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.”
Leiberman always puts his country first....it's just too bad that his country is Israel, not the US.
Unfortunately, Joe's got a problem understanding that you don't have to be a Zionist to be Jewish.
BO supporters are so affraid because they know well that THE ONE is a powder keg, just waiting to explode!!!!!
beevee, funny how I'm about to say the same thing about Lie..berman but I gave you the credit. As for McCain he is puting his lobbyist first, then his country.
CNN please let all of the Blogs through, not just the ones set for your corporate agenda. And hey there Lieberman, did you mean America first, or what's important to the Jewish community. And hey Tammie, is Hillary that important? Can you honestly hold out for a family that was impeached from the white house just eight years ago? Good old America, send us your weak, send us your illiterate, and we will place them all on CNN. Go to MSNBC for the real news!
I'm a former CT native and big Lieberman fan. I love his independence and willingness to put partisanship aside – something Obama has never done. The crazy libs up there pushed him out of the party, but he came back and won when all the people in the state got their say. The far left of the party has a knack of getting candidates nominated who are far to liberal for middle America to take.
Lieberman better get use to having some free time on his hands. Once the Dems get a larger control in the Senate, Lieberman will be out of every important committee he belongs too.
I often said that Gore lost because he put Lieberman on the ticket.
Which country does Lieberman puts first?
For some reason I didn't get the impression that it was USA
"If Hillary is on as V.P. I will vote for Obama otherwise I will vote for McCain."
What qualifies Hillary to be VP? Total failure to manage her campaign?
If you're going to vote for McCain, vote for McCain. Don't be a lying weasel.
Tammie from Cleveland........you just don't make sense. You need to answer the question about why you would vote for Hillary Clinton versus John McCain. Tell me the answer to that question and then tell me why you would vote for McCain over Obama. This is very serious... Do you want someone in charge that joked about bombing Iran, does not want our troops out of Iraq, does not know what to do about Afghanistan, is now threatening Russia.
And this is just foreign policy. His economic adviser is responsible for the Enron debacle, he wants to give more tax breaks to big companies, he is for NAFTA and CAFTA, he supports tax breaks for companies that ship jobs abroad. He supports 95% of the Bush policies. He is taking money from big oil companies. Do I need to go on.
And you are going to vote for him because Hillary wasn't the democratic nominee. Even though Obama's policies are very similar to Hillary's.
Remember that people died so that you as a female can vote. Please don't use that privilege frivously. Thank you.
Obama is just a patronage, lean, mean, machine politician who wants to change America to fit his redistribution of $ ideology!
Obama whips up anger and the old victim/guilt mode of the American people that he thinks are too stupid to catch on and then casts himself as their savior! :(
Idolatry is evil America! Don't vote for the American media made idol! His grin is too shallow for a win.
Vote for the authentic American hero! McCain 08! :)
Leiberman: if you can't say anything nice, don't say anythng at all.
McCain doesn't do well with many younger voters because they Google his "facts" and find out they are lies, learned practically from infancy not to believe every anonymous e-mail they receive, and see all of his gaffes, missteps, blunders and "senior moments" on YouTube. Ain't technology grand?
Start a war with Russia. Way to go John It only took decades to get rid of the cold war and John wants it back WARMONGER
I think it is ironic and downright funny that this of all things would come from Leiberman of all people. Sometimes I cannot help but wonder whether his loyalty is to us or to Isreal? Does he support the war for America's sake or does he secretly like the idea of 150,000 US troups in between Isreal and Iran? My instincts would tragically suggest the latter which implies that he is content using our kids as cannon fodder for his "other" country.
The truth hurts! I don't always like Joe Lieberman but at least he speaks up what he believes! Not like Obama who changes his opinions on every issue he has made to the public
What happened to Lieberman's promise that he wouldn't attack Obama on policy but would only speak positively about McCain? Firgures...say one thing and do the opposite
And the only way to put your country first is to attack every nation that doesn't agree with you. Who do you think you are Mr. Lieberman? Has God made you the judge over all other people and nations? Is that what you live for? To talk tough to any other nation that does not agree with the way you operate? Other countries of the world are sovereign and you just can't tell them what to do and how to conduct their business. This notion is why we haven't made any head way with Zimbabwean president Mugabe. If we can't do that with a third world country what made you think you talk down on Russia, a once upon a time world power. Go get a life. You actually need it.
McCain just wants to be president because he certainly has nothing to offer moving into the 21st century. I wouldn't trust McCain to help my grandmother cross the street because he's older than her.
oh, ok, let's talk about not putting country first:
Has Obama ever helped create 32 anti american propoganda films for an enemy of the country? Answer, no. Has John McCain? Answer is YES!
As if making one wasn't enough, he followed the first one up with 31 more propoganda films to aid the veitnam government. Now we know how he spent his time in Vietnam, certainly not serving america.
-Betrayed His sick wife
-Betrayed His country
-Betrayed all veterans voting down their benefi
-Betrayed all of america, voting in line with Bush 95% of the time
-Betrayed blue collar workers selling their jobs off to foreign countries
McCain: Not what we want for OUR america.
In Berlin Obama spoke about "the country I love so much".
What must Barack do to be elected? Turn white?
McCain said: "I'll give you strait talk." What was he telling us before about the invasion of Iraq, the pursuit of Obama Bin Ladin , Social Security, gas prices and the economy!
I do not need anymore "strait talk," it is time for a change!
Ken – I'd be more afraid of Chinese dominance in SE Asia than Russain dominance there.
Additionally, I believe it was Barack Obama who voted for Big Oil tax breaks. He also opposed the $135 billion GIFT to Boeing and saved the American tax payer billions of dollars by forcing the Air Force to open rebidding. Sen. Obama did nothing.
So, who is in the pocket of corporate America?
Three thousand, whew! That is impressive until you remember that Sen. Obama averages something like 10,000 attendees. Still, when you're 96 like Sen. McCain; the 'ol eyeballs get a tad blurry. Hang in there John, your quad focals ought to be arriving any day now.
This coming from a man whose sole purpose in life is to stay politically connected to ensure the interests of Israe–including their huge annual allowance for defense (gratis the U.S. taxpayer).
Tammie from Cleveland:
It is a scary time for your Country...not because of the war but your economy and running deficit. Do you think McCain is going to help you with that? What difference is Hillary going to make as a VP?
Some of you people are just prejudice or ignorant...sometimes both.