April 15th, 2008
08:00 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain: 'I will contest every vote of every young American'

(CNN) - Sen. John McCain, who will be the oldest person ever sworn in to a first term as president should he win the White House in November, made it clear Tuesday that he is going to fight hard for the youth vote notwithstanding his age.

“I will contest every vote of every young American,” McCain told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews during an appearance on Matthews’s show set at Villanova University.

“He’s extremely eloquent,” McCain said when asked by Matthews why McCain thought so many young people are excited by Sen. Barack Obama’s oratory. “I think that there is a desire for change out there in America,” McCain added, sounding Obama’s dominant campaign theme.

“And the kind of change that I think I can make is reaffirm Americans’ faith in their future, in their ability to educate their children, to serve this country, and I think that I can provide that motivation,” McCain added.

Obama has overwhelmingly won over young voters in the Democratic primaries t so far. Should McCain face off against Obama in the general election, an age gap of some 25 years would separate the two men.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Stephen in Canada

    McCain's a good man, but a presidential candidate completely out of his decade. Why couldn't he have been there 8 years ago? Who wouldn't want advice on life from their grandfather, but would you also trust your grandfather to plan your financial future, that of your childrens' and the defense of your home? I love my grandfather but I surely wouldn't give him my bank card...of course, he won't carry a bank card because them new fangled things are ku-ray-zee!

    April 16, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  2. My_Self

    McCain, you need to get rest. You know you can't win over Obama, he is a mechine who conversts the negative attacks to his advantage. Not only that, he is the one, so I suggest you just chill. You have no idea about Economy, the only thing you good at is war, and we are not looking for any more war. We want to have peace in the world. We respect your service as a soldier, and we very much appreciate your service and I am sure no one will question that. thanks this note, just because you serve the country, it doesn't mean you are ready to lead this great country.

    I admire your hopefullness and achived thisgreat deal. Don't make no mistake about this, it is not a game. We americans are bitter with the goverment and we dont' need another 4 more years in the white house.

    Respect Mr Mc Caine and much love...

    April 16, 2008 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  3. Alex

    Right, as if an older, white republican warmonger representing political stagnation is going to win over a youth vote that is very much galvanized for Obama. As a 21 year old student, I'm totally certain that McCain will institute a draft when we inevitably declare a pointless war with Iran. As somebody who believes we're only going to destroy ourselves under these circumstances, the prospect of McCain becoming president outright scares me, as it likely scares millions of othes.

    This doesn't have to be. I don't care who gets elected at this stage of the game, just so long as we don't get the guy who's going to start WW3.

    April 16, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |

    You gotta love a man who tells it like it is.


    The people of small-town America are nothing but a bunch of small-minded, gun-totin', bible-thumpin', ignorant rednecks.

    April 16, 2008 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  5. PA Student

    I'm a young voter as a college student in PA and I will be voting for McCain. Not all of us are ignorant enough to think Obama would know how to lead our country. No experience and no stances on issues make for a lousy president.

    April 16, 2008 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  6. steve

    Carl Rove and the Rethugs are working very hard to elect Mcbush.
    8 years of economic collapse & disastrous war is quite enough.

    April 16, 2008 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  7. Mike O Plano, TX

    "Obama has overwhelmingly won over young voters in the Democratic primaries "

    And overwhelmingly loses the older vote. And who actually turns out to vote on a regular basis? And which block is most fickle and inconsistent? After the drumbeat of the campaign goes on and Obama becomes more clearly a product of the Chicago political machine of Rezko and company, how charged up will young people be?

    April 16, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  8. Craig in Texas Democrat and supporter for Obama

    Independant learn to spell or get a browser with spell check.

    April 16, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  9. jeremy

    mccain just won't win the young vote. no offense to mccain, but Obama has that demographic locked up.

    April 16, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  10. jo

    I would love to vote for you sir. but I don't like your iraq policy. If Mrs. Clinton wins ( that won't happen) I will just stay home. I know you are a good man except?

    April 16, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  11. Open minded

    Wow really senator mccain can connect with the youth vote. Maybe he can connect to us with a good old story about what it was like to grow up with electricity or walk up hill both ways to school, in the snow. Senator McCain would be better off if he didnt playcate to his idiotic conservative base. With any luck the conservative movement started by former president Regan will be dead and we can get back to cleaning up the mess they have left that youth vote senator McCain wants to connect too. I have a good way he can connect to them, register as a democrat. With any luck senator Obama will be like FDR and fix up another mess republicans have left the country.

    April 16, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  12. Concerned

    It seems incoherent rants are helpful? Thanks for making that clear Joe and Independent.

    April 16, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  13. New Mexico

    John McCain is the man that can get the US Mexico fence build. If you are a real American patriot vote for McCain.

    April 16, 2008 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  14. Joe

    First, I find it disturbing and somewhat hypocritical where on the one hand our culture exhibits hyper-sensitivity to racial or gender based discrimination, but then tolerates age discrimination without objection. Sure McCain is old, but like many of the elderly, he still has much to offer. Moreover, he's proven his resiliency time and again, most recently on the campaign trail – he quite possibly has the most demanding schedule of all the remaining candidates.

    Second, why do we accept the dumbing down of our democratic process? I'm not particularly interested in the day to day politicking of the candidates. I, and I hope you as well, evaluate them on the basis of the policies they support, and the likelihood that they will carry through. Unfortunately, such a task proves too much of an intellectual challenge for the American public. Thus, we have the current system where buzzwords and sensationalism dominate rather than independent thought and principled logic. Good luck America.

    April 16, 2008 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
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