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. aware

    McCain is the candidate of moral clarity and that is what America needs in a president! :)

    June 29, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  2. Sal

    you're still gonna lose McCain, with or without religious fundamentalists

    Obama in '08

    June 29, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  3. The

    Billy Graham is an amazing man

    June 29, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. The Truth

    Billy Graham is an amazing man

    June 29, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  5. Hispanic For McCain

    Great for John McCain he did the right thing in meeting with Billy and Franklin Graham. He did what is right for him and this great country of ours. I will admit John McCain need to unite the party!!! and this is a big stepping stone.

    Lationos with McCain!!!!

    June 29, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  6. Joseph Adewole

    I sincerely wonder what John McCain is doing with a respected preacher – Pa Billy with Franklin in attendance; McCain does not belief in God; from all that comes out of his mouth.
    I doubt if John has ever been to a Church to worship GOD, he would have known that God moves in a misterious way; He could use the most foolish man on earth to tame the most wise or most powerful. Christians don't go to Church to worship human being but GOD. I hope Pa Billy will not dable to the Politics of John McCain...We are all Heaven bound.
    Remain Blessed.

    June 29, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  7. Roger

    Good for McCain! He takes off on weekends and still earns votes.

    McCain '08

    June 29, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  8. Roger

    McCain / Graham '08

    June 29, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  9. Texas for Obama

    Well this doesn't surprise me because if you are truly a man of God. War is not the answer, and christians do not wage war. I will help the Grahams pray for John McCain. He is going to need all the prayers he can receive.

    June 29, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  10. Lisa

    Mccain put Hillary on the ticket?

    June 29, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  11. Big Thinker

    This looks to me like a casting call for the movie GRUMPY OLD MEN!!

    OBAMA/CLINTON 08

    June 29, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  12. Roger

    Re: McCain gets praise, no endorsement, from Grahams

    Well CNN couldn't help but throw in a little negative in McCain's headline could they.

    Billy Graham's praise is an endorsement larger than any amount of money.

    June 29, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  13. Phil, FL

    Sorry folks – I just can't believe that McCain is sincere in his chasing the Evangelicals.

    He's pandering, in my opinion.

    June 29, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  14. Franky

    "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.”

    VERY well said....thank you Rev! Finally, someone knows the meaning of faith...

    June 29, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  15. xddy4u

    How can a man that says he's God spokeman (preacher) side with the Rebuplican party, a party that has nothing to do with the down trodden whom Jesus ministered to. This world is screwed up.

    June 29, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  16. Allen In North Carolina

    No political gains?.... liar.... No endorsment?.... Wonder why?.... I'll tell you why.... They want their families out of this BS war, The rebuplicans lies to the american people are not in line with christians or any other faith..... Good luck on this venture John.... LOL :)

    June 29, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  17. wood burns

    Even the Christian nut bags won't endorse Mcsame, fully.

    June 29, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  18. pam Eugene OR

    Praise but NO endorsement says it all!
    Obama 08

    June 29, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  19. Arkansas Undertaker

    A clear indication that McCain has a problem with his base! Rev. Graham has been very active in politics for years, but they are reluctant to endorse this man? I wonder why?

    Obama 2008

    June 29, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  20. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Graham isn't old enough to be John McCain's father, there's only an 11 year difference. With all due respect to Grahma he probably told McCain "you're almost as old as myself, what makes you think you can run this country". Graham is no longer running his ministry due to age an failing health.

    June 29, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  21. Rise America Rise

    Old people stick together, I guess. Young people will, however, take back our country, and fix the problems created by the old mentality. Count on it!

    June 29, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. Moses, Ca.

    McCain will take all of your Sons to War. Is your vote that serious,that you'll give it to a man that don't care about your sons like you do.

    June 29, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  23. Susan

    McBush will stop at nothing to appear to be the wise grandfather...well, no thanks, pop, I have had enough lies for a lifetime.

    June 29, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  24. Joe the Troll

    "…there certainly is no political aspect to the meeting that I will have.”

    What a crock. He's running for PREZ. Everything he does or says until November has a political aspect.

    June 29, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. Gayle

    Roger, if you noticed McCain asked for the meeting. What would you have them say? Of course there was praise. The most obvious conclusion was that McCain was looking for an endorsement. Both Graham's are gracious men. Get it?

    June 29, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
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