June 29th, 2008
04:35 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain gets praise, no endorsement, from Grahams

From left, Billy Graham, John McCain and Franklin Graham meet Sunday in North Carolina.
From left, Billy Graham, John McCain and Franklin Graham meet Sunday in North Carolina.

(CNN) – John McCain spent 45 minutes meeting with the Rev. Billy Graham and his son Franklin at Graham’s North Carolina home Sunday morning.

The meeting took place at Graham’s home in Montreat, North Carolina, known as Little Piney Cove, about 25 miles outside Asheville. The house is a mountaintop retreat near Black Mountain in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The campaign says Rev. Graham, though quite ill, sat up in the chair during the meeting and participated in the talks with McCain and Franklin.

Advance notification of the meeting did not mention the 89-year-old Rev. Graham would be taking part.

Singer Ricky Skaggs, who was already scheduled to have lunch with the Grahams, came early and met McCain.

Franklin Graham issued a written statement a short time after the meeting. He said, “My father and I were pleased to have an opportunity to meet and visit with Sen. John McCain today. Sen. McCain’s office had requested a meeting in recent months and we appreciate the effort he made to travel to my father’s home. The senator and I both have sons currently serving in the military, and also have a common interest in aviation. I was impressed by his personal faith and his moral clarity on important social issues facing America today."

The younger Graham, the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse international relief, said, “"We had an opportunity to pray for the senator and his family, and for God's will to be done in this upcoming election."

"While as a Christian minister I am not endorsing a candidate for president, I do endorse the responsibility of men and women of faith everywhere to vote and to be involved in the political process. I encourage people to vote for the candidate at every level who best represents their values and convictions, and then to pray for those in authority over us as required in Scripture.”

McCain, speaking with reporters after the meeting as he boarded his plane, called the get-together “a very excellent conversation.” Asked if he expected the Grahams’ votes, McCain responded, “Oh I don’t know. I didn’t ask for their votes.”

The Arizona Senator said he asked for the meeting because “they have known my family, they have known of me for many years. They’re great leaders of this nation, I appreciate the opportunity to, to visit with them and I am very grateful for the time they spent with me.”

The meeting came as the McCain campaign last week reached out to conservatives in Ohio. McCain Friday said the meeting was not part of an effort to reach out to conservatives. He said, "No, he is a man whose family is respected, incredibly respected, and I consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to meet with him. I think the Graham family really transcends politics in America. Billy Graham was an adviser to every president, so...there certainly is no political aspect to the meeting that I will have.”

Rev. Graham spoke of meeting McCain’s father, Admiral John McCain, when he was commander of the Pacific theater during the Vietnam War. Their meeting happened while Senator McCain was being held as a prisoner of war. Franklin Graham said in the statement, “Admiral McCain invited my father to come see him in Honolulu and they got on their knees and prayed for John during his captivity; and did so again on a return trip. He expressed his gratitude for the senator’s long and brave service to our nation."


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (218 Responses)
  1. Ilona Proud Canadian

    Still for Hill

    Republican, pretending to be a Democrat, pretending to be a Hillary disgruntled supporter.

    Sorry Still for Hill, but you have your comment in reverse. John McCain is using all of the mud (remember all of the dirty kitchen sink strategy)that Hillary threw at Barack, in McCain's campaign ads against Barack! She has actually helped McCain, by giving him the ammunition to work with. John McCain, sat back for months, just listening to Hillary bash Barack, and now he is using her ammunition!

    June 29, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  2. PCS / North Carolina

    Larry wrote June 29th, 2008 4:01 pm ET

    "Do you remeber that Sadam Hussein killed his own people, that his sons were raping women on their wedding nights, that if you didn't like Saddam you would be in prison or dead for not for voting him, positive news on Iraq does not sell."

    You are right Larry. But the difference is, now it is worse than when there was SH. Iran has taken over Iraq. Do you think the raping and killings have gotten better ? It depends on where you get the news. If you listen to FOX news it is better, but the realty is it is worse.

    June 29, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  3. BV

    Just finished reading from and I am still in shock over the things that I have read. John McCain is not the man to lead the US. There are WAY too many things left unanswered about this man. How any one can blindly call this man a hero just because they heard someone else say so is beyond me. HE IS NOT A HERO IN MY EYES.

    June 29, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  4. Cricket

    Billy Graham is a great person as well as a great pastor. A shared commitment in faith has always been a central element in his life. I hope John McCain came away from his meeting with the Grahams recognizing a duty to choose right over wrong and justice over selfishness. I hope the tabloids don't link Rev. Graham in a negative light with John McCain. Rev. Graham did not ask to meet John McCain. John McCain ask to meet him. Wonder if Ricky Skaggs is supporting McCain?

    June 29, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  5. No McCain!

    Crap, these fanatics should endorse him to win Obama more votes!

    Obama '08!

    June 29, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  6. No McCain!

    One more thing, the phrase, "no country for old men" applies here.

    June 29, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  7. RJ, CA

    John McCain is the only one left in this race with moral authority. Barack Obama continues to sell his for the sake of political expediency (a la Chicago politics). The voters are listening! The voters will remember in November!

    June 29, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  8. Connie

    You would think if John McBush wanted favor from my God, or the Christian's he and his family would spend their Sunday mornings in church like most of us do. Please google Veterans against McCain see what a fake he is. OBAMA 08

    Connie from Indiana

    June 29, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  9. the pope

    Get Hillary on your ticket and you will certainly win in Nov. She is the only person that will get Obama to win. He does not have the knowledge or experience enough to lead our country. He is also to young and has not been around the block long enough to know what is going on. Do you remember when he was giving a speech that he said that we had 57 states, what county is he coming from.
    GET HILLARY ON YOUR SIDE. SHE GOT DIRTY COVERAGE FROM NOT ONLY THE PAPERS BUT ALSO FROM CNN., THEY WOULD NEVER TALK ABOUT WHAT SHE WAS DOING BUT ONLY OBAMA AND NOW HE NEEDS HER, SHE NEED TO MOVE ACROSS THE AISLE.

    June 29, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  10. Jatovi, NC

    Was McCain just searching for someone older than he is?

    By the way I love how Larry made George Washington sound like Jesus in his post.

    "George Washington did it for you!"

    June 29, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  11. Jen, CA

    "Evangelical movement touts 'Jesus for president'"

    Gee, that sound exactly like the Obama movement! How scary!

    June 29, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  12. Peter of Oregon

    As I understood it McCain got praise, but no endorsement from the Grahams.

    I wonder if he flip-flopped on his stance on abortion in order to get the positive remark from Franklin Graham.

    He's done a lot of flip-flopping since becoming the presumptive Republican nominee. He's lost his bearings and his Straight Talk Express has started going off its tracks.

    June 29, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  13. WISDOM

    McCain divorced his wife (mother of three kids) for rich girl Cindy.
    Now how can you trust this man as your president when he betrayed his wife and Kids? McCain is not an honest man. He was chasing Cindy for long time while he was still married to his wife who was suffering from injury by auto accident. This is a fact. If you care, you can google this and verify in no time. So do you think you can trust a man who betrayed his wife and children for a hot wealthy chick? I can't!

    June 29, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  14. lol

    LOL, LMAO, the 1st comment is ridiculous, guess any man that cheats on his 1st wife is the standard for moral clarity ... go figure.

    June 29, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  15. Peter of Oregon

    John Keating 5 McCain has led a very sinful life; I hope he received spiritual counsel from the Grahams.

    June 29, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  16. Rave

    Hey, in the article posted earlier : McCain meets with Iraqi president, says progress made ....... Why are they kissing each other like that ....YUCK...
    OBAMA (2008 -16)

    June 29, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  17. white people for Obama

    no hillary, no McCain!! Tired of the same old spoiled washington politics.

    June 29, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  18. Justice

    How Long Were We Going To Continue Being Kicked Around.
    You Have To Draw A Line Somewhere.
    Thank God For Bush.

    June 29, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
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