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. Blake

    Mccain will just bring division to the Republican party. We need someone like Mitt Romney to bring change in Washington. Mccain was one of Washington's worst with his amnesty immigration bill with Ted Kennedy, his bill with Finegold that limited free speech to a lot of groups. He has done only one in Washington in the last 30 years, and that was to call for the troop surge, Which Rudy and Romney have supported all along anyway. So please vote for Mitt!

    January 12, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  2. Tom Davie

    Latoia writes

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


    The guy said he wouldnt vote for Obama . He never said anything about race.

    Latoia . Playing the RACE card at the drop of a hat is EMBARRRASING for your candidate.

    Dirty politics like this HURT your candidate. Everyone looks at it and it TURNS THEM OFF.

    January 12, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  3. Brad


    Honestly, for me color, sex, does not matter.

    I want to vote for substance, rather than rhetoric.

    Initially, I was captivated by Obama's speech, but if you would have listened to him for quite some time, you would realize that he is nothing more than words. For me, if I want someone who can speak good, I would rather vote for the Hollywood specch writers, than Obama, definitely they would be much more better than Obama.

    Obama, also displays cockiness, rudeness and know it all attitude.

    Hillary, addresses with details, she has the knack of handling situations. She has gone through ups and downs in her life, and still she has come unscathed. What has Obama to offer, other than I was poor?

    Also, Hillary comes with more than 35 years of experience. She is the one I definitely think can bring the country back on right track, after 8 years of disaster.

    January 12, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  4. Buddy Butler

    What other countries will attack us and kill thousands of our people? Oh well, it will surely not hurt our economy, only Bush's administration is responsible for that. Are we headed for an inflation? Or, is it only those who hope that we are who want to blame Bush?

    January 12, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  5. Neel ny, ny

    I like McCain but he is just too late to be part of the game. He is too old.

    January 12, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  6. rw

    Latoia, I assume you are voting for Obama, why, because he is black?

    I agree with the newspaper, they should have endorsed McCain 8 years ago. Great picture.

    January 12, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  7. grip

    why would any one pick John McCain for President. He's ready to retire and to be honest I can't see him doing a good job when he will be asleep at the helm all the time he would be in office. and that goes for the rest of the GOP canidates. I hate to say this being in my 50's but come on he should let some one in there younger years step in and do the job the American people need being done.

    January 12, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  8. lee

    McCain=angry and trigger happy.

    God help us!

    January 12, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  9. brandon

    Ron Paul will save this country, he just needs help in the primaries.

    End the wars, end the patriot acts and restore the Constitution.

    January 12, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  10. Matt

    Latoia- You must be black. I can see your trying to turn Brad's comment into a race issue. We all have our opinions. That's the purpose of the board. Stop trying to cause an uproar over an issue that is not Black or White. Go McCain!

    January 12, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  11. Ben

    congatulation Adam!! I agree with you. It is nice to read someone's opinion who dosn't bash a candidate just because he or she wouldn't vote for them.

    January 12, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  12. Ike

    Why would a republican vote for McCain?
    Sanctity of Marriage act-McCain voted AGAINST
    Tax Cuts-McCain voted AGAINST
    McCain/Feingold – infringement on 1st Amendment
    McCain/Kennedy – Amnesty

    What is it that any republican would like about this man? He was in Vietnam, so was Kerry and Republicans didn't like him.

    January 12, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  13. Dave

    It would be amazing to see as much national coverage on Ron Paul's political views and campaign that his 15 year old newsletter did. It is becoming increasingly scary how far gone our nation really is . . .

    January 12, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  14. LATOIA

    Matt: Actually, I'm white. Brad's ordering preferencing of Hillary, McCain and THEN Obama is logically inconsistent. If Brad supports Hillary on the issues, his second choice should be Obama, because Obama's stances are closer to Hilary's than McCain's is to Hilary's. Matt, you should be less sensitive.

    January 12, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  15. Big Ben Rock Hill SC

    So many people have stopped reading this paper that it has given up on trying to distribute itself outside of the metropolitan area of Columbia.

    January 12, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  16. Mcain - WAR MONGER

    McCain is a Rambo

    The Paper endoresed Rambo because they want the Repulicans to lose.

    Mitt Romeny is warming up America.

    January 12, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  17. Tim, Minnesota

    It only enforces my disgust at how ignorant Americans are. McCain in charge of Nukes? Horrible thought!

    January 12, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  18. FAIR TAX,LA.

    look at the crazy crap she wants to do!!
    now she wants the mexican votes!!
    1-taco please!!!
    you jerk libs!!
    social pieces of crap!! -–FAIR TAX BABY!!!!!!!

    January 12, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  19. Mike

    Tom Davie, you also forgot to mention that BILL CLINTON is not running for President. Yes, he did prove he could do all those things, but that is not a reason for people to vote for his wife. Hillary has never governed a state and Barack has been in an elected position longer than Hillary has.

    People don't want old. A McCain - Obama match-up will lean towards Obama. McCain has too often supported the Bush policies and people are looking for a new direction. I respect John McCain and I do think SOME of his ideas are good. When it comes to the economy, Bill gets the credit, not Hillary. Pillow talk does not count as experience. A lot of independents may have supported McCain because they believed that Barack was already the winner in that state. They could have also wanted the debate to continue between the top two Democratic candidates. I don't think an incident in one state will represent the entire independent electorate throughout the country during a general election.

    January 12, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  20. Marti, FL

    I like McCain but feel his presidential viability was manipulated away from him by Bush, Rove & Co. in 2000. Needless to say, he would have made a better president than Bush. At the turn of the century, there were many positions that I agreed with McCain. That was until he began altering his stances to align with Jerry Falwell at Liberty University, whereby abandoning his central core. McCain then started sounding like every other neoconservative, resembling Bush more and more.

    It is a shame, because this could have been the end of a potential 8-year term for McCain if he had won his rightful place as president in 2000. He would have maintained his maverick center and been in position retire comfortably for a man of his age. I’m sorry, but there are concerns now about McCain’s ability to serve out two potential terms as president. He will be 72 in August, making him 81 years old at the end of two terms. This along with his shifts in positions needs to be considered in the McCain candidacy.

    January 12, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  21. rachel lanore

    Glad someone else mentioned the Keating Five Scandal....

    Cindy McCain's addiction to drugs and her admitting that she stole drugs from her own charity is going to come back to haunt the Republican party ...

    so let's get this all out in the open now and hash it out.

    The Democrates are going to use this against McCain... so everyone that is voting for him now, better really decide if he is the man ....

    I'm not voting for him, he has too many skeletons in his closet...

    January 12, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  22. Doug Crawford

    I supported McCain last time arround but was dissappointed when we dropped his bid before The PA primary even took place. I still voted for him.
    I certainly do not beleive in everything he says. But when I listen to his wisdom I almost get the feeling that he could have been one of our founding fathers. Some might say he is old enough to be one : ) .
    I do feel this is the time for us to send a message to the evangelicals that they do not run the rebulican party as much as they might think they do. I think a good running mate would be Joe Leiberman wouldn't that shakem in their boots in both parties. Get this country back to the middle go John McCain.

    January 12, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  23. Mike, Fredericksburg, VA

    "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. "

    Don't forget the fact that Romney proclaimed himself to be pro-choice, pro-gay rights, and pro-gun control up until he ran for president, and has turned people off by spending millions of dollars criticizing other candidates.

    January 12, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  24. Natasha B

    I'm an Obama supporter but if Hillary wins the nomination, I'll be voting for a Republican in the General election. McCain is someone I can enthusiastically support.

    There is still something to be said for honesty, integrity and class, or as MLK would put it: "the content of your character!"

    January 12, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  25. Steve

    Dear John McCain,
    You are a patriot and a hero, but your "government time" has elapsed and your collapse into the Bush administration abyss makes you highly unlikely to receive support. Please just retire and do the country a favor. You are a Bush lap dog. The amnesty bill...sir, are you senile? 100 years in Iraq...umm, ok, who wants to fund this...

    January 12, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
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