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. patrick

    I want to know how can McCain relate to the future youth of America, let alone the hispanic and AA community. Despite the history of the latino vote leaning Republican, little has been done for the community or for AA for that matter. Personally his POW status does NOT make him presidential material . Besides that, he is just TOO old.

    June 29, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  2. Doc Sinn

    Ron wrote:
    "i guess you never heard of the crusades have you laddie Christians have been fighting Islam for centuries. "

    Yes. And quite frankly I wish they kept their centuries old beef OUT of politics. Some of us are neither Christian NOR Muslim and are just trying to live decent lives.

    But, in your words, you can be forgiven as another McBush supporter who is intoxicated with the concept of war.

    See? I can do it too.

    June 29, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  3. Proud Georgia Republican

    Yikes... NOT a flattering photograph.

    First of all, it's taken from above, which emphasizes the smallness and fragility of the three men. That's not necessarily a bad thing, because it provokes humility. Poor Rev'd Graham really looks tired and confused, though ... McCain looks like he's wearing three pounds of pancake makeup and greasepaints, and he has the porcelain-doll ankles of an elderly seamstress ... Franklin looks the most relaxed and comfortable of them all.

    The furniture is from the 1960s or early 1970s. I wonder if the whole portrait was a Democrat propaganda setup to make McCain look old, feeble, and out of touch. 😦

    June 29, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  4. Jay

    Give it up, McCain. Your pandering won't help you this election. The American people are tired of the neocon agenda. Your days are over.

    June 29, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. Texas for Obama

    Still for Hill:

    No one stole the election. Hillary lost fair and square. Obama was the smarter candidate, and ran a better campaign so stop hating on Obama! Hillary lost get over it and move on to the future. Go ahead and vote for John McCain. Just pray you are under the draft -to- come age limit. But maybe you have children or grandchildren they can be drafted. John McCain is going to keep this war raging...So, vote for him!

    June 29, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. patrick

    To Phil from FL,

    You brought up a excellent point on Mccain and his ex wife. That was a broken vow which in my book translates into a broken word/promise. So now Mccain has the audacity to call out Obama saying his word cannot be trusted?? Mccain loses points everytime he opens his mouth!

    June 29, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. Alaska Annie

    Obama met secretly with Franklin Graham a couple of weeks ago but unlike McCain, didn't turn it into a photo-op. There's the difference in the candidates.

    June 29, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  8. Kerouac

    What does this have to do with running the nation. Keep it real, or don't report it..

    June 29, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. frank

    it sounds like ever one on her is talking about nO brain bama on here
    it s to bad he was a coward never was in themilitary and he wants us
    to listen to him RIGHT what a joke

    June 29, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  10. Elaine

    GOD bless His heart, about time McCain met with the Graham's family. That's very positive news for Senator McCain. I'm so glad Senator McCain met with Evangelist Billy Graham and Son. I appreciate the fact that Evangelist Billy Graham and Rev Franklin Graham had such important meeting with Senator McCain. Thanks a billion! McCain 2008.

    June 29, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. Bill

    The "moderator" on this thread must only want the most obnoxious and least objective posts possible. I guess my analysis wasn't of that genre.

    June 29, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  12. Peter in VA

    I'm not in support of all of McCain's positions, but I would feel safer knowing that McCain was in office than with Obama. While I think Obama is capable, and his lack of experience doesn't necessarily disqualify him in my opinion, McCain is simply better for the job right now. We don't need a democrat in war-time talking about troop withdrawals immediately, etc, etc. I also find his lack of explaining how we'll change frightening. I know his stances, I just wish he would say them more often. I suppose it's harder to sound eloquent when you're throwing numbers around and words that the common person just doesn't care to listen to.

    Regardless, McCain has my respect if not my vote. Obama is yet to earn that.

    June 29, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. DavidinMD

    Looks like the Harriet Christian-types are out in force today. "Publicly raped" Hillary? Wow. It's scary to see that kind of delusional thinking, but sadly enough, even after Hillary herself has made a (long overdue) concession and public endorsement of Obama some just won't admit that the better candidate won. He won because he ran a better campaign and Hillary's people ran a tragically mismanaged one that was designed to sorely underestimate Obama. Many forget he was the underdog when this all started. The women among you that say you'll vote for McCain are utter fools; any woman that would vote for a man like that either never planned to vote Democrat in the first place or is simply ignorant to the facts. Have some cheesecake and vote how you will. You'll find a home in the GOP, I'm sure. They'll need you after they get trounced, again. See you on the campaign trail in 2012 – bring your trollops!

    June 29, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  14. ANDROLOMA, Commerce City, Colorado

    Billy Graham Enterprises is a fund-raising organization dedicated to the ideal of raising funds. That they're so effective at what they do should amply demonstrate the pervasive gullibility humanity clings to so dearly.

    June 29, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  15. Billion

    TOO Bad all you "LIFE LONG DEMOCRATS" are REPUBLICANS posting on here. Get a life people!

    Oh and McCain? the guy doesnt know left from right.
    "Germany's president Putin" – McCain ...
    Good going bud, you sure know your foreign affairs .. too bad putin is russian .. oh and one more thing, theres a word called "retirement" – look it up in the dictionary.

    Obama 08

    June 29, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  16. ALECO1 -----NOKOMIS,FL


    June 29, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. Paul

    Billy Graham is a racist, anti-semetic swindler. The press would have a field day with his comments if he were African-American.

    June 29, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  18. Fawn

    That was a quiet statement with no intensity whatsoever in humble thoughts- not like the other two pastors.

    June 29, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  19. Uncle Sam

    "My Democratic friends may not like to hear me say this, but I know John(McCain) and he hates war and would do everything he could to get us out of Iraq."

    – Sen. Joe Biden from a 2008 televised interview

    June 29, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  20. Educator in CT

    Let me see if I get this right.
    Obama goes to a radical church. I think there is no doubt he goes to church. Some say he's a muslum... well the last I remember the constitution grants us freedom of religion, so if Obama was a Muslum then that would be a religion right.

    WHAT IS JOHN MCCAIN'S RELIGION?? Has anyone ever seen him in church? Who is his pastor?
    Oh I forget he doesnt believe in the 10 commandments. Especially the one that says thou shall not commit adultry.
    Fact: McCain does not attend church
    Fact: He cheated on one wife with Cindy... He is an adultrer.

    June 29, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  21. commonsense

    and now to see what skeltons are in Grahms closet......

    June 29, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  22. CkiikC

    xddy, only Republicans are responsible for the wrongs in the world?? Evil and sin dont stop with one party. The Democrat Party has more than its share of liars, cheats and sell outs. I would much rather John McCain meet with Rev. Graham than the preacher that Obama met with for 20 years.....

    P.S. You Obama cool aid drinkers, when this country completes it's hell in a hand basket trip, it will be you people who nailed the coffin shu.....

    June 29, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  23. Indivisible Under God!

    WOW! What an honor to be in the presence of Billy Graham, and to know that he is praying to the God of our forefathers for this Presidential Candidate. I do feel that John McCain knows the Lord and is seeking His will for our Country.

    June 29, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  24. caribbean admirer of OBAMA

    that's a sign that even for his own supporters he doesn't deserve the job in the White House!!!
    He is to much supporting a war policy instead of pledging for a more peacefull world.

    go Obama

    June 29, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  25. Loretta from California

    BTW, Does anyone know what Pastor Hagee's opinions are on the mid-western floods? We all know what he thought about Katrina.


    June 29, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
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