McCain won’t judge Reid for boxing seats |

McCain won’t judge Reid for boxing seats

LAS VEGAS (AP) – Sen. John McCain says he won’t pass judgment on Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid for accepting free ringside seats at a boxing match both attended, though McCain says he felt obligated to pay for his attendance.

“That’s up to Harry,” McCain said Saturday in Las Vegas. The Arizona Republican added that he always pays for such events “because I think that I should reimburse for things that other citizens have to pay for.”

The senators attended the bout as guests of the Nevada Athletic Commission while working on federal boxing legislation in 2004.

McCain insisted on paying $1,400 for his seats, while Reid, D-Nev., did not. Reid initially defended his decision, but switched course after criticism from ethics experts in Washington. He said Thursday he would no longer accept free credentials.

McCain was asked about the boxing controversy after delivering a speech to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which is holding its annual convention at Paris Las Vegas through Tuesday.

McCain’s speech criticized government spending, focusing on the practice of “earmarking” federal funds for specific projects. He said the thousands of earmarks in federal legislation are the result of the jockeying for power of members of Congress and do not serve the public good.

McCain said global warming urgently needs to be addressed, and alternative energy, especially nuclear power, is the answer.

“It’s clean and it’s there,” he said. “I understand that there are problems associated with it, but if we’re going to address the issue of climate change, part of that resolution to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases has got to be a return to nuclear power.”

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