They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

McCain Campaign Banked on Taxpayer-Funded Bailout

He was not promising to remain in the system -- he was promising to drop out of the system, and then opt back in if things went poorly. In that event, the $5.8 million would still be waiting for him. And he'd just hang around to collect it, even if he'd gotten drubbed in New Hampshire and the following states.

You can see the agreement here. The relevant paragraph is on page two. Sizing it up, Mark Schmitt writes at Tapped:

What we know is that McCain found a way to use the public funds as an insurance policy: If he did poorly, he would use public funds to pay off his loans. If he did well, he would have the advantage of unlimited spending.

There's a reason no one's ever done anything like this. It makes a travesty of the choice inherent in voluntary public financing, between public funds and unlimited spending.