April 21st, 2008
12:00 PM ET
7 years ago

McCain launches outreach effort

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 McCain campaigned in Selma Monday.
McCain campaigned in Selma Monday.

(CNN) – John McCain launched a tour designed to appeal to moderate voters Monday at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, a landmark of the civil rights movement.

"There must be no forgotten places in America, whether they have been ignored for long years by the sins of indifference and injustice, or have been left behind as the world grew smaller and more economically interdependent," said the presumptive Republican nominee.

The trip will take McCain to areas far from the standard GOP campaign trail, including hurricane-ravaged New Orleans, the Appalachian region of Kentucky, blue-collar Youngstown, Ohio.

Several weeks ago, the Arizona senator drew boos at his address in honor of Martin Luther King’s birthday from protestors angry over his long-ago vote opposing a federal holiday in honor of the slain civil rights leader. He has since said that decision was a mistake.

The tour’s inaugural event may have shown how long the journey may still be for the Republican senator: in a state where nearly half the voters are African-American, and in a city where 7 in 10 residents are, there were few black faces in the audience Monday.

Asked about their absence, McCain acknowledged the challenge ahead. "I have had long and varied experience with people from all communities and all ethnic backgrounds in America, and I will continue to work," he said. "And I'm aware of the challenges, and aware of the fact that there will be many people who will not vote for me.

"But I'm going to be the president for all the people, and I will work for all the people and I will listen to all the people whether they decide to vote for me or not."

The Selma appearance was intended to send a new signal of unity. McCain praised Georgia Rep. John Lewis, who was beaten by Selma police in the famous 1965 march in that city.

Lewis is an Obama supporter. His congressional office said Monday he had not seen McCain's speech.

"John Lewis took the first blow, a baton thrust to the stomach that shoved him back on the marchers behind him. He took the second blow, too, a hard swung club to his head, leaving a permanent scar where it struck," said McCain, who used the congressman’s example to make the case that Americans can overcome any obstacle.


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (120 Responses)
  1. jimmy vekmen

    NEITHER OBAMA OR MCCAIN HAS HAD 8 YEARS OF LIVING IN THE WHITE HOUSE AND MET AND TALKED TO WORLD LEADERS LIKE HILLARY WHO HAS LOTS OF EXPERIENCE IN THIS AREA.
    DIPLOMACY OF THE HIGHEST LEVEL IS AT THE WHITE HOUSE
    WHERE THERE IS NO SECOND GUESSING AND TALKS ARE CARRIED ON IN SECRET AND ARE BINDING.
    I JUST DO NOT AGREE WITH OBAMA HAVING DIRECT TALKS WITH AND GOING TO IRAN WHO IS AN AVOWED ENEMY OF ISRAEL AND
    WITH AN UNRELENTING CONTEMPT OF THE U.N. IN CONTINUING ITS NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM.

    April 21, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. Crispus

    All of the HRC supporters that are considering a vote for J McCain against Obama should know what he is going to do to you IF he wins the GE:
    1) Help outsource your job to another country(China, India, Mexico, etc..)
    2) Because of #1…you will loose your home…
    3) Send your kids…sometime in the future…to Iraq or Iran to fight.
    think about it…

    April 21, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. Crispus

    This is the problem with GOP party they ignore Americans who have different opinions from them and need to remind themselves by making a special trip to show they are not biased.

    April 21, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  4. Jack K, Fort Myers

    Who says "all of a sudden"?
    He's certainly visited the untouched areas of Arizona.
    This being his first national election–why would he have campaigned and stumped in Alabama–or any of the dozens of locales on his agenda.

    As far as his record goes–he's always demonstrated concern for all Americans and worked for a fair and level playing field.

    April 21, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  5. J

    Can you say-- PANDERING ?????

    April 21, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. Make My Day

    Let PA vote themselves deeper into a hole. My sons are not going to this stupid war so let all the sons of PA go and die for some people that don't give a HOOT about them. 100yrs sounds good to me and if Hillary wins this thing and Obama is voted out I will vote for Mc Same and help give them the 100yrs of hell that they love so much. Obama may be too good of a man to be in charge of this government for them. Go ahead PA make my day. Talk about Cali. all you want but I have never been without a job. You better load up the truck Jethro. No, on the other hand stay there and wait for your jobs to come back, Hillary and McSame has a plan for you. Any of you want to buy the Golden Gate Bridge? Hillary will sell it to you very cheap?
    Make my day

    April 21, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. Zach

    McCain is the only one with the experience and knowledge to lead this country. Period. Hillary and Obama together don't even come close to matching his time in service on any level. Good luck Senetor McCain

    April 21, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  8. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    There is a big difference between McCain and the other two candidates. It can be seen right here on this blog.

    McCain is running as what he is-

    He's not trying to cater to every segment of the population–but he is trying to "reachout" to every segment of the population–that is the difference and a very big difference.

    His values/ideals/ and goals for our country don't change with the political winds.

    April 21, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  9. PA

    I AM VOTING FOR OBAMA TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 21, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  10. Concerned Voter

    CNN: I think you need new moderators. The bias representative of the Comment posts you sanction are stunning. This is the best a major media organization can do at promoting a national dialogue on the next president of the United States? Let's place the shame where it belongs: ON THE MEDIA. These comment sections are riddled with rants, slanders, and slurs, which appear to come mostly from Obama supporters. If these are the kinds of folks he attracts, he will not get my vote. The hypocrisy is amazing! (Let's see if the moderators post this one. If they don't, my suspicions will be confirmed).

    April 21, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  11. Independent-woman-voter-for-Obama

    Donated to McCain in 2000; voted for Bush, and regret it to this day! And now McCain is at it again.

    The Republicans and ALL the hate-mongers (Rush, Reagan, Hannity, Savage, OReilly, FOX News, etc.) who support them lost me and our family with their FEAR and HATE mongering! Can't believe people still listen to them! Are people stupid?

    Poor McCain, he is not a bad guy..... but he is clueless just like the rest of the RNC. Can't wait for November when the RNC will be faced with their own destruction.... thanks to Bush.

    April 21, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  12. Craig

    I sure hope Alfredo is not hispanic or liket that. I sure hope that he and the rest of the Latino community does not fall for the pandering the some blacks fall for Hilary's garbage. Later on this summer McCain is going to brush up on his spanish just as Bush did last election.

    Any democrat that will not support Obama is proberbly a racist. I don't like the tactics that the Clinton's are using but if she is the nominee I will support her for the good of the party. Anybody but a neo-con. All you wishy-washy democrats outhere who are going to vote for McCain because of Obama are not Democrats and easily led.

    April 21, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  13. MD

    Hillary Clinton has fooled a lot of people, just Bush fooled a lot of people. If the Democratic Part is stupid enough to nominate her, they will be shut out of the White House again.

    The Clintons will say anything and do anything to repeat the Bushes success in forming an American dynasty.

    April 21, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  14. Smokey

    All you Socialists out there should vote for Obama. If you're an American, vote for McCain.

    April 21, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. Smokey

    "Will never be my president."
    This is the kind of sentiment that makes me sick of Democrats. It's one reason Bush has been unsuccessful. Refusal of Democrats to accept him as president, and undermining everything he tries to do. Now that's unpatriotic.

    I will not vote for Clinton or Obama, but if one them them becomes president, they will have my loyalty and I will support them. I may not agree with every policy, and I will probably support legislators that will oppose some of what they want to do, but especially in foreign policy matters I will be behind them 100%. To do otherwise is treason in my opinion.

    April 21, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. dosomeresearch

    All of you saying Mccain is a racist b/c he voted against the Martin Luther King Jr day in 1986 and is now only saying it was a mistake because he is running for President need to do a little research. It's easy to think you know a candidate based on the little snippets CNN post son their blog. McCain sponsored legislation in 1992 that would create a holiday in AZ for Martin Luther King. He crossed party lines to do it (he does have that history you know) and ultimately it was successful. He made up for his mistake 16 years before his Presidential run.

    Vote for whomever you think will best serve this country but do try and find out the facts before slamming someone...

    April 21, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. Wayne

    Hillary has done more to advance the candidacy of McCain than any republican ever could. She has declared him a better Commander in Chief than Obama (who will beat her in the primaries), and she has successfully ebbed the wave of "Obamamania," a feat which McCain does not possess the charisma nor personal magnetism, nor connection with his fellow republicans to have been able to accomplish. In her selfish, "me first and forget everyone else" campaign she will both lose the race to become the democratic front runner, and has jeopardized her party's chances to win. Way to go Hillary, way to go!!!

    April 21, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. Ian

    Nice try with the spam. "If Hillary doesn't win the nomination I'm going to vote for McCain". "If Obama doesn't win the nomination I'm going to vote for McCain". Sounds awfully repetitive and similar to the Ron Paul spammers saying that he "Cured their apathy." I for one am not buying into McCain.

    April 21, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  19. kshn

    Don't get me wrong, Dr, MLK has done some good but who cares if he gets a " MLK day" is that the best way to represent his good deeds? PLease people get over yourselves and understand that Dr. King is to humble a man to accept an entire day in honor of him. Just remember him every day of your life and that would be far better than 1 day, 24 hours,1400 mints. please...people get over it!

    April 21, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  20. Roots of Bitterness

    Too late to play on the heart strings of those "down-trodden poor old people in Selma". Your song is out of tune, a day late and a dollar short.

    April 21, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
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