CINCINNATI (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain came to Ohio Tuesday looking to infuse some money into his campaign, which has struggled financially.
"I'm happy to be back in Ohio where there's lots of money," he told reporters at a brief question-and-answer session at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
"Friends too," he added with a smile.
McCain arrived in Cincinnati to attend a private fundraiser in the wealthy suburb of Indian Hill after attending a similar event in Cleveland on Tuesday morning.
The candidate, whose campaign reported ending the second quarter of the year with $3.2 million cash on hand and $1.8 million in debts, said some changes have been made and the campaign is now in good shape, despite staff shake-ups in recent weeks.
"Money is coming in fine," McCain said.
The Arizona senator's poll numbers have fallen nationally - partly due to his stance on Iraq - but he stressed again Tuesday that he remains opposed to congressional Democrats' efforts to set a date for withdrawing troops from Iraq.
McCain said a forced withdrawal would result in chaos and genocide and his stance will not change.
"I have no other choice, no matter what impact it might have on my political ambitions," he said.
Describing Ohio as the heartland of America, McCain said that he believes the state will be just as important to the 2008 presidential campaign as it has been in previous elections.
Only two Democrats since 1900 have won the presidency without carrying Ohio and no Republican has done so.
"Ohio remains the battleground state," he said, adding that he has spent a lot of time in Ohio and believes he will do well in the state.
Tuesday night's fundraiser was co-hosted by former Sen. Mike DeWine at the home of developer Bob Rhein.