Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. John McCain was first of the Republican candidates to address the so–called Value Voters summit – and his appeals for social conservative support included this:
"I have been pro-life my entire public career. I believe I am the only major candidate in either party who can make that claim."
But McCain's remarks as delivered were missing some of the words in the prepared remarks distributed by his campaign.
In discussing his opposition to abortion, McCain told the gathering: "You need only examine my public record to know that I won't ever change my position."
In the prepared remarks, that line went on to include the phrase "to fit the politics of the day" — a clear swipe at former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney who has changed his position and now opposes abortion rights.
McCain also opted against delivering these lines that were at the end of his prepared text: "This is not the time to turn our back on the progress we've made on the issues that matter most. The voters who have offered their support to the Republican Party for decades deserve the chance to unify around a candidate who has demonstrated a consistent commitment to the values that are the reason for that support. I would like to be that candidate. I have a record that can be trusted."
Related video: Watch a clip from the Value Voters Summit
- CNN Chief National Correspondent John King