January 12th, 2008
05:06 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain gets big South Carolina endorsement


McCain won the backing of South Carolina's largest newspaper Saturday. (Photo Credit: AP)

WASHINGTON (CNN) - John McCain won the endorsement of South Carolina's largest newspaper Saturday, a major boost to the Arizona senator one week before this southern state’s Republican presidential primary.

In an editorial posted on The State's Web site, McCain is praised for "integrity and independence," and his ability to reach across partisan divides.

"He is a slave to no ideology or faction. Not only will he work with anyone who wants to do the right thing anytime, he is usually the driving force at the head of coalitions to get the job done — from the Gang of 14 that broke Senate gridlock and paved the way for the confirmation of conservative judges to his principled leadership on campaign finance reform," the editorial board wrote.

The paper's editorial board also lauded McCain for his political courage, writing he "is almost unique in his determination to do what is right, whatever the cost."

Mike Huckabee was also considered, according to the editorial, and hailed as an "exciting newcomer who shows a wonderful ability to connect with voters’ concerns." But the editorial board ultimately concluded the former Arkansas governor's "utter lack of knowledge of foreign affairs is unsettling."

As for the other GOP candidates, the editorial board discounted Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani for pulling much of their resources from the state, dismissed Ron Paul as a serious contender for the Republican nomination, and said Fred Thompson - who is betting his entire presidential bid on a win there - "seems to be running in this first-in-the-South primary just to say he did."

The paper backed then-Texas Gov. George Bush over McCain in 2000.

"At long last, eight years later than we should have, we are endorsing John McCain of Arizona," Brad Warthen, the State's editorial page director and a longtime supporter of McCain wrote on his blog Saturday. "This makes me a lot happier than I was this time in 2000. This time, we've done the right thing."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: John McCain • South Carolina
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Paul Thompson

    I've been watching your Ballot Bowl '08. You sure have your favorites and even though Gallup has polled a new leader....

    Three hours and still....you won't mention Mike Huckabee as more
    than some kind of Also-ran.

    The media is going to get a surprise!

    Go Huck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 12, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  2. Patty D.

    So this right-leaning paper endorsed Bush over McCain? And now it has a change of heart? Well, we can thank this rag and all the others for giving us the disaster that is Bush.

    January 12, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  3. DenisL

    Inflation is going to eat us alive, as it has already started to do so. Do you really believe that the REAL inflation rate last year, the rate that was used by the government for Social Security check increase this month, was 2.3%? No one seems to understand the problems with the economy, inflation, and out of control deficit spending. We have a $9 trillion debt that must be paid so we can afford Social Security and Medicare. The interest payments will eat us alive when we begin to fight inflation with higher Federal Reserve bank rates. And we must stop inflation or everyone's life savings will go down the tubes, along with our middle class, like what has happened to the middle class in most countries south of our border. Republicans need to begin to understand the seriousness of runaway inflation. And start educating the country. The Democrats will sure not fight inflation like Volcker and Reagan did!
    Please vote Ron Paul and save the country from bankruptcy abroad and at home!

    January 12, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  4. Daniel

    I think that it's sad that Romney had to pull his resources out of South Carolina like the article mentioned. I feel that many evangelical's anti-Mormon views pushed him to do it. I think that unless McCain or Romney win the nomination, Republicans have no chance in the general election this November. People view Huckabee as too much of a Baptist Crusader for him to win in a general election.

    January 12, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  5. Alex Schultheis

    Look, I think that McCain is clearly the guy for America. I know that conservatives don't like him as much, but he still is pushing for bipartisan support. The republicans talk about deporting immigrants, but they forget that the greatest republican president, Reagan, he gave amnesty to illegal immigrants. He secured the borders, which everyone agrees has to be done. But he had the moral decency to let those already here stay. If anything, we should follow that. There are 12 million people here illegally, but that is a crap load of people to deport. Plus, they do have families here in America already, so it would be unfair to deport them. Go McCain!

    January 12, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  6. Paul

    John McCain wants to keep the US in Iraq for the next 100 years. And one could assume he would also invade Iran and interfere with Pakistan. If John McCain gets elected this country will be bankrupt in a matter of years. Side note Mike Huckabee's only plank to stand on is the fact that he is a Christian and is making Christians feel bad if they don't vote for him. What has this country come to? The Huckster will get destroyed by any Democrat that wins the primary. Landslide. Don't waste a vote on the Huckster or the Warmongering McCain.

    January 12, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  7. Adam

    As a Democrat, I actually like McCain. I disagree strongly with most of his positions, and I would not vote for him in a general election for that reason. However, that doesn't diminish my respect for the senator.

    My only (non-political) concern with John McCain is his health. Doesn't he have fairly significant cancer in remission. I've watched him during the debates, and his mind seems to be a few steps ahead of his body. He is extremely intelligent, but, if he were to suffer health problems under the intense and unique stress and daily grind of the presidency, who would take his place? We wouldn't know until after he won the nomination, and I would not have much enthusiasm for a President Huckabee.

    January 12, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  8. Brad

    This is one more reason, for Democrats to get behind Hillary, if they want the White House.

    McCain, won most of the independents vote in New Hampshire( to the dismay of Obama) and will win the independent votes nationwide.

    If McCain wins the nomination, there is no way, Democrats can get the White House, unless the candidate is Hillary.

    Though a lifelong democrat, I would rather vote for McCain over Obama.

    January 12, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  9. Richard, Ewing NJ

    You are wrong. Romney has the worse chance of all GOP. 65% of people would not elect him under any circumstance. Please read the recent studies.

    January 12, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  10. John S. Maine

    They can endorse McCain all they want. I will never vote for that loose cannnon who wants to stay in Iraq for 100 years and is giving up on jobs in Michigan.

    If you want real change you need to vote for Mitt Romney!

    January 12, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  11. MarkD

    John McCain was a member of the keating five. In exchange for campaign contributions he used his influence to help thwart a federal investigation into Lincoln Savings & Loan. The collapse of the S&L's in the late 80's cost investors over a billion and the taxpayers another billion.

    He doesn't care if the war lasts another 100years.

    Vote Ron Paul. It's the only reasonable option there is.

    January 12, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  12. Brian

    What is with the Media's hate for Ron Paul??

    January 12, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  13. jamaku

    if you want to save you butt, get to know Ron Paul, don't bother with politics otherwise: stupid game...

    January 12, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  14. Tom Wittmann


    And, if you rightly think, McCain will get the independent vote, you assume that Hillary has chances against him ?? She is the most divisive candidate of all,
    and if Obama is less attractive as MacCain, much less will Hillary be so.

    And of course, the "experience" of Hillary as wife of Bill will hardly be a match for
    McCain !!

    Could you elaborate ??

    January 12, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  15. Tom Davie

    Unfortunately for Obama and all the Republican cronies, the more the election becomes about the economy, the more obvious it will be that Hillary Clinton will win the whitehouse.

    Bill Clinton already PROVED he could take a bush/ reagan financial nightmare and TURN IT COMEPLETELY around to a balanced budget and growing economy.

    Good luck folks.


    January 12, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  16. Tom Davie

    I forgot to mention that as well.

    More independents vote for McCain rather than Obama. NH proved it.

    January 12, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    LOL – a paper that endorsed Bush is considered a significant and beneficial endorsement for McCain? It seems self-evident the integrity of paper in question is absurd.

    January 12, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  18. Robert from the Netherlands

    I think this will make the 'famous last words':

    "This time, we've done the right thing."

    2 years later USA goes bankrupt because President McCain sent military in Iran as well. What can you expect from a newspaper which endorsed George W. Bush.

    January 12, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  19. Greg

    McCain demonstrated his disdain for the US Constitution and Free Speech with McCain-Feingold. He also has supported elements of the new American police state, and would gladly sacrifice our economy and our troops in an un-Constitutionally aggressive foreign policy. It's especially worrisome that he has such a bad temper.

    Freedom averse, unstable, and not really as independent as the media portrays him.

    Huckabee is a pro-life national socialist, who likes war, high taxes and intrusive government. He has a silver tongue and a cross on his sleeve. As a born-again Christian, I'm offended by the way he pimps his campaign with religion.

    Mitt Romney is a flip-flopping phoney who's only value seems to be the bottom line of his own self-promotion. He raised taxes, banned guns, and did everything a non-conservative would be expected to do. He's the epitomy of RINO (Republican In Name Only).

    Rudy Giuliani: see Mitt Romney.

    The most Republican, Reaganesque candidate is Ron Paul. Ron Paul exudes integrity, and has a 30 year record of standing up for Constitutional government, personal liberty, and a sound economic system and currency.

    Don't vote for someone because the media tells you they are "electable"; vote for someone because you know they are the right choice.

    Vote Ron Paul.

    January 12, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  20. Proud Free Independant Texan

    Huckabee/McCain is the foreign owned leftist media's preferred candidates for their Obama/Clinto ticket to run against. These Euro-Global Mass Media Conglomerates fear a Thompson/Romney ticket would hamper their interference and manipulation of America's wealth/military to their own ends. Romney/Thompson have backbone, and principles, and would STAND UP FOR AMERICA....unlike those who have foreign money literally hanging out of their pockets, and can hardly remember that they are supposed to represent AMERICA'S best interests, and not those of their benefactors.

    On the Left :
    we have backing Obama/Clinton and giving aid to McCain/Huckabee, French/Canadian/German owned Vivendi Universal/Bertelsmann AG Global Media Conglomerates who coincidentally also have the same ownership as TOTAL OIL/BNP PARIBAS Bank of Oil For Blood Money fame. These two foreign corporations also control GE, Disney, Miramax, Lion's Gate FIlms, New York TImes, Random House, backing and providing propgraming for Al Gore's old NewsWorld International and now Current to target impressionable youth along with DoodleBops targeting even younger Americans..among MANY others too numerous to mention...almost monopolising our media space...most ALL of America's film/music entertainment industry. Quite the left-wing indoctrination effort financed, and forced upon us by foreigners with the assistance of our own Democrat Party who acts as the enablers/middlemen for their own profit. Selling out America quite literally.

    On the Right:
    We have Australian owned Newscorp (fox). They do 24 hour "News" and entertainment propgraming. Doing the same as the left, but for their OWN agenda/interests. This foreign owned group backs McCain/Huckabee and cheers for Hillary over Obama as they fear Obama as the one most difficult to beat.

    ENTER the only true, AMERICAN candiates for AMERICA's best interests, who are NOT backed/financed/cheered on by foreign blood money groups. These folks are NOT FOR SALE...enter FRED THOMPSON and MITT ROMNEY. These two loyal Americans hardly stand a chance aginst the FOREIGN money/media influence from the left and the right extremes of the spectrum.

    America it's high time we stood up for ourselves, and put these foreign owned puppeteers in their place! Let's kick these foreign extremists who pull Americans apart, and constantly play us against each other for their own gain, initiating devisiveness, and dividing our young people against one another, dividing ALL Americans along racial/relgious/thnic/age/gender lines...anywhere they can...it's HIGH TIME WE GAVE THESE FRENCH/CANADIAN/GERMAN/AUSTRALIAN PUPPETEERS THE BOOT!!! And take America back. For ourselves and all FUTURE generations of Americans.


    January 12, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  21. robert, pasadena, ca

    McCain is a creature of Washington who will change nothing. He's an old grumpy windbag who belongs in a retirement home, not the White House. If we want somebody who will bring fresh ideas to a stagnating government and who understands the economy then we would do well to elect Romney. It amazes me to no end to see how much people complain about the status quo and then do nothing to change it when they have the chance. Huckabee is a religious crackpot and would take this country down a very dangerous path. North Korea and Iran will be licking their chops if he gets elected. The fact that McCain and Huckabee are even considered serious candidates shows how desperate the situation has become for the GOP.

    January 12, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  22. truthseeker

    Bush whipped McCain and McCain ended up being a Bush lap dog. Now he is running on Bush's record – more of the same deficit spending and war mongering to the detriment of all citizens.

    What an unpatriotic newspaper to not be asking the hard questions .

    How will McCain balance our budget?
    He won't.

    When will our troops leave Iraq? They won't.

    What other countries will we attack and invade on false pretenses? Oh well – it will sure sell more newspapers .

    January 12, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  23. David - Oregon City

    The State is just looking for a seat at the table!

    Go Huckabee!

    January 12, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  24. LATOIA

    Brad, the lifelong Democrat. Why would you vote for McCain over Obama, because he's black?

    January 12, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  25. Jake, California

    McCain looks good when you consider his integrity and senator record. He would be a stiff competitor against Obama if they each win their respective party nominations
    The only place he is going to lose is his desire to keep the soldiers in Iraq. Obama will sure crush him on this one.... It is one of Obama's biggest arguments and where he seems to be strongest. A lot of Americans also share this view,ie getting out of Iraq asap.

    January 12, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
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