Republican presidential candidate John McCain says everything’s “fine” and he no longer wishes to discuss the turmoil that saw many of his campaign staffers leave after campaign fundraising goals weren’t met.

McCain held a brief news conference in Des Moines late Sunday afternoon. “I will not respond to any more questions about process,” McCain said. “I did that for two weeks. I cut down at least three forests-worth of paper being written on it…I am happy about the state of our campaign. We will do fine. We are competitive and we will win in Iowa.”

McCain met privately with supporters in his Des Moines campaign headquarters Sunday, breaking a long-standing McCain tradition of holding events — even fundraisers — in the open.

“I told ’em I’m grateful for their support,” McCain told reporters afterwards. “We talked about a lot of things: what our plans are, the mistakes that we’ve made…Look, I’ve said this not many times, but I would repeat again I’ve had a lot tougher days in my life than any time on this campaign.”

McCain, an Arizona Senator, was prisoner of war in Vietnam. McCain ran for president in 2000 as well, but skipped competing in Iowa’s Caucuses. He vows to return frequently in the coming months.

“I am very happy at where our campaign is and I’m very happy as to how we’ll do,” McCain said. “…I’m very confident that we win.”

Several dozen people gathered to chat with McCain on Sunday and the campaign fed its supporters grilled hot dogs.

You can listen to McCain’s news conference in Des Moines by clicking on the audio link below.

AUDIO: McCain in DSM (mp3 runs 7 min)