McCain Has Edge in Finances, Campaign Claims

From CBS News' Allison O'Keefe:


ARLINGTON, VA. -- While Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton continue to campaign against each other, John McCain is organizing his general election team. Campaign Manager Rick Davis, along with his top tier staff, met with reporters this morning in Arlington, Virginia.

The campaign occupies a full floor office building which is now labeled floor M. Davis outlined the campaign's 50 state victory financing plan which will include a number of regional finance directors and specific coordination with the Republican National Committee. Davis said that combined with the resources of the RNC, they are currently in a position with $30 million cash on hand and absolutely no debt. They are pleased that they are seemingly at an advantage in organization. "The DNC does not have the ability to make a victory fund" because they are still without a candidate, said Davis.

The meeting announced a national strategy of 11 Regional Campaign Mangers to be deployed to offices in target states. The campaign says they have tripled their communications staff and doubled the speech writing staff, much to the pleasure of chief of staff Mark Salter, to whom most of the speechwriting duties fall. Davis said that the campaign will go down in history books as the candidate who achieved the nomination with the least amount of money spent. When they clinched the nomination, they had fewer than one hundred paid staffers. The campaign is now up to at least 150 paid staff and consultants.

The campaign handed out maps with rough electoral counts as to how the election might go if they were running against either Clinton or Obama. Senior Advisor Charlie Black told reporters that they have laid out a structure for the general election that prepares them for either Democratic candidate. "We have no preference," said Black. "I am not sure one is easier than the other. We can win either one."

The campaign said they were not worried about McCain's age as he gears up for a general election fight, despite Congressman Jack Murtha's comments recently that "it's no old man's job." Salter asked reporters to compare McCain's schedule to that of Obama's, saying that depending on the day, McCain has more events. "And Obama appears exhausted by his schedule," said Salter.

Next week, McCain begins his "It's Time for Action Tour." The trip begins in Alabama on Monday and will head to Kentucky, New Orleans, and Arkansas.


Michelle Levi contributed to this report.
  • Allison O'Keefe

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