McCain makes case for presidency

Published 10:10 am Friday, September 5, 2008

Sen. John McCain outlined his beliefs, told what he will do as president and worked to set himself apart from his opponent Thursday night during his acceptance speech for the nomination for president at the Republican National Convention at the Xcel Energy Center.

But he wasn’t the only one making his case for president of the United States.

“There are people that have character, honor and integrity,” said Duane Quam Jr., chairman of Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District Republican Party. “And he’s one of them.”

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McCain has incredible fortitude and a strength of character that is displayed in his experiences and “gives him a sense of wisdom and accomplishment that anybody would be proud to have,” said Erik Larsen, a Republican from Albert Lea.

“He’s almost an over-qualified individual to take on the task of being president,” Larsen continued.

As with many Republicans, Quam and Larsen said they don’t agree with McCain on everything. But Quam said he respects McCain for what he’s done for the country and his fellow soldiers.

“He showed what determination, hard work and never surrendering, never giving up can do,” Quam said.

Roughly a year ago, political pundits forecast the end of McCain’s bid for president following his public support for more troops in Iraq. At that time, McCain said he would rather lose an election than lose a war.

“John McCain has walked the walk, and he has always put our country first,” Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said.

McCain’s dedication to his country was a hot topic throughout the convention, with many Republicans bringing up his time as a prisoner of war and what he endured as a captive in Vietnam.

“I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner of someone else’s,” he said.

After realizing that America stood for decency, faith, wisdom, justice and courage, McCain said his country wasn’t just a place but an idea and cause worth saving.

Following his time as a POW, “I wasn’t my own man anymore, I was my country’s,” he said.

The senator’s service to his country and people make him ready to lead, he said.

“I understand who I work for. I don’t work for a party, I don’t work for a special interest, I don’t work for myself. I work for you,” McCain said.

As president he will fight corruption and big spenders, he said. He will veto the first big-spending pork bill to come across his desk. He will not allow excess government spending at a time when so many American families are struggling to make ends meet.

McCain said he will ensure the country remains safe from its enemies. He will lower taxes, open markets, reward hardworking Americans by allowing them to keep “the fruits of their labor.” He will make sure judges dispense justice impartially and don’t legislate from the bench.

The Republican nominee said he will make sure people have more choices and be able to make those choices for themselves rather than government making all the decisions.

McCain will reduce government spending and get rid of failed programs, he said. He will prepare workers to compete in a world economy and give the choice of education back to parents.

To solve the energy crisis, McCain said he will drill offshore and put more efforts into alternative energy sources.

McCain spoke of the war in Iraq and against terrorism. He said he will work to establish good relations with Russia and keep America safe from its enemies.

“I’m not afraid of them, I’m prepared for them,” he said, adding he knows how the military works, he knows how the world works, and he knows how to stand up to his enemies.

He said he will restore the pride and principals of the Republican Party and that too many politicians are elected to change Washington, but let Washington change them, losing the trust of the American people.

“We need to change the way government does almost everything,” he said.

Rather than reform government, McCain said, both parties made it bigger. He said he will recover America’s trust by standing up to the values and principals that are the foundation of his political party, which were carried forward by Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan.

“When we tell you we’re going to change Washington and stop leaving our country’s problems for some unlucky generation to fix, you can count on it. We’ve got a record of doing just that,” McCain said.

He gave an advanced warning to the “big-spending, do-nothing, me-first crowd: change is coming.”

Quam said he is proud to be voting for McCain’s endorsement, and a McCain-Palin ticket means “a fresh beginning, a new revitalization of the nation and government.”

Cindy McCain, the senator’s wife, said she knows of no other man better to represent the ideals of the Republican party — which date back to Lincoln, its founder — and lead the country than her husband.

“If Americans want straight talk and plain truth, they should take a good, close look at John McCain, a man tested and true,” Cindy said. “This is a good man, a worthy man.”

She spoke of McCain’s character. Cindy said he is honest, fair, honorable, self-sacrificing, steadfast and does not break with heritage. He never wavered or became a Washington insider.

“We need a leader who fits the times, not a candidate who feels it’s his time to lead,” said Tom Ridge, former Pennsylvania governor and the first secretary of homeland security. “It’s not about building a record, it’s about having one. And it’s not about talking pretty, it’s about talking straight.”

Sen. Barack Obama will, according to McCain, raise taxes, close markets, raise government spending, force small businesses to cut jobs, reduce wages and force the American people into government-run health care.

McCain, though disagreeing with his opponent, said he still respects Obama as a worthy adversary.

“We’ll go at it over the next two months. That’s the nature of this business. There are big differences between us. You have my respect and admiration,” he said. “Much more unites us than divides us. We are fellow Americans.”

McCain accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for president Thursday night “with gratitude, humility and confidence,” he said.