The Washington Times - October 18, 2011, 11:40AM

Republicans’ 2008 presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain, said Tuesday that President Obama has crossed the line with his current bus tour, arguing that it is a campaign event that should be funded by political donors, not federal taxpayers.

“His campaign should be paying for this kind of campaigning,” Mr. McCain said on the Senate floor at the beginning of a debate on spending bills.


Mr. McCain ran against Mr. Obama as the GOP’s candidate in the last election, when both of them served together in the Senate.

Mr. Obama is traveling in a bus, nicknamed “Ground Force One,” that was purchased by the Secret Service to protect the chief executive on these types of trips, at a cost of more than $1 million. Another bus awaits the GOP’s 2012 nominee, should he or she choose to use it.

“In 2008, when I ran for president, I didn’t need a bus to be paid for and built by the government and the taxpayers of the United States,” the Arizona Republican said. “I understand that now there has been another bus purchased for whoever the Republican nominee is. How do you justify that?”

He said Mr. Obama, a prolific fundraiser, should be using his own campaign funds to pay for the trip through North Carolina and Virginia.

The president reported having raised $86.2 million through the end of September, and had $61.4 million in cash on hand.