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. Kathy, OH

    Sen. McCain,

    You are a dispecable human being. As I am a Hillary supporter, I wanted to vote for you in November. Now I realize how dangerous that would be. I completed changed my mind and will vote for Barack. Even though I feel DNC let him have the nomination, I know Barack is honest and trustworthy. I am forwarding this blog to my fiends.

    Shame on you Mr. McCain for supporting and defending a low life.

    June 16, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. Rick FL

    Regardless if you were a Clinton or Obama supporter, we should agree that McCain not accept these funds with ANY connections to Claytie Williams and his past comments. Women, and Americans in general, deserve a stronger stand from a presidential candidate; therefore, money should not override basic principles in this situation.

    June 16, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. Fitz

    All you idiots with the "Kill Whitey" talking or blogging points. Well at least maybe you are collecting a paycheck doing it. Bottom line is, no one is believing you. It's all over the web that is was a repub trick to smear Mrs. Obama that didn't work and there is no such tape. Obama will win and then you can go lay back under the rock from whence you came.

    June 16, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  4. Brown

    McCain took the money?

    June 16, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  5. Sherri

    Senator Obama cosponsored the Violence Against Women Act, which was signed into law in October 2005.

    Don't support a man (McCain) who takes money from someone who jokes about rape.

    Women for Obama!

    June 16, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  6. Chut Pata

    Female Hillary voters planning to vote McBush. Open your eyes! This guy defends the abomination that says rape is something enjoyable.

    Voting this guy will roll back everything that has been done to protect the rights of women ... and I am not talking about the right to chose, I am talking about tolerating rape!!!

    June 16, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  7. Gobama

    While it's not John McCains fault that the guy said those despicable remarks, he should give back the money as a sign that he does not endorse those remarks in anyway.

    June 16, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  8. Cici diAngelo

    Sen McCain is a gentleman and has promoted opportunities for people regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, etc. All the foregoing comments in this response are ridiculous to blame McCain for something that someone so far removed from him said 20 years ago. How sick are you democrats, anyway??

    ps. Obama's racial/anti-American connections are in the NOW.

    June 16, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  9. Gaffer in Dover, NH

    Um Obama did denounce his minister, and last I heard, Rev Wright wasn't raising money for him.

    Wright also said things like America is racist and US government created AIDS. He didn't say rape is like the weather. Being a nut job and belittling violence against women is hardly the same.

    June 16, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  10. AB




    June 16, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  11. Brian Knoxville, TN

    An Obama spokesperson wants to talk about what's insulting to the voters and the proper expression in our democracy?!?! I would be rolling on the floor in laughter if the Obama campaign and the newly undemocratic Democratic Party hadn't stepped all over, spat at, and tossed the principles of the Democratic Party out with the trash.

    He's got to be joking.

    Hey, Dr. Dean, can you hear us now? Not yet? Sorry to have to tell you that the true Democrats aren't falling in line with the selected nominee of the undemocratic Democratic Party adn that you'll be hearing us when it counts. Count on it.

    Puma Democrat

    June 16, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  12. cevans, tx


    Iraq was a DEFEAT from the start, because it was based on BIG FAT WHITE LIE!! If you are going to post REMARKS, try not to sound like a "STUPID IDIOT"!!!!


    June 16, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |

    Typical repube ican response. Take the money and run!

    June 16, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. CB

    Voted against breast cancer screening.
    Disagrees with equal pay for women – said women "need more training"
    Disagrees with a women's right to choose.
    Calls his wife a filthy word in public.
    Takes money from someone who thinks rape is a joke.
    Known adulterer, and womanizer.


    June 16, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  15. NY FEMALE SAYS MAC IS WACK!!!!!!!!!!

    Obama wouldn't even let the DNC keep lobbyist money let alone would he not accept or keep it himself. McCain has absolutely no integrity and HE HATES WOMEN. Check his voting record on women's rights and...a joke about rape? What the hell is funny about rape? A why wouldn't McCain's camp know about this public statement made during this jerks gubernatorial campaign

    June 16, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  16. Deana

    Hey McCain...loosing is like the weather...sit back and enjoy it come November!

    June 16, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  17. russell

    well........well..........well.........and to think people across America want to vote for this man , Haven't we gotten enough deceit from the republican party over the past eight years...............wake up people change is coming....................................OBAMA 08'

    June 16, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  18. TXBad1

    McCain, no need to defend nothing, and Honestly I am only Voting you Because Obama and His supporters are Idiots and he has no need to carry that in to the Oval Office!

    McCain 2008 Hillary 2012

    June 16, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  19. John, Brooklyn, New York

    I'm guess people like Belle (above) are more than happy to overlook blatant racism as long as its expressed by white people.

    June 16, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. Fitz

    3 ways to defeat McCain.

    Women vote:
    1) well keeping the $300K doesn't help, leaving his sick wife after she waited for his POW behind and marrying a new rich chick doesn't help.

    Black Vote:
    2) Voted against MLK holiday because he didn't know the significant of the man. yeah ok, they shoulda ran him outta Selma.

    Religious vote"
    3) how could any self respecting so called religious group back this man after points 1 and 2

    ok I will throw in a 4th

    Smart People:
    4) McInsane really doesn't know what he wants to be for or against. He just wants to change positions depending on whom he is talking to on that day. That said, you can't trust him so my intellilects tells me, if I can't trust him now, what makes me think i will be able to trust him later.

    June 16, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  21. Sig, Los Angeles CA

    Where's PUMA?

    June 16, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  22. Venus

    Well McSame...

    Let's get it on.............. because we don't get along!

    This is going to be a great year watching this general election!

    Heck... I was starting to get bored!

    Go Bam! Take the Repubs down!

    June 16, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. kenny cole

    how can you keep his money and not the man himself Mccain i don't believe you

    June 16, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  24. Alice

    Where are all the usual PUMA posters?

    June 16, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  25. laurence

    jc, now you know better then to call someone who's as accomplished as barack obama a fool considering yourself. it will help a bunch when it becomes known just how crazy mcsenile is don't you think?

    June 16, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
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