Republican John McCain, his presidential campaign trying to climb out of dire financial straits, is eligible to receive public financing for his struggling bid, the Federal Election Commission said Tuesday.If McCain takes the funds, he must hitch his wagon to wins in Iowa and New Hampshire based on good, old fashioned retail politics because he certainly will not beat Romney and Giuliani on money.
The Arizona senator quietly requested authority to receive matching funds on Aug. 10, but his campaign said he has not decided whether he would ultimately accept the money. Doing so would put him at a major disadvantage against well-funded rivals Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, who are likely to forego public financing and, thus, free themselves from spending limits.
"We have not made a final decision, but we are doing what's necessary should we decide to opt into the matching fund system," McCain spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker said.
If he takes the public funds, it will be a signal that he is no longer a top tier candidate in terms of operation.