December 15th, 2007
12:52 PM ET
12 years ago

McCain wins military endorsements

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

Filed under: John McCain • South Carolina
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Mike Morgan

    We are not at war! You need a declaration of war from congress and so far we have not had one for over 60 years.

    December 15, 2007 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. Blayze Kohime, Columbus Ohio

    Of course people who make their income or retirement from the military's budget are going to support a militaristic warmonger for President. They must be filled with joy that we still have an enemy to frighten the American population into submission with; if we didn't they would loose their power and money.

    December 15, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  3. DAvid, Milledegeville, Ga.

    oh please ron paul recieves more money from the milatary thasn Mccain why not talk about that?!?!!?

    December 15, 2007 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  4. Sarah, San Diego CA

    How can you have an article about winning veterans' support and not mention Ron Paul, who has the most support from military members and veterans – out of ALL the candidates? Sheesh!

    December 15, 2007 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  5. James, Houston, TX

    Sadly, McCain was a P.O.W. for 5 1/2yrs; Gave Up Flag and Colors in Lieu of His Skin; Now wants to be President, and give Up What? Those that endorse this ex P.O.W. leave much to be disired in the Military! Yes I'm a Vet!

    December 15, 2007 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  6. Chris, New York, NY

    Blayze I suggest you crawl back to whatever third world country you came from. Very few of the men and women in the U.S. Military actually want to stay in this prolonged conflict. It's hard on them, hard on families, and possibly deadly. However it's a job that needs to be done, and they sure as hell are proud to stand up and do it. They also realize the Senator McCain is the only candidate of either party who grasps the concept of pain and sacrifice for our national goals.

    December 15, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. L. T, C'ville, TN

    These are the same retired, "star" officers who are CEOs, COOs, CFOs and board members of every government contractor on the globe.

    They would naturally say that the U.S. is at "war" and McCain is their man. They need the U.S. to be the world's policeman to keep their high paying jobs and continue to rip the taxpayers off with their phony bills for services rendered.

    And again, McCain and all of the other politicians think the American citizens are a bunch of brainless, stupid, idiots who cannot see through their "smoke and mirror" actions.

    December 15, 2007 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. Susan Charlotte

    Blayze Kohime,

    I am sure the retired admirals and generals are all in it for the money. It makes sense that people who spent years serving their country and RISKED THEIR LIVES for idiots like you were in it for the quick buck. That's completely practical.


    December 15, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  9. Walt, Belton, TX

    Ron Paul? We're talking about credible candidates now, not more Ross Perots..........

    December 15, 2007 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  10. Matt, Portland OR

    @Sarah from San Diego,

    Simple, CNN are what honorable citizens such as you, I, and other free thinking Americans call "hacks".

    December 15, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. Patrick, Denver Colorado

    Mike Morgan...are you serious? Yes it is true that we didn't have a technical "declaration of war" from the congress but did we need one? When we got attacked on September 11th we went to war, just like when we got attacked at Pearl Harbor we went to war. Wake up and face reality. We are in three wars, the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, and the war on terror. So while you deny that we are at war, our military is fighting in three of them. Go McCain!

    December 15, 2007 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. Kim, Dallas, TX

    Anyone gaining all of the military support is someone I would not want to see in office. I am plain tired of the warmongering going on with the present administration.

    December 15, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  13. Tim, Minneapolis

    McCain is stuck in past wars that weren't declared. The backdoor wars never end.

    the military should endorse Ron Paul since so many troops favor him over McCain

    December 15, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. zak,dallas,tx

    I give you a pass for winning that one!

    December 15, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |

    John McCain can kick Ron Paul's ass any day!

    December 15, 2007 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. Ian, Eastham MA

    Ron Paul's has more donations from active military service men and woman than any other candidate. So who "wins military endorsments"?

    December 15, 2007 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. Lee, Mays Landing, New Jersey

    It's a phony "war on terror". We don't need generals, nor A-Bonbs. What we needed was someone bright and intellectually curious as president who would take threat assessments seriously and have his FBI and CIA talk to each other. Then we need good intelligence services and police people to find the criminals who planned it in the Pakastani tribal areas and try them as mass murderers.

    Forget this assinine idea of declaring a new christian crusade or trying to alienate the entire muslim world just because a few right wing Islamic nuts engage in terrorism.

    Their tactic succeeded beyond their wildest imaginations as republicans rushed us head-long into war to knock off Saddam Hussein, Al-Quada's mortal enemy, and radicalized Iraq, creating a new terrorist breeding ground andschool for tactics where none existed before.

    And, as a byproduct, they isolated America from it's allies and bankrupted us so that we are financially dependant on the Chinese and Saudi's.

    The "war on terror" was just part of Karl Rove's strategy for getting Bush elected (without daddy's Supreme Court help) in 2004 and was otherwise a FRAUD. Bush let bin Laden go at Tora Bora, refused to commit American troops there, and instead was drawing down the real effort in Afghanistan to start his pet project in Iraq.

    We were played. And Republicans continue to play us with this phony "War on Terra" nonsense.

    December 15, 2007 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  18. hey allons,tn

    hey sen. john mCcain if we get rid of the republican administration we get rid of terror god help us if we get another bush alike.

    December 15, 2007 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  19. Scott,Tupelo,MS

    This is a joke I wander of those 100 how many have ever actually seen combat or do they even have any understanding of this crazy unnecessarty war in Iraq. It would seem to me that Ron Paul has got the active military personels(you know the peolpe who are actually over there not those who sit around and compare Iraq to Germany which is a complete joke and no comparsion) endorsement since he has more donations from active military than anyone else.

    December 15, 2007 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  20. Daniel

    RETIRED, that means old people.

    It's not going happen McCain, you should be retired yourself!

    December 15, 2007 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  21. Daniel 6. San Antonio TX.

    With all do respect to the gentleman McCain. I can not and will not vote for a man with a saggy face.

    December 15, 2007 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  22. Sharon Walker, Folsom, CA

    Dear Friends:

    This candidate experienced and a religious man is more than visible.

    He is a military experienced representative, a man who loves his nation willing to stand up for and die for you and me, now coming forth and saying I want to be the President of the USA for thee.

    Vote all men and woman who are citizens of all faiths.


    December 15, 2007 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  23. c

    McCain meets McAbel

    December 15, 2007 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |

    It really saddens me to see that the first four comments posted here, are so off the mark, even to the point that they lower the standards of Remarkability.

    Here is the Man who figuratively died for our sins. Here is the man who suffered literally the torture of thugs. Here is the Man who refused to be repatriated out of turn (on the grounds that he is the son and grandson of U.S. Navy Admirals) and wound up instead of being help a prisoner of war for just over a year, he wound up staying over FIVE and A HALF YEARS to endure the several beatings per week. Here is the Man who still suffers physically not because he did something wrong for our country, BUT BECAUSE HE NEARLY GAVE HIS LIFE AND ENDURED THE TORTURE OF THEM COMMIES for over five years.

    But this is the respect some people have for a wartime HERO? To just go ahead and treat this blog like it's auditions at the comedy club?

    I don't get it? Whether you do or don't vote for him, please, at least show some respect for someone who did for our country what you can't find the courage to do, he showed respect. He gave it all he could, he earned it.

    December 15, 2007 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    I am a proud member of the Military for 18 years currently serving in the Middle East and my vote is going to Ron Paul. The same liberties and freedom we fight for are slowly but surely being taken away by an inefficient, over-reaching and way too big government, and have been for some time now. Washington needs a reminder that the government is supposed to be "for the people and by the people". Obviously this is lost on many politicians. Wake up America!!!! It is time for real change.

    December 15, 2007 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
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