Cindy McCain to headline fundraiser in London

Vietnam Cindy McCain
Cindy McCain smiles during a visit to an Operation Smile mission at the general hospital in Nha Trang, Vietnam.Chitose Suzuki / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Cindy McCain, wife of Republican presidential hopeful John McCain, was hosting a campaign fundraiser in London on Thursday after she completes a humanitarian visit to southeast Asia.

The evening event was expected to raise more than $500,000 for the Arizona senator's presidential bid, a person familiar with the planning said Monday. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was scheduled to join Cindy McCain as a headliner of the event.

The event was open to U.S. citizens living abroad. Under law, foreign nationals cannot contribute money to U.S. presidential campaigns.

John McCain was criticized for holding a campaign fundraiser in London in March, shortly after he clinched the GOP nomination, as he returned from a Senate trip to Europe and the Middle East. He reimbursed the U.S. government for part of the cost of the trip, under terms reviewed by the Federal Election Commission and the Senate Ethics Committee.

A wealthy beer company heiress, Cindy McCain was touring Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia to promote charitable causes, including Operation Smile, which provides reconstructive surgery to children born with cleft palates and other facial deformities in developing countries. Cindy McCain has been actively involved with Operation Smile since 2001 and is a member of its board of directors.

She also spoke out against Burma's military junta and vowed to make improving human rights there a priority if she becomes first lady.

Cindy McCain has made several trips to the region. Her husband, a former Navy officer, was shot down during the Vietnam War and held as a prisoner of war for more than five years.