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McCain Voices Concerns About Primary's Nastiness, Expense McCain Voices Concerns About Primary's Nastiness, Expense

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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / CAMPAIGN 2012

McCain Voices Concerns About Primary's Nastiness, Expense

The Mitt Romney backer singles out a super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich.

photo of Alex  Roarty
January 25, 2012

Sen. John McCain said on Wednesday that the 2012 presidential campaign has him worried -- both about the increasingly negative tone in his party’s primary and about the proliferation of outside influence groups pouring money into the race.

"Yes, I worry about the candidates in the primary raising the disapproval ratings of each other with these kinds of attacks going on," the Arizona Republican told reporters on a conference call organized by Mitt Romney's campaign. "It may make it more difficult [for Republicans] in the general election."

At the same time, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee and architect of the landmark McCain-Feingold campaign-finance law said that the money being spent by super PACs is a "disgrace." He specifically cited a super PAC backing Newt Gingrich, although Romney -- whom McCain has endorsed -- also has super PAC support.

 

Sheldon Adelson, a Las Vegas casino magnate, and his wife have contributed $10 million to the outside group backing Gingrich. In turn, the PAC has purchased $6 million in ads in Florida alone for the next week.

"So you have one family throwing in $10 million into a primary race," McCain said in the conference call. "I don’t think that's what our Founding Fathers had in mind."

McCain leveled another criticism against Gingrich: He said that the number of congressional earmarks "exploded" on the former House speaker's watch and that Gingrich's leadership style forced him to step down from his post.

 

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