McCain campaign powwows with Colorado reporters

A top official in Sen. John McCain’s campaign defended the Arizona Republican’s vice presidential pick during a conference call with Colorado reporters Tuesday.

The campaign raised $200,000 online during the Democratic National Convention but was flooded with $4.4 million in online donations after Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was announced as McCain’s veep pick.

“At points we had $20,000 a minute coming in,” said Mike DuHaime, national political director for the McCain camp. “It was a really great weekend for us.”

DuHaime, who did not address the most recent revelation that Palin’s 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, did defend her stance on earmark reform despite supporting the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” before opposing it, as well as her documented support and requests for federal earmarks while she was mayor.

“When Palin was there, she was seeing essentially how the system was working … and what she witnessed was a system that doesn’t work for taxpayers,” DuHaime said. “I think it’s important that we pay attention to what she learned from that and where she is [on earmarks] now.”

The campaign was also asked about a recent Pueblo Chieftain article where McCain said he was in favor of renegotiating the Colorado River Pact, a statement that was not taken well by Republicans and Democrats across the state.

The McCain campaign countered the statement with a letter from McCain to Colorado Sen. Wayne Allard saying he in fact does not support negotiating the compact.

“I don’t know how much more we can hammer out an issue that has been addressed time and time again,” regional communications director Tom Kise said. “The letter is crystal clear in not wanting to renegotiate that compact.”