June 29th, 2008
04:35 PM ET
10 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. Travis

    McWar will suck up to anybody to get elected....did you tell them you are killing thousands in Iraq.

    Do they believe in the 10 Commandments.."Thou shalt not kill"

    They're not buying it McWar, what a wasted weekend for you.

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

    well as you can see mccain is making silent moves that will have a big impact, regardless of endorsements praise is what brings forth power. I like mccain for his seemingly simple moves, something obama and hillary know nothing about since they run up 20 million dollars debts and get in fights with their own ministers just to go all out. Unlike that Soap Opera in the Democratic party McCain is winning the best praise of all. From people who are men of god with no time or interest for far-fetched rhetoric

    June 29, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  3. still for Hill

    I am a life long democrat that was horrified by the way Obama, his campaign and his nasty hateful supporters trashed the Clinton presidency and publicly raped Hillary Clinton just to steal the democratic nomination. The biased media helped him do it.

    I am now open to McCain and suggest that he use the many nasty things Obama said and did to HRC to attract her followers:

    Painting the Clintons as racists after SC.

    Mocking HRC with his Annie Oakley act after his bitter gun and God comments.

    Brushing Hillary off his shoulders in NC.

    Obama criticising The Clinton years.

    Then McCain can ask is this unity? Many lifelong democrats did not think so.

    June 29, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. TEXAN

    I admire the Graham family. I know that they will be praying for what is best for our country. " GOD'S WILL" will be done.

    June 29, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. Homo Sapien

    Just for a general comment (should anyone read this), there are rules about civility that should be followed in any sort of discussion. A) Call people by their real names. We don't care if you think of John McCain as the same as Bush, which you're free to, but at least have the comon courtesy to call him by his real name. Name-calling gives the impression of an inability to understand real concepts due to lack of maturity. This applies to everyone: It's John McCain and Barack Obama, NOT McSame, McBush, or B. Hussein Obama. Regardless of where you stand. It's nice to know that there are some adults out there (and mind you, I'm a teenager). B) Use proper grammar and spelling. It's not tough, and it saves the rest of us a lot of trouble when reading your post. C) Spam posts do nothing but irritate us, and possibly turn us against your chosen candidate, which probably isn't what you had in mind. Example: "McSame will kep us in iraq for 100 more year! Barack Obama '08!" or "B. Hussein Obama is bad becaus he has no experince! McCain '08!"

    Please, just be mature, perhaps for a change…

    June 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |

    The Democrats unity show...our party,party party...blah..blah...taking the people for granted as is somehow the democrats can claim ownership over the voters who casted their votes in the primaries..
    18+18= 36 million start to think independent and vote McCain, the man of his word....

    June 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  7. DeMelo

    Bill Graham is a very great man. I truly admire his work for Our Lord Jesus Christ. God Bless Him and his wonderful family.

    June 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  8. Scott

    I am disgusted that Senator McCain would even think to ask for an endorsement but then again, he was originally scheduled to meet with Franklin Graham. Rev. Billy Graham was the pastor to so many of our Presidents yet he never endorsed a candidate and would never sink to the level of joining Jerry Falwell and the rest of his clown college. As someone with both undergraduate and graduate degrees in religious studies I can say with certainty that no where in scripture does it state that God is either a Republican or a Democrat. If you read the entire artlicle, neither Graham endorsed Senator McCain. The day they endorse a candidate is the day they loose their contributors.

    June 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  9. NEVER Obama

    McCain is right.

    Obama's word can NOT be trusted.

    Look at how he plays nice with HRC after first trashing and bashing her. First he called her a racist. Then he trashed the Clinton presidency. Then he mocked and jeered HRC with his Annie Oakley comments and by brushing her off his shoulders. Then he called her a warmonger. Then he lied about HRC's NAFTA positions.

    Then he supported Wright. Then he denounced Wright. Then he reversed himself on NAFTA, talking with our enemies and on withdrawing on Iraq.

    NOW he pretends to be nice to HRC after politically raping her with his campaign of disunity and same old dirty hateful politics.


    June 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  10. Ian M

    Yeah, we need a candidate of moral clarity, Bush has done SOOO great with all his moral clarity. LOL

    OBAMA 08

    June 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  11. Vicki

    This article is misleading. Franklin Graham said he would not endorse any candidates because he is a minister. It would jeopardize his ministry's tax free status if her were to endorse Senator McCain. The article should have said that. They make it sound like the Grahams wouldn't endorse him. Unlike Jeremiah Ranting Wright who gets up in the pulpit and plugs away at politics, the Grahams have some diginity and respect for the law.

    June 29, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  12. Nick

    Way to court the evangelicals Johnny. Just give up already....the country already realizes that 4 more years of the GOP is 4 more years of chaos...

    Obama '08/'12

    June 29, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  13. Phil, FL

    He flip-flopped on his vow to love and honor his first wife (disabled) once a cutesy young millionaire came along.

    I can't respect that at all.

    Now he's going to other countries trying to give away more of our jobs. The guy just doesn't get it.

    June 29, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  14. Bert

    Wake up from your naps Obamabots, it's time to post more hatemail against Mr. McCain!

    June 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. Earl

    Another hard working weekend..

    A WHOLE 45 MINUTES....WOW...(oh yes you had housework to do too)

    June 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  16. enomisa

    OBAMA is the first candidate to hatefully attack and sabotage another candidate of the same party just to steal the nomination.

    His message of hope, change and unity devolved into hate, bias, sexism against HRC and vile criticism of the Clinton years.

    Remember how he labeled BOTH Clintons racists? But now he WANTS and expects their support? Remember his mocking Annie Oakley act? Remember how he brushed HRC off his shoulders? Remember him dismissing the prosperity of the Clinton years? Remember all the times he played the race card to advance himself?

    Add his turn about on Rev Wright, NAFTA, talking to our enemies and withdrawal from Iraq...

    And Yes, Obama is not to be trusted.

    He is a dirty sleazy, race baiting politician.

    McCain should remind Americans of how dirty and hateful Obama was to BOTH Clintons during the democratic primary.
    And then ask: Is this change you can believe in.

    Many democrats did not find Obama to be a uniter.

    June 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  17. Minatello

    McCain says about the meeting, "there certainly is no political aspect to the meeting that I will have." Frankly, this is a lie.

    June 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. Mauri

    It is simply not fair to say McCain will take all our sons to war. Have you folks not ever heard the difference between the military draft and those folks who choose to serve in the military? What is really admirable about Senator John McCain is his believe and stand on opposing abortion – especially late-term procedures. That is taking a life which, any woman who has ever been pregnant to late term will tell you.

    I believe in critiquing our candidates according to their party's beliefs. But to say nasty, critical accusations are abominal. Our candidates deserve our respect whether we endorse their party or their beliefs or not.

    June 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. Ron Borzini

    What a crock!! Nothing but pandering and getting no endorsement to boot. I still believe in separation of church and state.

    June 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  20. P. D.

    Hey McCain, stop pandering to these guys! The religious right is losing a lot of support, mostly from young members. From Dobson to the Grahams, people have had enough of being told they have no morals. Thanks to the religious right, they have given us George Bush, which is to say, the worst President in my lifetime.

    June 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  21. still for Hill

    At least McCain will cross the aisle and work with democrats.

    Both He and HRC have a good track record of doing exactly THAT.

    Obama ran a hateful, sexist, racist campaign against a candidate of his own party.

    That is not unity and that is not change.

    This democrat defects to McCain over the ugly hatred from Obama ans his supporters shown to Hillary Clinton.

    June 29, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. DM, Arlington TX

    McCain careless about the american people he only care about the rich and super rich.... Look at the money trail......

    June 29, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  23. randy

    Even if he meet jesus christ that will not change the fact that he is not the person america is looking to lead us on on country.

    June 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  24. Turnabout is Fair Play, St. Petersburg, FL.

    Matt, get it right, HILLARY ran up 20 million in debt, NOT Obama.

    June 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  25. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Wright believes 911 and Hagee believe Katrina were God's punishment. These views were rejected by Americans, but now McCain meets with a man who believes God sent a flood to destroy sinners in Noah's days.

    June 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
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