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Federal Election Commission says McCain eligible for matching money for candidacy

Federal Election Commission says McCain eligible for matching money for candidacy

Republican John McCain, his presidential campaign trying to climb out of dire financial problems, is eligible to receive public financing for his struggling bid, the Federal Election Commission said Tuesday.
The senator quietly requested authority to receive matching funds on Aug. 10, but his campaign said he has not decided whether he would ultimately accept the money. Doing so would put him at a major financial disadvantage against well-funded rivals Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney.
"We have not made a final decision, but we are doing what's necessary should we decide to opt into the matching fund system," McCain spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker said.
Should McCain take the money, it would mark a major strategic shift for a candidate who for months believed he would not need public money. Early this year, the one-time presumptive front-runner for the Republican nomination for the 2008 election set out to raise $100 million (euro73.2 million) or more this year and crafted a budget based on that assumption.
But the money did not come in as expected and campaign spending was exorbitant. In the first six months of the year, McCain blew through $23 million (euro16.8 million) of $25 million (euro18.3 million) raised, a figure that did not include outstanding debt. All but broke by July, McCain's campaign said it was seriously considering taking public matching funds and estimated that he could be eligible to receive about $6 million (euro4.4 million).
After the disclosure of his dismal finances, McCain overhauled his once unrivaled national campaign, laying off dozens of staffers, installing new leadership and refocusing strategy on three states, Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Over the past month, speculation has run rampant that McCain was maneuvering to simply collect public matching funds to retire his debt, and then would bow out of the race.
Hazelbaker flatly denied that notion: "Absolutely not."


Updated : 2021-04-19 10:34 GMT+08:00