January 19th, 2008
10:25 PM ET
12 years ago

McCain celebrates South Carolina win

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (CNN) - Sen. John McCain savored his win in South Carolina's Republican primary Saturday night, thanking voters "for bringing us across the finish line first in the first in the South primary."

"It took us a while, but what's eight years among friends?" the Arizona senator said, referring to the drubbing he took from George W. Bush in the 2000 South Carolina primary.

"In the course of this campaign, I've tried as best I could to tell people the truth ... about the challenges facing our country and how I intend to address them," he said. "Before I can win your vote, I must earn your respect, and the only way I know how to do that is by being honest with you.

" ... So far, it seems to be working pretty well."

Filed under: John McCain • South Carolina
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Lisla Lee, Dallas, TX

    I guess if McCain wins we should plan on at least another four years of significant military activity and the related debt increase & loss of life. My poor great great great great grandkids will be paying for all the misteps made generations before they even set foot on this earth. When will it ever end?

    January 20, 2008 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  2. Tannim

    Insane McCain: War hawk and First Amendment traitor extraordinaire, amnesty advocate and divorce opportunist. And a Keating 5 member, so add corrupt to the list as well.

    Sure, let's elect this dolt! Why he's a Republican is a great question.

    January 20, 2008 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  3. whatsitToyou

    but I don't want to be at war with Iraq for 100 years..and I dont want to bom bomb bomb Iran? or anyother place that makes him mad.

    January 20, 2008 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  4. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    "Huckabee supporters must start today answering the established media’s attack on Mike Huckabee and expose the records of McCain, Romney, and Thompson." says David from Oregon City ....

    Well, now, fair is fair and lets all drag Mike's record of pardoning rapists (while whining who knew), the numerous ethics violations while governor and locking away all those with aids ... etc and take an in depth look at where he wants to lead the county:

    Personally I don't want my Constitution re-written to make it more Godly, I don't believe the fair tax is fair, I want my president to know about international affairs and have more education than a 2 1/2 year degree from Bible School. I'm voting for a President, not a pastor and I do not intend on submitting graciously to my husband.

    As for those warning us all that McCain is not a conservative .... then he'd have my vote. We have Christians who aren't really Christian and Conservatives who aren't conservative about anything – borrow and spend ... been there – done that – have the scars to prove it.

    January 20, 2008 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  5. Anonymous, Somewhere, MI

    Oh the Romniacs are just out in force tonight aren't they. *sigh* Okay, time to set a few matters straight.

    Why the coverage disparity between South Carolina and Nevada? Romney won a contest in which nobody really competed and less than 50,000 people voted. The coverage more favors the Democratic side since far more people participated in that contest and it was BITTERLY contested between two credible rivals. South Carolina was intensely contested, is a traditional and symbolic contest for the Republicans, and is far more comparable to the next major contest, Florida, than Nevada is.

    Why do they regard McCain as the front-runner? Because he is. Not only is he the 9 point favorite in the Real Clear Politics national poll average (where Romney is 3rd), but also several polling agencies have McCain up in a slew of states coming up. 4 different agencies have him leading by 4 points or more in California. Rasmussen and Monmouth University have him leading in New Jersey. Survey USA has him competative in New York. He's competative in Oklahoma and Alabama. Romney just isn't demonstrating the same strength. He's leading in Massachusetts and Utah, guess why. His success, to date, has been predicated on winning states so insignificant nobody will bother to compete in them, and states he lodges a claim to being his home state. McCain has wins in New England, now the South, and according to several polls is the current odds on favorite for Florida. That's why McCain, and not Romney, is regarded as the front-runner.

    "He cost the GOP control of the Senate with that despicable Gang of 14 crap. He wants to tell you how he'll put conservative judges in place and yet he was the ring leader of the very undoing of Bush's attempts to put conservative judges in place."

    Wow, nice piece of revisionism. Spoken from someone who truly has no idea what the Gang of 14 was about. First of all, it didn't cost the GOP control of the Senate, the 2006 election did. Second, it didn't derail Bush's attempts to put conservative judges on the courts. Several judges got floor votes who wouldn't have otherwise since the seven Democrats in the Gang of 14 agreed to break filibusters on those judges. In exchange McCain and six other Republicans agreed not to destroy the concept of opposition rights in the legislature with the dubious "nuclear option." The biggest accomplishment of the Gang was to get Alito, a steadfast conservative, on the court. An additional benefit to this is that now if the Democrats win in November the Republicans will have a filibuster option for objectionable judges, as opposed to having to accept whatever the Democrats felt like putting on the court.

    January 20, 2008 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  6. Steve, ATL

    The lib media love McCain and Huckabee. That is enough for me. Rudy, Mitt, or Fred will get my vote on Super Tuesday. Huckaphony and McLame are libs in Republcan clothing.

    January 20, 2008 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
  7. Tony Toska

    As a political viewer and analyzer I criticize the beginning of so called an unpublished economy strategy and tax cut that Sen. John McCain is admitting that this has been his priority. We all know that Sen. John McCain was against the tax cut that the President proposed last election, so why are we sticking with this mythology and conceptual corruptive thoughts that Sen. John McCain is offering. Isn't this enough of propaganda and repetition of republicans? Misleading information has been a part of our daily lives since 1990. As we all know that our government doesn't admit that our country is in recession and still being persuasive with their campaign and coming up with tax cuts to liberate somehow or artificialate the economy so people can give their votes. Yes people, it is a big no and I think it is time to be ambitious in our government and being careful on their election to which they give their votes. Our votes does not count when we don't raise our voice. We shall stand in what we belive for and be part of this great nation with honest politicians and fight the corruption of these oil giants.

    January 20, 2008 03:55 am at 3:55 am |
  8. Shawn

    John McCain will not get the nomination. He's great on military matters but Straight Talk will kill him (think Michigan). He is too far left of the base of his party and if he tries to move toward the base he is going to (or ought) be called a flip-flopper or shape shifter to win the vote. If he doesn't move his position the base will never rally around him even if he does well in Florida (military presence in the North, kind of like SC). While some people here in CA may like him, I know a whole lot of people who can't stand him and will not forgive him. We need someone who can understand and deal with the economy effectively. In order to have strong national security we are going to need a strong economy. The economy is a matter of national security (think China and currency) If he knows how to fix all the problems like he says why hasn't he done anything constructive yet? We've seen what kind of ideas he comes up with when he does have a chance (McCain-Kennedy, etc.) He needs to step aside and let someone do it right. McCain for secretary of Defense. Romney for President. Romney understands the economy and can actually do something about it.

    January 20, 2008 04:14 am at 4:14 am |
  9. Beth

    Well said, Anon in Somewhere, MI.

    Gang of 14 –> Sam Alito. Is Alito now not good enough for the crybabies? Would they have President Hillobama's Democratic Senate use the nuclear option on their Ruth Bader Ginsburg clones? Stevens and Ginsburg aren't gonna stick around forever, you know.
    It's incomprehensible to me that people can actually believe their own hysteria about the Gang of 14–still! Either they're intellectually dishonest or just plain ignorant.

    Alice Newman:
    "Personally I don't want my Constitution re-written to make it more Godly, I don't believe the fair tax is fair, I want my president to know about international affairs and have more education than a 2 1/2 year degree from Bible School. I'm voting for a President, not a pastor and I do not intend on submitting graciously to my husband."

    Amen to that!

    January 20, 2008 04:15 am at 4:15 am |
  10. Steven B Silver

    My mother, who is a registered democrat says she wont vote democrat this year if Obama gets the nomination and would never vote for Hillary.
    McCain is my choice over the others unless one of the canidates can convince me to vote for them.

    January 20, 2008 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  11. Trang, Fremont CA

    Congratulation Senator John McCain,

    You do arise from the 'dead'. I do feel that you shifted position to please your base, which is okay. Hope that is how you indeed feel and not saying things to please the crowd.

    January 20, 2008 04:35 am at 4:35 am |
  12. Richard

    John Mc Cain has experience of being wrong.

    He is in favor of amnesty for illegal immigrants and continues to support bush on Iraq. Want me to explain many many more times he has been wrong??

    January 20, 2008 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  13. Tim, Hershey,PA

    Before anyone else votes in the next wave of primaries, they need to ask themselves these questions:
    Who is the candidate with the most integrity and has served and sacrificed for his country? McCain
    Who would keep a lid on all the porkbarrel spending from both parties in order to keep our budget balanced, and has arecord to prove it? McCain
    Which candidate could work with both parties to get Washington moving and is respected by his peers? McCain


    January 20, 2008 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  14. Tim, Minnesota

    Whoever voted for this guy, needs to go upstairs and kiss their kids goodbye, because he's itching for a nuclear war .

    January 20, 2008 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  15. wanda simms

    why do you allow bill bennett to say the word clinton? he has hate for all things clinton. you never hear donna brazil spew hate. surely you know the last 10 years at least , his comtempt for the clintons... its not fair to have him on and the bad blood between reps and dems is enhanced by his voice. i liked bill but i am not sure about hillary but his hate could certainly put me in her bracket..

    January 20, 2008 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  16. Tim, Minnesota

    These southerners fell for the old "my friends" routine. Unreal. McCain will be out soon, he looks real old and rundown. We can't afford to have an unhealthy person in the White House. Besides if he gets too sick, Huckabee will want to seperate him from society

    January 20, 2008 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  17. lyndon

    ask john mccain or any of the other " experienced " politicians if america is better off today than the day they took office.

    January 20, 2008 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  18. Going Home

    Kudos to S.C. and John McCain. Now it's onto Florida. While supporting Barack Obama, either he or McCain will bring a fresh outlook and elminate questions of character, past lawsuits and other incidents to the general election campaign. Reports of intmidation, closing Nevada caucus doors early continue to circulate. It's typical Clinton three ring circus time. Just wait until the Clinton race baiting starts in South Carolina.

    Fellow Americans of either party, don't go for the status quo, go for change, guts and the ability to reach across the aisle to get things done. Senators Obama and Mc Cain will return respect to our political process and country at large.

    January 20, 2008 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  19. ED WinterPark fl

    John it is OK to dream hopefully ,when the bus goes through Arizona they will stop and let you out at your future rest home

    January 20, 2008 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  20. Mike VE

    I am voting for MITT ROMNEY!!!!!

    Mitt has not been in Washington for years like John McLaim, Clinton and Obama.

    Mitt has held executive positions as a Govenor and in private business, Obama, Clinton and John McLaim have only worked in Washington they do not have a clue about private business or the American economy.

    Mitt is a conservative that’s why the media hates him; John McLaim is a liberal just look who he associates with Kennedy, Feingold, the gang of 14, ect. and that’s why the media loves John McLaim.

    Mitt is against amnesty for illegal aliens; Obama, Clinton and John McLaim are for amnesty for illegal aliens.

    Mitt is for tax cuts, Obama, Clinton and John McLaim are against tax cuts and want to raise our taxes.

    Mitt is for conservative judges, Obama, Clinton and John McLaim are for liberal judges.

    Mitt wants to free Americans and American business from the federal government Obama, Clinton and John McLaim want big government and are responsible for big government we have.

    Mitt will fight to protect this country and build a strong military; Obama, Clinton and John McLaim stood by when al-Qaeda attacked our interests in the 1990 and the 1980s.

    Mitt Romney is the right change for America

    Vote for Mitt!!!

    January 20, 2008 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  21. Tess

    If you want more of Bush/big government waste vote for McCain or Huckabee. If you are tired of being lied to and manipulated by Washington, vote for Ron Paul, Thompson, or Mitt Romney. Paul seems to be the only who understand the economy and what has to be done in order to keep us from collapsing. I mention Thompson and Romney too, but it is only because they do seem sincere.


    January 20, 2008 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  22. JT

    McCain is just another Sr Senator war veteran who has no winning ideas like Bob Dole was a sr senator war vet in 1996. Obama/Oprah or the Clintons would have a very big victory against McCain just like Slick did against Dole back in 96.

    Now that the news is out that Rudy is low on money, Mitt is the only candidate that can go the distance and win in November. If the people of Florida do not wake up and give Mitt a win that would make the dems and the media very happy indeed. A vote for McCain or the Huckster is a vote for the Democrats and economic & international failure.

    January 20, 2008 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  23. James-Center,USMCR,NOPREF

    I for the life of me can not understand why people keep attacking McCain record. If for one second anyone would just think about what it means to be conservative. McCain shot down those tax cuts because, despite cutting taxes, it increased spending. For those saying he doesnt understand economics; less revenue should not be a green light for more spending. And all this amnesty ****. He never offered that. He is a realist that knows you have to stop the flood and then fix the water damage. He wanted tougher enforcement which the immigrant reform would have done. The so called amnesty was a comprimise true. But it wasnt without penalities and gave time limits inwhich if undocumented workers hadnt come forward they would still be arrested, fined, and deported.

    January 20, 2008 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  24. Tess

    Tim Hershey:

    Didn't you get the memo – Osama bin Laden died a couple of years ago dude, but our government doesn't want us to know. Do some research.

    January 20, 2008 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  25. Tess

    James Center:

    Google McCain and Keating Five, then you will see what a slimeball McCain really is. He has stolen pensions from seniors citizens, and McCain should have been put in prison, not sure why he wasn't. Just imagine what he would do to our country or to the world for that matter. McBomb will kill us all for sure. Wake up America!!!! I am surprised that the good folks in SC voted for him, do they not know that he stated he wants our troops in the middle east if it takes a 100 years.
    I don't know about you all but this country is broke and he would put the last nail on the coffin for our America for sure.

    January 20, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
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