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

McCain launches outreach effort

,
 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. rice, bryan

    once a racist always a racist, can't believe anything this cheating, racist bitter old man has to say.

    April 21, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  2. Sharon Minnesota

    Here we go again. Now McCain will feel what it's like to be slandered and castigated by the Obama supporters and the media.

    Hillary or McCain 08!!!

    April 21, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  3. Doug R.

    McCain is a two-faced liar. He will promise anything to anyone to get a vote. I wouldn't believe a word this man says. He's the least qualified out of all candidates to be President.

    April 21, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  4. HA!

    HOW DOES MCCAIN EVEN LOOK IN THOSE BLACK PEOPLES FACES??? PHONY! GOOD LUCK WITH MCCAIN.

    April 21, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  5. LAM

    I'm glad to see Mr. McCain stepping over the usual lines... I wish I could be sure he'd make a good president.

    April 21, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  6. Jennifer

    I applaud him for going to Selma to show that he wants to be a president for all. My only gripe: He needs to show us through legislation and the people he surrounds himself with, that he will be a president for all people. He can talk all he wants, which is a great first step, but walking the walk is the bigger step.

    April 21, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  7. mimi de la cruz for OBAMA

    THE ONLY PLACE MCWAR IS REACHING IS IN OUR POCKET.

    WHEN IS HE GOING TO REPAY US FOR HIS WORLD WIND TOUR?

    THAT TRIP WAS IN KEEPING WITH THE BUSH POLICY, OF, "I CAN

    SPEND YOUR MONEY ANY WAY I WANT".

    April 21, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  8. JJ

    Wow...for people who preach tolerance and acceptance, the unwillingness to forgive McCain is appalling. Dr. King himself preached reconciliation one to another, and would readily forgive McCain. Maybe King's "dream" is dead, after all, what with all those who say they carry on in his memory yet don't follow his example. What a shame.

    April 21, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  9. B

    As a Black man, I don't buy it. Period. McSame.

    April 21, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. Really?

    Shouldn't he be trying to solidify his conservative base first?

    April 21, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. david goldmen

    YEA WE WILL VOTE FOR WARMONGERING GRANDPA,
    WHEN WE BECOME AS SENILE, AS HE IS.

    April 21, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  12. mama4obama

    McCain is as crooked as Hillary Clinton. I would know...Im from AZ. He was up to his ears in the Keating 5...people just do your homework. Read and get the info you need to make a sound decision.

    April 21, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  13. Walt, Belton,TX

    Sure don't remember the numbers of protestors or the violent conflict the way it is portrayed now when we drove by that bridge back in 1965. The significance of the event, though, cannot be denied, nor should it be.

    April 21, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  14. Red Dog from ND but now in Floida

    McBush is for a elitist white only republican party.

    April 21, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  15. John

    The balance in the equation is lacking!!

    April 21, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  16. Tony, NC

    Hate IS one of the democrat's family value. Feeling the love in these posts??

    April 21, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  17. Richard, St. Paul, MN

    I think that McCain is using his Outreach to further reach into our pockets, just like idiot Bush and the rest of the GOP cretins who've given us a recession, a $10 trillion debt, an illegal war, record amounts of earmarked pork, 'Shock and Awe,' 'Borrow and Spend,' 4,000 dead soldiers and, of course, 'Mission Accomplished.' I wish these crooks would just go away.

    April 21, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. we wanh hillary, not mccain...screw him.

    SINCE McCAIN NEVER SUPPORTED HILLARY...SCREW HIM.

    April 21, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. Independent

    The Republicans lost me when the sent the fliers fear mongering Abour Ayers. Thes are Karl Rovian tactics-put fear in them, and shove them in a corner. No. more. We are mad as hell,and we are not going to take it any more. No McCain, No Clinton!!!!!!

    April 21, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  20. mimi de la cruz

    THE DAYS OF AMERICANS VOTING FOR HATE ARE GONE.

    AND MCWAR NEED TO BE GONE AS WELL, GOOD RID ENS.

    April 21, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  21. david goldmen for OBAMA

    NO COUNTRY FOR HATEFUL OLD MEN.

    April 21, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  22. proud army and navy mom

    please. stay in Dc Mccain, nobody wants to hear your flipflops in person. Bring our troops home now!

    April 21, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  23. Bitter in Texas

    Just who is he reaching out to????? The rich white Republicans?? Humm..............some things never change, do they.

    April 21, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  24. annie

    Kudos to CNN! I have read many reports and none mentioned the absence of black voters present. The Press LOVE their JOHNNY BOY!

    April 21, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. The American People

    Act like you care and people with think you really do care. We won't get fooled again.

    April 21, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
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