Sen. McCain set to raise funds in Beverly Hills

first_imgBEVERLY HILLS – Arizona Sen. John McCain is scheduled to attend a fund-raising reception tonight in Beverly Hills on behalf of his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination on the 40th anniversary of his capture by the North Vietnamese. On Oct. 26, 1967, McCain was on his 23rd bombing mission as a U.S. Navy aviator, when a missile struck his plane and forced him to eject, knocking him unconscious and breaking both his arms and a leg. McCain was taken as a prisoner of war to the infamous “Hanoi Hilton,” where he was denied necessary medical treatment and often beaten by the North Vietnamese. McCain served more than five years as a prisoner of war, being released in 1973 in conjunction with the Paris Peace Accords, which ended U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. The telephone survey of 364 Republican primary voters conducted last Friday though Monday has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points. Poor second-quarter fundraising and heavy spending prompted 50 to 100 campaign staffers to be laid off in early July, with others taking pay cuts or working without pay. “His early campaign effort was poorly organized,” Pitney said. “He blew a lot of money very early on a top-heavy organization. There was a great deal of infighting and that led a lot of Republican donors to take their checkbooks elsewhere.” McCain was also hurt by his support of ultimately failed legislation that would have liberalized immigration laws, Pitney said. “He took a leadership position against the Republican base,” Pitney said. “If you want to win the Republican nomination, the dumbest thing you can say is `Let’s liberalize immigration laws.”‘ The 71-year-old McCain is also hurt by his appearance, Pitney said. “McCain would be the oldest elected president, and unfortunately, he looks it,” Pitney said. Ronald Reagan was 69 when he was first elected in 1980. “He looked really good,” Pitney said. “McCain does not convey the same sense of vigor that Reagan did in `80.” There was no immediate response from the McCain campaign. McCain is set to be the second of four Republican presidential candidates to visit the Southland in a nine-day period. Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson is scheduled to begin a two-day visit Monday with a fundraiser in San Juan Capistrano, while Texas Rep. Ron Paul is set to appear on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and conduct a Hollywood Hills fundraiser Tuesday. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee conducted a fundraiser in Newport Beach Monday. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.McCain made reference to his captivity during Sunday’s Republican candidates debate in Orlando, Fla. in what several pundits and bloggers would call “the best line of the campaign.” When discussing Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton’s since- abandoned attempt to have $1 million in federal funds allocated for a museum dedicated to the Woodstock rock festival, McCain said, “I wasn’t there. I’m sure it was a cultural and pharmaceutical event. I was, I was tied up at the time.” A day later, his campaign began airing a commercial featuring the comment in the early primary state of New Hampshire. “It’s a great line that will resonate with conservatives over the age of 50, but for a lot of people under the age of 50, they’re going to have to go to Google to find out what Woodstock was,” John J. Pitney, a Claremont McKenna College government professor, told City News Service. McCain has struggled in the polls and fundraising. He was in a statistical three-way tie for second with 15 percent in a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll, which former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani led with 32 percent. last_img

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