Republican John McCain met with key Iowa supporters Sunday to assure them he's doing fine and intends to seriously compete in the state's leadoff precinct caucuses despite staff cuts and money problems.
McCain met privately with supporters, then held a news conference at his Iowa campaign headquarters in suburban Des Moines.
"I'm happy about the state of our campaign," he told reporters. "We will do fine. We are competitive and we will win in Iowa."
McCain said he met with backers to let them know his campaign was strong and that he was committed to competing in Iowa.
"I wanted to make sure that everybody knows what we are doing and get an update on the campaign and how we intend to stay heavily involved here in Iowa," he said. "We are confident we are doing fine."
At his news conference, initial questions focused on the disarray in his campaign in the wake of fundraising difficulty. McCain brusquely cut off such inquiries.
"I will not respond to any more questions about process," said McCain. "I did for two weeks. I cut down at least three forests worth of paper being written about it. I'll answer all questions but that."
Asked how activists could be expected to take his scaled-back campaign seriously, McCain again declined to answer such questions.
"I will not discuss it any further, as much as you would like me to," said McCain. "I'm very happy about the state of our campaign. I will not talk about it any more."