments and crying about nothing.

    April 28, 2008 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  12. william spivey

    Senility creeps in. Cindi who am I ?

    April 28, 2008 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  13. Susan Hendrick

    Just another reason not to vote for McBush. Some things never change. Perfectly legal and perfectly moral are two different things in my book. Republican$ never do anything immoral until they are caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

    April 28, 2008 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  14. Kevin

    Of course he would not find anything wrong with it......he's a Replblican, coming from the same man who said that inflation is down and employment is up..........geeez, brains do not run a long way on the Republican side.....

    April 28, 2008 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  15. Hillary or McCain - NObama!

    I'm starting to LOVE Reverend Wright – that screeching, jumping nut job is the best thing to happen for Hillary.

    Keep bringing him on, CNN – the more the better!

    April 28, 2008 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  16. Scott, Newport KY

    He did something that's perfectly legal. Where's the news here???

    April 28, 2008 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  17. Frank Lee

    Her eyes are burning a hole in him right about now. Creepy.

    April 28, 2008 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  18. DEE in fla

    Well i have a BIG problem with it////// Wre the people wanted to see CINDY tax returns....but she didnt want to show them because they said that there finances are seperate, so if they are seperate, then they should not be used for CAMPAIGHN reasons.... BILL and MICHELLE both showed their tax returns and displayed them to the american people......even though BILL CLINTIN wont release the names of the donors of the Clinton musem ...

    HE has to play fair and that is not fair.... IF he wants to use her plain for Campaighn resons, then she needs to expose her tax returns

    OBAMA 08

    April 28, 2008 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  19. Tom Huntington,NY

    He flies around on a private jet and HE calls Obama an elitist ???

    Who does he think he is kidding?

    April 28, 2008 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  20. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    Since he wants to "Bomb bomb Iran" I saw he does it himself using her jet and let our pilots remain safe.

    April 28, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  21. Justme

    For the so-called american: learn to spell!

    There will be no fallout from Rev Wright..."what men (the media and seething racist whites) meant for evil...God has turned to good".

    We will see that black christian in the white house come January 09.

    April 28, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  22. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    Since he wants to "Bomb Bomb Iran" I say he do it himself using her jet and keep our pilots safe.

    April 28, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  23. kell

    This isnt a good thing. this man will push breaking the law..Do we really want this kind of person running this country? NO!

    April 28, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  24. satya


    April 28, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  25. Julie

    Did CNN outsource its online editing to India? At least the most of the spelling is correct in this one...

    April 28, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
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