Kerry Campaign Defends Leftover $14 Million
"We reserved resources to go toe-to-toe with Karl Rove's army in a scorched-earth World War III recount battle in as many as five states," Mr. Wade said. "We weren't going to be outspent or outhustled in the event of a recount."
Kerry aides also point out that the senator set a record for a presidential challenger by raising $249.5 million and that the campaign gave tens of millions of dollars to the Democratic Party at all levels.
Almost $24 million was transferred to the Democratic National Committee through late November, and its counterparts in the House and Senate received $3 million each, according to PoliticalMoneyLine, which tracks campaign finance. Additional money went to Democratic organizations and state parties around the country.
Campaign finance laws allow the presidential candidate to give money to other members of his party or to the party itself or to use in another federal race. Aides say Mr. Kerry will help Senate Democrats.
"Since the election, we've aided the critical gubernatorial recount in Washington State and contributed to the runoff elections in Louisiana," Mr. Wade said, referring to runoffs for the House taking place on Saturday.
The $14 million, which was in the account Mr. Kerry used in the Democratic primaries, would have augmented the roughly $7 million in a special account earmarked for legal and accounting expenses, which could have been used for a recount. Mr. Bush had about $15.6 million in a similar account.
Mr. Kerry spent all but about $1 million of the $75 million of public money in his general election account, and had almost $2 million in debt.