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Public Statements

John McCain

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

JOHN McCAIN -- (Senate - March 05, 2008)


Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, I thank my colleagues for coming down and highlighting the fact that the Presidential nomination on the Republican side has finally come to a conclusion--Senator McCain won. To all those who were in the race, I think I have a little taste of how difficult it was for you and your families.

The Republican Party was blessed this year to have a group of candidates who represented the best in the Republican Party: To Governor Huckabee last night, he ran a great campaign; Governor Romney; Ron Paul--whatever you want to say about Ron Paul, he bleeds, he won his primary last night--and Mayor Giuliani. What a talented field we had on our side. It is equally true on the other side. We are going to have a Senator, as Senator Burr said, for both parties. I do not know when that last happened. But it is an exciting time.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Senator McCain for many years. They will write books about how this happened because our campaign ran into a wall in the summer. I think one of the things you can say about Senator McCain, as Senator Burr indicated, is that when he sets his mind to something, he is pretty hard to stop. He believes he has a little more service left in him.

If you want to know JOHN MCCAIN, you need to look at his family and the way he has lived his life--his time in the Navy. He looks at being President as one more chance to serve the country.

I was talking to him last night. The idea of being President is overwhelming. It is such a prestigious office, it is such an important office for the world and for our Nation. I just indicated to him: Just look at it as another tour of duty. This time you are Commander in Chief.

To the men and women in uniform out there who are serving in faraway places, standing watch as I speak, you are going to have a great Commander in Chief if JOHN MCCAIN wins. The other candidates are fine people, but I think the differences are going to be real.

Senator Clinton said something last night. She is a very strong competitor and you never count the Clintons out and I do admire Senator Clinton. This is going to be a spirited contest. But she said she wanted to end the war in Iraq and win in Afghanistan. Well, what the heck does that mean? I want to win in Iraq and I want to win in Afghanistan.

Senator Obama, who is a real phenomenon, who has come a long way in a short period of time, says the world is watching. He talked about some gentleman, the grandfather of one of his campaign operatives, I think maybe in Uganda, staying up all night to watch what we do in America. Senator Obama is absolutely right.

I can tell you who else is watching. Some of the most vicious killers known to humanity are watching what we do in terms of Iraq and the war on terror. They are measuring us. They are measuring our candidates for President. They are seeing who blinks and who does not. They are going to watch what we do in the Senate, and they are looking for openings.

This is going to be a great contest. What an important time for America and the world. I hope we can have a civil debate. I am sure it will be. But the fact that there are great differences in a democracy is a good thing. I say to the American people, you are going to be blessed with some good choices. Please choose wisely because a lot of people depend on what you say or do.

I yield the floor.

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