Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) told PBS’ News Hour that billionaire conservative casino mogul Sheldon Adelson’s big donations are introducing “foreign money” into the presidential race.
Adelson has been by far the largest public donor to outside spending groups this cycle. He helped prop up Newt Gingrich’s primary campaign and, just this week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Adelson had decided to give $10 million to Restore Our Future, a pro-Mitt Romney super PAC.
“[M]uch of Mr. Adelson’s casino profits that go to him come from this casino in Macau,” McCain told Judy Woodruff in an interview that aired Thursday night. “Which says that, obviously, maybe in a roundabout way, foreign money is coming into an American campaign.”
McCain, who once worked with former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) on the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, a.k.a. the McCain-Feingold bill, called the Citizens United decision the Supreme Court’s “most misguided, naive, uninformed, egregious decision” in the 21st century.
“Look, I guarantee you, Judy, there will be scandals,” he said. “There is too much money washing around political campaigns today. And it will take scandals, and then maybe we can have the Supreme Court go back and revisit this issue. Remember, the Supreme Court rules on constitutionality. So just passing another law doesn’t get it. So I’m afraid we’re in for a very bleak period in American politics.”
Unlike Romney — who famously said last summer that “corporations are people” — McCain said he believes that “corporations are not people.”
“That’s why we have different laws that govern corporations than govern individual citizens,” he said. “And so to say that corporations are people, again, flies in the face of all the traditional Supreme Court decisions that we have made — that have been made in the past.”
Watch the whole interview here (campaign finance discussion starts at 7:30):
Watch Sen. John McCain: ‘There Will Be Scandals’ in Campaigns on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.
(h/t Foreign Policy)
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com