June 16th, 2008
01:30 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain defends controversial Texas fundraiser

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/16/art.mccain.6.16.jpg caption="Sen. John McCain defended his decision to postpone a fundraiser Monday."]
(CNN) – John McCain on Monday defended the decision to postpone and move a fundraiser that was initially to be hosted by Clayton ‘Claytie’ Williams, a Texas oilman who joked about rape when running for governor in 1990.

“My people were not aware of the statement that he made 16 or 18 years ago,” McCain told CNN’s Dana Bash. “So when we found out that this was planned there we said ‘Nope, we’ll reschedule it and do it some place else,’ and I understand that he’s not attending. That’s pretty much the sum of it all.”

McCain added that the campaign will keep the $300,000 Williams has reportedly raised for him, arguing, “the people who contributed are supporters of mine, not supporters of his.”

He did not answer how he thought this might affect his outreach to women.

“The only thing more insulting than John McCain’s willingness to keep hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign cash raised by Claytie Williams is his attempt to get away with it by simply changing the venue of his fundraiser,” an Obama spokesman e-mailed Monday morning. “It’s clear that John McCain is more concerned with dealing with a ‘perception problem’ than in condemning these despicable remarks or in living up to the straight talk reputation he brags about."

Williams had compared rape to the weather, saying, “If it’s inevitable, just relax and enjoy it.” He later apologized.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (225 Responses)
  1. Susan, PA

    Nice One McBush !!!!
    Keep the money of the guy but dump him. You are teaching me a lesson everyday.

    June 16, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  2. JC

    Oh please. Lets see how much money Obama is getting from the church of "kill whitey" so he can become president and tries to turn Iraq into a defeat.

    No matter what that fool Obama does if he does become president never call Iraq a defeat!

    June 16, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  3. JJ

    WOW! What people will do for money. McCain isn't deouncing the remarks if he's keeping $300K. He's a hypocrite and I can't even fathom the fact that he will elected come November.

    June 16, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. jason

    they should put clayton williams in prison for a couple days.

    see if he takes his own advice...

    June 16, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. Cynthia

    Shame on you Senator McCain.

    June 16, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. Belle

    Obama fans excuse listening to hate-filled anti-American sermons for 20 years; yet want to condemn McCain for not remembering every sexist statement made by Republicans. How can they forget that sexist statements have been condoned for so long few people even hear them. Just ask Obama, Sweetie.

    June 16, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  7. Loretta from California

    As a woman, McCain's "we will keep the money" statement offends me to know end. If you take the money, you might as well attend the fundraiser. And yes, I am questioning McCain's morality.


    June 16, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  8. New Day

    well, thank goodness!!!!! now that we fixed this fundraising minutia, I am sure that gas prices will go down immediately.

    Shame on McCain and Obama for continuing to focus on this stupidity. How about some bipartisan criticism from Obama and McCain supports to get these candidates to stop this kind of nonsense.

    And how about blasting CNN, and the rest of the news agencies for reporting comments from low-level campaign flunkies in order to stir up news?

    June 16, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  9. martin

    mccain promotes rape?

    June 16, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  10. Ruben

    I don't think the US and the world would be SO FORTUNATE to have ANOTHER Bush in the future!!!!!

    June 16, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. An old white woman 4 Obama

    It's a darn good thing nobody from Brack's background said anything like that, Huh? Heck, Barack can't even sit on a panel with somebody who was even near as controversial as that. That just gese to show me what kind of people we will have in Johnny's White House.

    June 16, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  12. kingsley

    we are so ready for this hypocritical so called straight talk WARMONGER. Repubs please bring him on. we are reloaded. and to the Hillary supporters who intends to pay as back by casting your votes for mcsame, understand whats the issue here. HE GOT NO RESPECT FOR WOMAN. PERIOD.

    and one word to describe him WOMANIZER

    June 16, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  13. Robert in Toronto,ON

    How on earth can women really vote for this guy. His voting record AND his own comments AND now, some of the company he keeps shows that McCain does not support rights of women.

    And do be spiteful and vote for him because Clinton lost is exactly what she would NOT have wanted. Which means you're not listening to reason and voting on emotions – the worst thing you could do.

    June 16, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  14. urbantexan

    Well well well.... McCain ... am I surprised HELL NO.

    June 16, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  15. tornado1972

    Yea I guess McCain can wash the money and use it!!!!!!!!!

    Just give the money to and organization that needs the money oh like you?

    June 16, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  16. Maggie

    He's all about the cash. And if they truly didn't know about the comments, he's got lousy staff.

    June 16, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. ben

    McSame says his people were not aware of this Jokers remarks back in 1990. That's hard to believe when I remember it very well.

    June 16, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  18. survivor

    I am a rape survivor. I think that Senator McCain is wrong to keep the funds that were raised by a man that would say something as horrific as what this man has stated no matter how long ago it was. What a disgrace. I thank God for men that would not have anything to do with such a horrible person.

    June 16, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  19. Franky

    Of course not, because that's his boy.....

    June 16, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |

    You Are Not Making Any Headway With The Women On This Mccain! You Should Donate That Money To A Battered Womans Shelter . . . Or Do You Think That Little Of Women! Ill Be You Even Laughed At That Joke And Told It To Your Friends! SHAME ON YOU MCCAIN!

    June 16, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  21. VOTE 08!!!

    Let McCain keep the $300,000. He can have all the chauvinists he wants raising money for him. It won’t win him the female vote and it won’t help him out raise Obama.

    Difference in McCain fundraising and Obama’s…McCain takes money from big party backers and Obama is literally funded by us the people. I would like to see McCain translate those backers into votes needed to win in November.

    June 16, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  22. Mister Anderson

    Holy Cow! McCain is keeping the money raised by a man who believe women should enjoy the act of being raped?


    June 16, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    This is just a small highlight of how crooked John McCain is.

    June 16, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  24. Time to the Thruth

    MaCain, This is a subject the public should judge for themselve if MaCain will take money from someone who likens Rape to how he treats his cows. And MaCain has the audacity to claim he is looking for women vote.

    MaCain is just another repubclain claiming to have judgement... only when I suit their evil motives.

    Vote Obama for ture leadership.

    June 16, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  25. Andrew

    Williams also said that he would rope his gubernatorial rival, Ann Richards, that he would rope her like one of his cattle - that he would "head her and hoof her and drag her through the dirt."

    June 16, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
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