McCain is campaigning in South Carolina Saturday.
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Republican John McCain has won the backing of over 100 retired admirals and generals, the presidential hopeful announced Saturday at a campaign event in the early-voting state of South Carolina.
Admiral Leighton "Snuffy" Smith, one of five veterans who joined McCain at a morning event in Columbia, said the Arizona senator is the best equipped of the presidential candidates to fight the war on terror.
"This nation is at war and we'd better damn well understand that fact," Smith said. "John McCain understands it, and he is the only candidate that has not wavered one bit in his position regarding the importance of victory in the war against Islamic extremism or in his commitment to the troops who are doing the fighting."
McCain said he was "deeply honored" to have the support of the officers, who have "literally hundreds of years of service" between them collectively.
McCain made the announcement in this crucial campaign state the morning after he pleaded with supporters near Charleston to put signs in their yards and make phone calls on his behalf. He said he felt "invigorated" and promised that "we're going to win this primary."
A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll shows a tight Republican presidential race in the Palmetto State. McCain stands in 5th place with 13 percent of support, while leader Mike Huckabee is at 24 percent. The survey carries a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
- CNN’s Peter Hamby and Alexander Mooney