(CNN) - Sen. John McCain on Wednesday praised rival Sen. Barack Obama as he spoke at the annual NAACP convention and looked to close a wide divide on race in the polls.
Polls show African-American voters heavily favor Obama - with about 90 percent picking him over McCain.
Republican candidates historically do not win much of the black vote. President Bush received just 11 percent of the black vote when he ran against John Kerry in 2004.
McCain opened his speech by calling attention to Obama's success.
"Don't tell him I said this, but he is an impressive fellow in many ways. He has inspired a great many Americans, some of whom had wrongly believed that a political campaign could hold no purpose or meaning for them," he said in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Watch: McCain says Obama is impressive
"His success should make Americans, all Americans, proud. Of course, I would prefer his success not continue quite as long as he hopes."
McCain's comments were well-received, met by applause and laughs from the crowd.
"Whatever the outcome in November, Sen. Obama has achieved a great thing - for himself and for his country - and I thank him for it."
Watch: McCain highlights his economic differences from Obama
McCain told the crowd that he and Obama have "fundamental differences" when it comes to the economy, and "honest differences" about the growth of government, but stayed away from criticizing his rival before the largely pro-Obama audience.
Read full story
Congratulations Senator Mc Cain.
Actually, though I do not like your McBush policies, I think you are personally a decent guy. The same may not be applicable to many in your campaign who perhaps have more at stake on your success than you do!
Well said McCain! You always take the high road. Keep up the good work, i don't think Obama and his camp will praise you for anything good you say or do. It is refreshing to see that some of us are still able to put aside our differences and praise one another. McCain did just that!
PS. Obama supporters please stop your hate-filled comments on these blogs, learn from McCain and take the high road. Thank you!
pandering, yet again..........when is McLoser going to STOP.
So many McCain bashers here on a story that is actually about generosity.
Some liberals are very immature.
id vote my dog into office before id vote either one of these idiots in...he's probably more qualified than them as well.
If Obama went to the Oreilly factor and said the same thhing about McCain then his supporters would say this is why he needs to be our president because he praises his adversaries. Please be openminded, why do u think McCain is running neck to neck with Obama? This because no matter how much we try to make him like Bush he is not. Be objective.
If the popular vote does not count, then whats the point of all this bickering, seeing how none of us have a say in the matter?
Im going to work in November 08...screw standing in line
Tell the truth to them and let them boo you Sen McCain. Obama is touting the same tired old Socialism that Dems have supported since the party was taken over by the wacko far Left in 1972. Who cares if Obama is black or white or purple. He is wrong on the issues and he is wrong for this country. Too bad that some people are going to vote for Obama because of the sole fact that he is black. Who is racist now?
TO AVOID TO GIVE A COMPLEX SPEECH, THERE WAS NO OTHER WAY THAN LOOK FOR A NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK , HE KILLED TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE.////
He had to say something, right? I think he was probably afraid to say much of anything, since he didn't even vote for Martin Luther King Day. Especially since he got booed in Memphis! It's kind of a fish out of water story.
Sure is nice to see McSame get one right for a change.
Obama has no record period that includes working for the african american community the same community that supports him in these record numbers....makes one wonder.
If African Americans have concerns about voting for Mc Cain then by all means examine Cynthia Mc Kinney at least the woman has a civil rights record of fighting for real change not just talking about it.
I will vote for character and integrity and that is Mc Cain....
Wow Obama supporters just cant seem to say anything nice unless its about the Obama's. Cynthia McKinney is looking good to me.
Lord help us if all of BO's supporters are as crazy as the liberals that post comments on this site. I feel bad for Obama because of his followers actions. Bravo McCain, well said my friend.
Lisa.... or else what??????????????
All McCain'08/Hillary'12 People,
If McCain is so great, should he win this year why don't we just stay with him in 2012? McCain will have 4 years of presidential experience, something Hillary does not have. Actually, he has more experience than Hillary right now. What could be the rationale of choosing Hillary over McCain, now or in 2012?
Who's insulting McCain?
What defensive nonsense, there has been a crowd that demands that Obama kneel , bow, and courtesy for whoever he opposes and turn the cheek in response to attacks made on him.
Obama has been EXTREMELY respectful to his fellow candidates and acknowledges their accomplishments. Certainly more so in general terms than he has gotten.
This goes for supporters too. There are certain folks who feel they should be able to bash away at Senator Obama in any way they should desire, but if there is retaliation or any comment against McCain or Clinton then it's on and the Obamabots are hateful.
I wonder why it is permissible for Clinton and McSame backers to beat Obama like a drum but not the reverse?
Also, I say McSame because the policies and many of the handlers and supporters are the same as Bush's. If he wanted to be called McCain, he should act like him instead of pandering to the neocon wing of the republican party.
Experience never trumps competence...never.
If you want more of the same place your vote for McCain.