LONDONDERRY, New Hampshire (CNN) - Sen. John McCain's, R-Arizona, last visit on his New Hampshire "No Surrender" tour culminated with his fervent message that defeat in Iraq was not an option.
"I believe we can and we must and we will prevail," the presidential hopeful said before a crowd of New Hampshire war veterans and supporters Friday.
Sen. McCain, a Vietnam War veteran and former prisoner of war, has been criticized for his steadfast support for the Iraq war. Yet his campaign gained traction this week following Gen. David Petraeus’ testimony on the success of the Iraqi troop surge.
"I think we have to understand that frustration is bred by the failure of almost four years. Now we have a winning strategy. We can and must succeed," McCain said.
Sporting a Naval Academy baseball hat, Sen. McCain, who has two sons in uniform, implored the audience to continue to support the troops as well as their mission. "It's wonderful to say I support the troops. It's not really so wonderful if they're going to be defeated."
He added that withdrawal from Iraq would lead to "greater sacrifice of American blood and treasure" and urged the crowd to not allow the sacrifices of those serving "to be in vain."
- CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla