WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. John McCain on Wednesday blasted presidential rival Sen. Barack Obama’s controversial statement in April about “bitter” Pennsylvania voters.
In a town hall meeting in Philadelphia, McCain said he doesn’t agree that voters in the state “cling to their religion and the Constitution because they are bitter. I am going to tell them that they have faith and they have trust and support the Constitution of the United States because they have optimism and hope and that is the strength of America.”
McCain was referring to remarks Obama made before the state’s April 22 primary that decades of lost jobs and unfulfilled promises from Washington have left some Pennsylvanians "bitter" and clinging "to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
Democratic rival Sen. Hillary Clinton used Obama’s words to attack him as out of touch with Pennsylvanians. Obama later said that the remarks were badly phrased, but accurate.
McCain made it clear that he will “compete and win” and even “carry this state” in the general election – a state that has voted for the Democratic candidate in the last two presidential elections.
“I will carry this state and I will be the next president of the United States.”