YORK, Pennsylvania (CNN) - John McCain used one of his largest and most ambitious town halls to date to brandish a pair of surrogates, Joe Lieberman and Tom Ridge, who may help him shore up support among independents in this fall battleground.
The Tuesday stop began with some campaign stunt work that turned the typically-mellow format into a lively Pennsylvania event that resembled one of the noisy rallies that characterized the Democratic primary.
The audience on hand - estimated by the campaign as north of 3,000 people - far exceeded the size of a standard McCain event. And the audience, who had been warmed up by a pair of television screens broadcasting a biographical film about the candidate, rose to their feet when McCain, Lieberman and Ridge arrived.
The trio entered the York Expo Center in the Straight Talk Express, which motored into the indoor venue under a massive American flag that was hoisted up to reveal the campaign bus, all while the theme from “Rocky” blared.
Lieberman then marshaled the audience by seeming to question Obama’s patriotism and commitment to bipartisanship in Washington.
"In my opinion, the choice could not be more clear, between one candidate John McCain who's had experience, been tested in war and tried in peace. Another candidate who has not,” Lieberman said to applause. “Between one candidate, John McCain who's always put the country first, worked across party lines to get things done, and one candidate who has not.”
For his part, McCain plugged the moderate records Lieberman and Ridge, and praised their commitment to keeping the country safe.
Though he made a strong push to attract independents in his town hall performance, demanding that congress work together to solve the country’s energy crisis, the GOP nominee for the first time acknowledged he faces a deficit of support among younger voters.
Responding to a former Hillary Clinton supporter who asked what McCain will do for younger Americans, McCain said: “I'll give you straight talk. I need to do a better job with young voters in America.”
lieberrat is an idiot just like the rest of you obama haters. like it or not change is gonna come. you guys are running scared obama will blow you out the water. obama 08
Lieberman and McPlagerize haven't always put the Country first...check thier voting record. McCain can't even put AZ first given that he has yet to show up for work since April 4th. I find McPlagerize's entrance to be a bit Uppity. All he needed was a cape, leotard and a mask. He could be "Super Mcplagerize!!"
Joe Lieberman is a Zionist. He should relocate to Israel and stay there. His allegiance is to them and them alone.
He is no American patriot.
Lieberman, you are clearly a disgrace. Please support your candidate and stop trashing Obama. The two aren't mutually exclusive.
This is the lowest form of politics. Question a man's commitment to his county, and give no example to back it up.
They are appealing to the knee jerk reaction of voters who they hope will put little actual thought into their decision on who to vote for.
Negative tactics like this are all these very sad people have left.
Lieberman is such an enormous fool. Talk about something important. McCain hasn't always put his country first. He is a self centered political operator, bending over frontwards and backwards to appeal to the Republican factions.
lIBERMAN GET A LIFE. yOU AND mCcAIN SHOULD JOIN COUPLES THERAPY
He is big joke and people who elected him are more moron that he do.
How on earth do anyone pay attention to him
It is a Joke, real Joke, when people are loosing their home and Isreal is getting over 3-4billion dollars a year.
-when people can not afford medical
and Isreal is getting free medical shipment every six months and suprus.
we are not even talking about free weapons, and Technology.
Why will this Man not get excited. What do you think? blood sucker
LIeberman is nothing more than a die hard Israel supporter and will all he can to give to Israel as much money, military equipment and grants and donations as possible. Lieberman should either move to Israel or join the republican party or just leave the country or just shut up for I do not believe anyone even takes him anywhere near faintly serious.
We are tired of arrogance and stupidity. We are tired of a President who is proud to say he doesn't read and uses his gut reaction as his means of making a decision. We are tired of cowboy diplomacy, we are tired of lies and cover-ups. We are tired of Bush and we see McCain veering in the same direction.
We are smart enough to laugh at your comparisons of Bush and Obama. Bush's protege is McCain, the guy who said he would continue 95% of Bush's policies.
By the way, nice way to engage in a debate. My head is out and looking around, thank you very much. Where has yours been for the last 8 years?
I'm waiting leaders Reid and Pelosi to toss Joe Libermann from the democratic party. What is taking them so long? He needed to go yesterday.
Why do we keep listening to this lapdog of the Republicans? Obviously HE keeps putting Lieberman first. Try to pin him down on something. Go ahead. I dare ya. Democrat who supports Republicans? Nothing crazy about that, right PUMAs?
This isn't news, Obama comes first, his anti-American friends come second, maybe his kids come third, then his crazy wife and maybe then it's his SUV or America, not sure!
Well, we all know which country ole Joe put's first.
I believe I've said this before, but it bears repeating: Joe Lieberman is the most grotesquely shameless political tool to ever darken the doorway of Capitol Hill. His supposedly "independent" status simply means he can prop up whatever policies or officials are most expedient to his interests. Has has never put the US or even Israel first. He has, without fail, placed himself - his material and political gain - at the forefront of his interests.
He represents a cancerous, disingenuous growth on the face of American politics. He should either dig deep - real deep - and find some modicum of human integrity, or retire.
What is wrong with all you Obamanazis? Why are you so brainwashed?
God help us!
You Obamers make me sick! If this were anyone praising Obama you would be in total agreement. Grow up, shut up and let the rest of America feel proud that a true American patriot is running for president.
Lieberman, you are disgusting. How can you challenge the patriotism of a Presidential candidate? You have no business talking about working on both sides of the aisle. You are a turncoat and have shown that you or McCain will NOT work across the aisle. You disgust us.
Lie-berman is a puppet of israel, and is trying to cozy up to McJohn to keep USA funding the middle east trouble maker, israel.
Lets bring back america to the usa.
Joe Lieberman is a snake of the highest proportions. No loyalty. No morals. He is one of the primary reasons we are so entangled in the Middle East.
do people really listen to john mccain. this man actually said he knows how to catch osama bin laden yet he won't tell bush so we can catch him and get our troops home. this guy is so old and misquided that if he wins we are all going to hell and we will know it.
I'm reading these comments and trying to figure out why the posts are soooo hard on Lieberman. JL votes with over 90% of democrats, JM reaches across the partisan divide ie. Feingold; Kennedy; etc. I will support the center. I don't like ridiculous radical polititions.