Washington, DC -- Last night, ABC News reported that John McCain's campaign has canceled a fundraiser Senator McCain was scheduled to attend at the home of a controversial Texas Republican on Monday afternoon. According to the report, McCain's campaign cancelled the event after it was presented with statements from former Republican gubernatorial candidate Clayton Williams, who made inappropriate and insensitive jokes comparing rape to the weather during his failed 1990 campaign.
According to the report, the McCain campaign has refused to say whether it will return the $300,000 Williams has raised for McCain.
"Mr. Williams' comments are not only outrageous and disgusting, they degrade our values as Americans," said Democratic National Committee Communications Director Karen Finney. "John McCain should make it clear that he understands just how offensive these comments are by not only canceling a fund-raising event but also returning the money Wlliams raised for his campaign. Senator McCain should know that you cannot expect the American people to trust you if you say one thing when you stand on the stump and turn a blind eye to this kind of language when you think no one will notice."
The following are excerpts of tonight's report (the full story can be found here: http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/06/mccain-cancels.html):
ABC News: McCain Cancels Event with Controversial Fundraiser
June 13, 2008 5:36 PM
ABC's Rick Klein reports:
Sen. John McCain on Friday abruptly cancelled a Monday fundraiser that had been scheduled at the home of a Texas oilman, after ABC News contacted the campaign inquiring about a verbal blunder the Texan made during an unsuccessful 1990 campaign for governor. Clayton Williams stirred controversy during his 1990 campaign for governor of Texas with a botched attempt at humor in which he compared rape to weather. Within earshot of a reporter, Williams said: "As long as it's inevitable, you might as well lie back and enjoy it." His Democratic opponent at the time, the late Ann Richards -- who, coincidentally, would lose the governor's mansion to George W. Bush in 1994 -- highlighted the comments in a TV ad during that 1990 campaign. View the ad: http://youtube.com/watch?v=OY3mWJ1Cd0Y.
...McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers said the Monday event was being cancelled, given the offensive comments. He said he could not yet say what McCain would do with donations brought into the campaign by Williams.
...Williams told the Midland Reporter-Telegram recently that he had already raised more than $300,000 for McCain and the fundraiser to be held at his home in Midland.