McCain Tells Donors to Pay Off Rudy's Debt! (WHAT?)

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Mon, 04/14/2008 - 11:37am.

Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign is not known for its fund raising prowess so it’s unusual that the Arizona senator is using his all-but-certain nominee status to raise money for former rival Rudy Giuliani. (I smell a rat in the woodpile! ~ SadInAmerica)

In an April 3 memo obtained by Washington Wire, campaign manager Rick Davis asked donors — in the spirit of party unity — to help with “a special request”: paying off the campaign debt accrued by Giuliani in the Republican presidential primary.

“The Giuliani campaign is trying to retire the debt they incurred during the primary campaign. As the leadership of this campaign, the Senator and I are asking you to help in this effort,” wrote Davis, who praised the former New York City mayor as “a national hero” and thanked him for his “dedicated support” of McCain.

According to the most recent March 20 filing with the Federal Election Commission, the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee reported more than $4 million in cash, but more than $3.1 million in debt.

In the memo, written to the “McCain Finance Leadership” with the subject line “Help Unite the Party,” Davis acknowledges that some donors might raise eyebrows at the appeal.

“While this is an unusual request, it is extremely important for the McCain campaign and the party. We need to help Mayor Giuliani retire his debt as soon as possible so we can move forward with everyone spending 100% of their time helping to get John McCain in the White House,” wrote Davis, “The time Rudy Giuliani has to spend raising money to pay down his debt is time he could be spending raising money and reaching out to voters for us.”

Davis instructs donors to go to Giuliani’s former campaign website (“Thank you for your continued support” the main page states with a link to contribute to his campaign account), or fill out a form routed through McCain’s own campaign site.

Aides to McCain and Giuliani did not immediately return a request for comment.

While McCain is helping Giuliani pay down his primary debt, the Arizona senator has called in another formal rival, Mitt Romney, to help raise money for his general election campaign.

McCain and Romney had a tense relationship in the primary season, but they appear to have warmed to each other recently as McCain tapped him to help raise funds, although it probably helps that Romney’s name has been circulated by conservatives as a potential running mate.

In contrast, McCain and Giuliani have long shared a warmer relationship, and Giuliani recently campaigned for him in Pennsylvania.

Another former rival, Mike Huckabee, is also getting in on the action, telling reporters Thursday evening that he is creating a political action committee — HUCK PAC — to aid conservative federal candidates, including McCain. “I want to continue to build the community,” he said.

While Democratic Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama continue to battle it out for the Democratic nomination to face McCain in November, it appears that the one-time Republican presidential field has, as Davis wrote, found some unity.

Washington Wire - Susan Davis - April 11, 2008 - posted at http://blogs.wsj.com

Talking Back ~ SadInAmerica

Folks I'd be paying close attention to this one!  Something's up...

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Mon, 04/14/2008 - 11:37am.