The McCain campaign has released a full transcript of the conference call.
Here are the opening remarks of his campaign manager, which set the tone of the call:
TERRY NELSON: …As a campaign, we've worked through a number of challenges over the course of the last six months, and in some respects, we are encountering the kinds of challenges that other Republicans are facing. We face a difficult fundraising environment right now, and certainly difficult in comparison to what our Democratic counterparts are able to raise, and I think that will go for the entire field of candidates when our numbers are compared to their numbers. In addition, John McCain has offered change throughout his entire career. He has taken principled stands that have made him a courageous leader and a courageous presidential candidate. And these things will make him a remarkably effective president, but it sometimes makes fundraising more challenging. He stood up for the American taxpayer and fought against corruption, the influence of special-interest money, and its corrupting influence. He's also fought a lonely fight against earmarks and wasteful spending in
Washington, D.C., and that doesn't always make us the favorite candidate of the special interests. The campaign has also witnessed as the American people have his resolve first-hand over the last month-and-a-half as he stuck with his principles, did not pander, and worked to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
While this decision was the right decision for our country it also affected the campaign's ability to raise money. Before the campaign began, we also made some incorrect assumptions about how much money we could raise. At one point, we believed that we would raise over $100 million during this calendar year, and we constructed a campaign that was based on that assumption. We believe today that that assumption is not correct. More recently, the campaign has made a number of finance a number of changes to our finance division. Mary Kate Johnson came in as our finance director, and she, working with our volunteer leadership around the country under the direction of Tom Loeffler, our national finance chairman, did a remarkable job. And the result of their efforts was that we raised $11.2 million for this quarter. To date, we've raised over $24 million, we have over 72,000 contributors, and currently have $2 mil lion cash on hand. Our donor community worked very hard, and, as I said earlier, we appreciate their efforts.
A couple of other points to make, and then I'll turn it over to John. First, I'd like to say that the campaign is seriously considering accepting public-matching funds. John McCain has long been a defender of the public trust, as I noted, because this is not a campaign designed to meet artificial benchmarks or the expectations of
Washington, D.C. the Washington, D.C. pundit community. This campaign is about a man who spent his entire life in service to this country, and a man who is ready to lead this country from day one. Second, we've made a decision to restructure the campaign to help ensure that we have the resources necessary to win the Republican nomination. The campaign was restructured today, and we did that in order to make sure that we had the necessary resources to get John McCain's message out through voter contact, television, radio, direct mail. We confronted reality, and we dealt with it in th e best way that we could, so that we can move forward with this campaign, focused on winning our primaries in the early states first Iowa, then New Hampshire, then South Carolina, going on from there. We feel good about the decisions we made today. The decisions we made today were not easy. They were tough decisions. But these decisions will make John McCain the nominee of the Republican Party…
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