McCain Campaign Says Story Rejecting Billy Graham
Meeting Not True
I have just spoken with the McCain campaign and they tell me the story is "BOGUS. TOTALLY NOT TRUE."
The McCain campaign tells me that they have been reaching out to Billy Graham through his son, Franklin Graham. While no formal meeting has been set up, it is something they are working on. They told me that of course they want to meet with Billy
Graham and hopefully that will get done soon.
Tucker Bounds, a McCain spokesman told me the following over the phone:
"The piece in Newsmax is false. Our campaign has been working directly with Reverend Franklin Graham's office to facilitate an important meeting between John McCain and Reverend Billy Graham. The report's implication that we have 'declined to meet with Billy Graham' is blatantly false, because our campaign has already been working directly with Franklin Graham's office and politely declined Mr. Jacobs' offer to help facilitate a meeting. John McCain has the highest respect for Reverend Billy Graham and looks forward to meeting with him in the future."
After talking with folks within the McCain campaign, they tell me the Graham family has been very receptive to their overtures.
The McCain camp also tells me that Brian Jacobs is a Fort Worth, Texas, minister and not with the Billy Graham ministry in any sort of official capacity. The letter that went out to Jacobs was a form letter and in hindsight it probably should have clarified the fact that the McCain camp was working on this meeting through other channels.