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. Carolyn Grace

    Your delegate count for Senator Obama is not correct. He is now 290 delegates away from securing the nomination. You need to update it. Stop favoring Hillary. Everyone knows you are the Clinton News Network.

    April 27, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  2. Mark

    Even his skeletal wife doesnt believe this. "What we did was legal!!" The last refuge of the republican.

    April 27, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  3. BL


    April 27, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  4. carolinas

    Hypocrite John Mccain, you are a lier and abuse the system with a fune legal words...and not at all honest as you look. Shame to your age of 71..you should show the moral and ethical example rather clinging to fine legal words...you are elite and outof touch lier.


    April 27, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  5. mitch from ark.

    and who's the elitist?

    April 27, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  6. Sandy

    Another looser politician who preaches but never follows.
    Do as I say but not as I do.

    April 27, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  7. bubba

    What you see...is what you get.

    It doesn't matter who says it...,everyone does it.

    So...who you goning to vote for?

    John? ...flush him down the toilet!

    Hillary? ...no way 'cause she can't control Bill!

    Barack? ...sorry, but everyone thinks that he's a...!

    We're in for 4 (or even 8) more years of the same old BUSH..BS!

    April 27, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  8. Mike Lorain, OH

    Sounds like Hillary...change the rules of the game when they benefit you or if you're out of money.

    April 27, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  9. Shirley-Ohio

    Keeping the money in the family, smart, but at whose cost.

    April 27, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  10. Scott C

    I want to hear McCain call Obama an elitist while zipping around the country on his own private jet.

    This, along with the public financing thing he is being, or was sued for... Prove that he is a total hypocrite when it comes to campaign finance reform, either that or he thinks it should apply to everyone EXCEPT him.

    April 27, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  11. shan

    just because something is legal doesn't make it right.

    April 27, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  12. christi

    Oh God CNN!!! When are you going to start diggin in the archives to show what a flip-flopper McCain is – this is a typical NON-Story.

    April 27, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  13. sk

    Perhaps she will buy him his own plane for his birthday or something.

    April 27, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  14. Cecile

    So this is the man who call Obama "elistist " and "out of touch". He travels by private jet ! lol

    April 27, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  15. Ladyleo

    I guess riding around in a private jet while others can not even afford gas shows how McCain is in touch with the people as far as the economy is concerned.

    April 27, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    no surprise at all. just another republican, elitist, hypocrite. I say "eat the elite." They're fat and buttery. Better get ready for the revolution, it's on the way

    April 27, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  17. Steve

    Why is this news? This is a non-issue. If no laws were broken, then what is the problem? It's not like he attends Rev. Wright's church, or lies to the world like Hillary.

    April 27, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  18. karen from va

    So what?

    April 27, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  19. tom, Boston

    McCain is the Biggest hypocrit of all, worse than GW, who stands for no principle any way LOL.

    April 27, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  20. Nate

    This is just the beginning of McCain's shady practices, hipocracy, and unsuitability for office. So, why won't he disclose his wife's tax returns??? Wow, I wish Romney was still here.

    April 27, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  21. James

    Gee another example of two faced John McBush. Shocking, just shocking.

    April 27, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  22. Steve, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

    With this comment Senator McCain sounds more like Bush.A vote for McCain is sure sounds like four more years of the same..

    April 27, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  23. AA For Change

    The times is a reckless paper, which is doing nothing else but attempting to throw dirt.

    April 27, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  24. ron

    I hope the IRS reviews the companies tax records. You know how those busness expences are. A trip to the Bahamas for a dental convention

    April 27, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  25. Gottlieb Schlittenfahrt

    Legal? maybe, but was it ethical?

    April 27, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
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