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. Peter E

    Endorsements and polls are for people too lazy to think about issues or make decisions for themselves.
    And the main stream media isn't helping by continuing to evade talking about issues.

    June 29, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  2. Independent Voter

    Why do all these politicians, including both Obama and McCain, want the endorsement of millionaire "medicine men"? I'd like to see the Grahams' balance sheet, wouldn't you?

    Come on down!

    June 29, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  3. Jewel - NC

    Yes, God is in control.

    June 29, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  4. Sick of Bush republicans

    Yet another thing for McCain to flip flop on as it looked like he was running low on issues to change positions on. His senate seat is calling him back after November.

    June 29, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  5. William, from Cali!

    Man is not in charge;God is; so If you got a problem," take it to God, in prayer." Not Man; for he can do nothing, himself........................

    June 29, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  6. Kay Morris

    I praise the continous faith of the Grahams but I also am of the opinion that they will look toward the country's need for a Christiian and and very fine man that will give us all the Hope and Change so desperately needed and that is Brack Obama.Tha Latinos will hopefully see the need as well.
    Kay/Illinois

    June 29, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  7. Helen, NY

    CNN, Pleas edo not distort the news. Do you think that Bill Graham is going to endorse Obama. Also Obama will not even get praise from Bill Graham.

    June 29, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  8. McCain for President

    Farrell from Houston, TX, you're obviously an idiot. McCain is 18 years younger than Billy Graham. Where I went to school 89 minus 71 equals 18. Do they teach math in Baja Oklahoma?

    June 29, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  9. carrie obama

    never obama or what ever stupid name u can come up with
    i am suprised that someone as stupid and cowardly as you can actually write
    or did u get ur 4th grade kid to write for you?

    it makes no sense
    you sir/ma'am are an imbeccile

    June 29, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  10. DM, Arlington TX for Barack Obama 08

    John McCain would rather send our Son, Daughter, Fathers, Husband, Sisters, Cousins, Grandchildrens, and oh yes Aunts to there death on foreign soil instead of talking to create peaceful talks..

    We need a change from the Bush style politics.......

    June 29, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  11. Holly

    Wow I absolutely despise Billy Graham, and the fact that John McCain would make time for a person whom preaches hate

    June 29, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  12. dan

    love the ignorant people,

    Obama called Hilliary a racist? Let me see quotes and links please

    McCain is a honorable man? The man who divorced his wife just because she was in a accident and married a blonde millionaire the next month?

    Obama constantly trashed Hilliary? You will probably find 25-30 examples of Hilliary trashing Obama to maybe 2 or 3 examples of Barack trashing Hilliary. But, ya Barack was in the wrong.

    June 29, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  13. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    NOW WHAT? The Grahams ain't GOD!

    June 29, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  14. Dave

    Separation of church and state is so paramount to our survival. What the heck is wrong with you people? Judism, Christianity and Islam will be the destruction of the world.

    June 29, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  15. Big Thinker

    I would like to say that the haters on both sides – Hillary Haters & Obama Haters – YOU ARE ALL MISSING THE POINT!!!!

    THERE ARE PEOPLE OUT THERE THAT CANNOT AFFORD TO WAIT FOR CHANGE INCLUDING MY GRANDMOTHER, MY KIDS, AND MY FUTURE UNBORN CHILDREN.

    I WANT YOU TO TELL MY GRANDMA AND MY KIDS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO RUIN HER CHANCE FOR CHANGE JUST BECAUSE YOU WANTED TO CAST A PROTEST VOTE FOR MCCAIN, OR THAT YOU WANTED TO CONTINUALLY HATE ON HILLARY AND CAUSE HER SUPPORTERS TO NOT SUPPORT OBAMA!!!!

    YOU PEOPLE, YOUNG AND OLD, NEED TO GROW UP!!!!!! AND FOR THOSE THAT SUPPORTED HILLARY AND NOW MCCAIN.... WHY DID YOU SUPPORT HILLARY IN THE FIRST PLACE????? EVERY LAST ONE OF YOU ARE POISENED WITH THE SIN OF RACISM, AND YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO OBAMA AND GIVE HIM A FRIKKEN CHANCE!!!!!

    OBAMA/CLINTON 08
    PLEASE..... MY GRANDMA CANNOT AFFORD TO WAIT 4 MORE YEARS!!!

    June 29, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  16. NO OBAMA NO

    Grow UP and get real but how can you with a name like doc4nuts. YES we be in a world of SHT when the 20/30/40 generation take over. Because you can serve the way it is whit out your MOMMY AND DADDY. Because you don't have any money. When you generation takes over you will make the United States a 3rd world county. Sad but True.

    June 29, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  17. Julie

    McCain just proves himself to be a phoney. Flip flopping on the religious leaders – hear he is blatantly pandering. And he has the audacity to say that Obama's word can't be trusted! Who even knows what McCain actually stands for anymore – or should I say what THIS McCain stands for because this one is just a characature of the 2000 version. He's a snake, and I don't trust him.

    June 29, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  18. Belle2

    They just had the conversation! Give them some time to think about an endorsement. These days an endorsement means every word ever spoken will be parsed and judged for weeks. Who needs that kind of misery.

    June 29, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  19. Gene

    Though I am an atheist, it's actually refreshing to see a religeous leader who actually has universal values.. and doesn't look down upon other segments of the religeon.. or even other religeons.

    Those other idiots like Dobson who think everyone who doesn't believe as they do and who think a practical application of religeous beliefs to the real world is sinful should be deported.

    June 29, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  20. Ted:Canada

    Obama for Canadian Prime Minister !!

    McCain is not a Cristian – ask his wife!
    So why is he pretending???

    Older White Catholic Canadian for the Democrats – "eight years of hell – how much more can you take???? "

    June 29, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  21. Go Obama

    aware June 29th, 2008 1:45 pm ET

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

    NOT! Just ask his Ex-wife and those who were on the receiving end of his profanities. Not much moral clarity there. Maybe that's why he got no endorsement from the Grahams.

    CNN I know I typed this for nothing! You never print the truth about McCain.

    June 29, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  22. ANGIE

    hey still fior hill; can you please explain to me how obama ran that kinda of campaign i and plenty others just dont see it sounds to me your still bitter for you to think john mccain will reach out to you and help you well you have seriously gone off the deep end when he goes against everything with you being a democrat stands for and he goes against everything hillary stands for so STOP BEING BITTER AND STOP COMPARING HILLARY TO THE MCCAIN TO SAY HILLARY AND MCCAIN ARE ALIKE WELL THAT IS TOTAL DISRESPECT TO HILLARY AND YOU OUGHT TO BE ASHAMED!!!

    June 29, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  23. FormerGOP

    McCain is using Gram. I think it is sad that he is doing this. Grams people will not vote for him just because he visited Gram out the clear blue sky. It was all for show, the headline. The Republican will stop at nothing. It is truly sad

    June 29, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  24. ANGIE

    beware pumas are at it double post two diffrent names one ;;; still for hill two;;; no obama never to diffrent names same post GO AWAY PUMA WE KNOW WHAT YOUR UP TO YOU LITTLE REPUBLICAN TROLLS WELL IT AINT GONNA WORK WE AS HILLARY AND OBAMA SUPPORTERS ARE MUCH SMARTER THAN THAT AND WE WII UNITE AND CRUSH MCCAIN I KNOW PUMAS YOUR SCARED ITS OK YOULL BE OK WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA!!!

    June 29, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  25. Chidi

    Here he comes again. John McCain will deny Rev. Billy Graham if any controversial statement pops up. What a desperate man looking for Evangelical votes.

    June 29, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
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