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

McCain defends controversial Texas fundraiser

Sen. John McCain defended his decision to postpone a fundraiser Monday.

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. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    "JC June 16th, 2008 1:50 pm ET

    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!"
    -----------
    So much hate. So little time.

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

    JC it is a proven fact that she never said that. But, I do think it is getting silly that people are blaming these two men for everything other people said a hundred years ago. It is starting to get a little silly.

    June 16, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  3. Cooper

    Giving back the money would have been probably very popular and would have put him in a better light. It would have been a good way to illustrate the "integrity" and "character" he speaks about having but has failed to show. He missed the opportunity. $300,000 isn't worth the drama.

    June 16, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  4. No Socialist, NY

    All you McCain haters are so ungrateful. He sat in a POW camp because he chose to serve in the military to protect your freedom, including your right to freedom of speech which you use to try to distort who he really is. If Obama gets in maybe you'll end up in a POW camp, when we're occupied by muslim extremists, and you can re-think the whole issue. Oh no that wouldn't happen – the extremists would just lop your heads off; why waste camp space.

    June 16, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  5. mk5112 tx

    This is nothing and seems to have some tie that is over 15 yrs ago.
    Dont you obamabots have anything better to bring up then this??????

    June 16, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  6. Rave

    Look at this guy.. what will he do with the Billions he is planning to earn with more fake wars and contracts, that he can't do with the Millions he already has??
    These guys don't really understand the true problems of American people. Obama is our only hope and he will win this Election
    OBAMA (2008 -16)

    June 16, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  7. SteveLeft

    Unfathomable, how about unconscionable. There will be no McBush on Pennsylvania avenue. You guys should read all the polls. I like it how McCain is taking a clandestine way to reach out to others with trying to have 10 secret debates with Obama in town halls. Good one McCain, oh so that way no public eye gets to see your impeccable rhetoric and how you "flip-flop" from issue to issue. The right wing will cease to exist come November, just the same way the dreadful Carter administration did it (left congress and left presidency). But this time, don't expect the same mistakes!

    Obama '08

    June 16, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  8. Uncle Sam

    Thank goodness that Team Obama is engaging in a new kind of politics. If this is change we can believe in, then why does it look so much like the old? Unbelievable.

    June 16, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  9. Tell me Senator McCain...

    How's that working for you – you know, the whole "reach out to women voters" thing? Good luck with that...

    June 16, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  10. No McBush

    'EX-HILLARY" SUPPORTERS TURN McBUSHES, KEPT YOUR NEW ANTI-WOMAN GUY, YOU " just relax and enjoy it.”

    SAD! SAD! SAD! WHO IS THE REAL JUDAS NOW $300K ??????????????????????????????? wow

    June 16, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  11. JC

    These republicans don't respect women. They think all women are married and soccor moms. some women are single and don't have children. You republicans are sexist. Who is a single women to vote for? The republicans don't have much to offer with their war machines and their disrespectful attitude towards women. Not every women has 3-10 kids.

    June 16, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  12. Ryan

    Nice job keeping the money someone who supports rape raised for you.. I guess we see where your priorities are.

    June 16, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  13. Sharon Minnesota

    Who ever said this is way off base: 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."
    --------------------------------
    This is pure rationalization by the Obama camp by blowing smoke to cover up their own sleazy actions in this campaign against Hillary Clinton.

    John McCain is an honorable man. I'm happy to see a good man and fair Republican stand up for women and their dignity. It's completely unfair to lump him in with all the former conservatives who made a mockery out of the word conservative. To be fair, we need to listen to Sen. McCain and give him credit for being a stand up guy when it comes to women's rights. Ms. Richards would be proud of John McCain's defense of her dignity.

    When Clayton Williams made these remarks, it was a time when women were just getting their footing on equal rights. Times have changed dramatically from then to now and most of us are disgusted with that kind of rhetoric. I'm sure there are still some Neanderthals out there who would get a laugh from his nasty comments.

    June 16, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  14. Jay

    Yet another example to show the true nature of McCain.

    June 16, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  15. amtFresno,CA

    McBush needs to DENOUNCE his friend Williams & RETURN the
    $300,000. Obama for Pres 08

    June 16, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. Maryann Rose

    Hmmm, maybe McCain is just relaxing and enjoying it?

    June 16, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  17. Down with Obama

    Get over yourselves Obamabots.....Obama is going down!!!!!!!!!

    June 16, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  18. Bill

    I enjoy the 2 faces of john mccain. He will accept the endorsement of hagee and the money of willimas and will denounce the givers once he is helped. He certainly beats kerry for the flip flop award.

    June 16, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  19. jon

    up with obama or down with cain who is too old for this time well

    June 16, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  20. Steve, Madison WI

    Hey the Repubs have been raping the Constituion and the American people for years – so what's new?!

    June 16, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. pam Eugene OR

    I don't want to see McCain get away with this. It is nuts saying he did not know about it! If this had been about Barack it would be first up on the ticker all day.
    McCain needs to give the dirty money back and apologize to all women. Of course I could die of old age waiting for that.
    Women, how do you like him now?

    June 16, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  22. M.S. Indiana

    One day you say be nice to the women and respect them, next day you take money from the camp who wants to treat women like slaves... nice job McCain.... just shows the real face of you and the republican party

    No wonder HRC left your party....

    June 16, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  23. stephy

    Lets see if the media will hold McCain accountable for this guy's words, like they tried to make Obama accountable for his FORMER Paster's words. As a woman I don't know this man at all, but I am offended by his words.

    June 16, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  24. Matt

    Wow.

    Obama must be desperate if this is all he can come up with.

    June 16, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  25. Bob

    Is anyone really surprised? Take the money ditch the man. That's how these guys operate, vampires, and never mind the fact that the guy is an oil man! Oh yeah and Iraq a defeat? Defeat and victory are old terms from the 20th century, we are living in the 21st century those terms and concepts are outdated and hide the real debate on Iraq. It is not a war, it is an occupation, we ousted a dictator fine, but the morons in charge didn't know what to do after, that is what happens when civilian leaders tell military leaders how to do there business ie Rumsfeld, watch Bush's War on PBS to see how little this administration knows about running a "war". McCains language is related more to his baggage from Vietnam than our current debacle.

    June 16, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9