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. Dillon

    He should have WON 8 yearsago!!!!

    January 20, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  2. Independent

    I love how people keep trashing McCain saying that he can't unite conservatives... he doesn't need to unite conservatives!! Hillary will do that for him!!

    The second the Hillary vs McCain battle begins, you will see conservatives mobilize for McCain... game off!

    January 20, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  3. Marcia Baker

    As I had forecast a week ago there were apparently , according to the exit polls,about 2% of the the voters in the Republican primary who were registered Democrats who mistakenly TRIED to vote in the Republican primary. The exit polls show NO votes from that 2% for ANY Republican candidate. These voters effectively disenfranchised themselves.

    In addition there were 18% of the voters who were Independent, the highest percent went to McCain, ( 48%). I believe this will have some effect on the SC Democratic primary that has not been factored into the polling to date.

    January 20, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  4. will

    CNN,
    Please pick up and flush out claims on the democrat blog of widespread voter fraud, and vote suppression by the Clinton campaign. I would like know how much of these shocking stories is true.

    January 20, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  5. JoeBrown

    So much for voting for "change".. McCain is the worst career politician. He changes his position depending on which group he is talking to. He's a pathetic politician.

    January 20, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  6. J.L. Martin. FL.

    I`m a registered democrat. Obama, he doesn`t have enough experience and no foreign affairs knowledge. Hillary is smart and a seasoned politician, but she will raise taxes and try to get us out of Iraq, no matter the consequences. We all know the Iraq adventure by Bush and his cohort was a big blunder, but we are already there and we know who will replace us as soon as we leave, Bin Laden and his "cohort", so we better stay, until the blunder is sufficiently corrected. Also, neither democrat will stop Iran from developing and displaying nuclear weapons. If so, only Israel will take care of them, the way they did with Iraq in 1981. So, the only choice this election will be a republican. Huckabee will be another Carter, one of the main artifices of our current problems with the Muslin world. Giuliani, unless he wins hugely in Florida, which I doubt, together with the other candidates, are out of the race. That leaves us with the best two candidates, Mc Cain and Romney. A 1-2 ticket, one way or another will be the best possible choice for the conumdrum we are in now. They will make permanent the tax cuts Bush made and maybe, like Kennedy and Reagan, will cut them some more, one of the best instruments to revive a moribund economy. And we have to remember that the current situation is not due to Bush tax cuts, the other way around, without them we will be in an even worse shape, but to the huge Real Estate Bubble and the speculators who fed it, the subsequent credit crunch and our dependance on foreing, mostly Muslim, energy needs. In 25-30 years, Europe will be, unless they reverse their policies 180ยช degrees, a Muslim society and we will face the same threat if we don`t start forcefully opposing them now. So, the choice is clear. Mc Cain-Romney or Romney -McCain. Me, personally I would go with the McCain-Romney now, and then Romney will have the chance to continue with the same policies when he will get the Presidency.

    January 20, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  7. John

    McCain only won because Fred Thompson split the conservative vote with Huckabee. Seriously, McCain has not a chance of winning and that's why Guliani can win, assuming he is doing the right things. I do not know how the race has narrowed considering no Republican has won more than half of the state contests and Wyoming wasn't much of a contest either. Thompson really should drag himself away from the race now though because he's run a miserable campaign. Romney could not even win in the first contests, where he campaigned so hard, which says his campaign is not so great. Guliani could take the contest from him.

    Mayor Bloomberg, consider running because if we have a race between Senator Clinton and Romney, then I will be sorely tempted to vote third party. I have too much invested in Senator Obama to want Senator Clinton to win though I suppose she would be decent as president in comparison to a few choice candidates. I just can't vote for a person who cries to get public attention. I did not see her cry over 9/11 (did she?) but she cries when her idiot campaign is in trouble?

    January 20, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  8. Awaiting Moderation, USA

    Give McCain credit. He came back after 8 years to a place that was so cruel to him and won.

    I can't support him because of the issues, but I do give him credit for a great win for his campaign.

    Go Obama.

    January 20, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  9. JuanGrain

    The only way that, Hillary Clinton can beat McCain is with Obama as her running mate. I cringe at what a debate between her and McCain would look like.

    What does she have on McCain: Experience? Not even close.
    Military experience? None
    Working in a non- partisan way, reaching across the isle? He has a way stronger record for that, to the extent that many to his right frown heavily. And we all know that nothing big gets done in Washington if you cannot or refuse to negotiate.

    Appeal to the Independent vote? not a chance without Obama.

    A sense of Honor, while I respect her for her work and putting up with much of what was tossed her way. It is difficult for anyone to match McCain in this department.

    The ill advised war? This is an area that she can win at, Americans are not stupid, we know that the Iraqi government is milking us, why pay for the cow?

    He would have to campaign on a solid exit strategy, that requires the Iraqi government to take real control of their country. A strategy that has us re-focus on the war on terrorism. The war on Osama and his organization. And that means Afghanistan coupled with painful leverage to Pakistan to git-er-done.

    This could get ugly.

    Obama, should go Independent, if Hillary wins and does not offer him the VP position. Or maybe McCain should offer it to him! Hey mix it up, that works ๐Ÿ™‚

    January 20, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  10. Clint Moscow

    He didn't get much of a turn out in the vote and he didn't get much headway in this election, Hickabee didn't win, that is good, he isa lib in disguise.

    Go Romney!

    January 20, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  11. ne,pa

    I hope McCain has a nice position waiting for his old pal Thompson who's running interference for him in this election.

    January 20, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  12. ne,pa

    continued:
    That's if McCain's elected which would be a nightmare!!

    January 20, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  13. From The North

    Looking in from the Outside:

    I see John McCain as being the only Republican with a positive difference. And I see John McCain as the only Candidate that has a truly genuine, heartfelt loyalty and concern for the American people and the office of the Presidency. His service to his country and people is a claim no other candidate can make.

    Many of the Candidates profess their loyalty and concern but John McCain is the only Candidate whose message comes across as being truly genuine, honest and heartfelt.

    I've never had any love for the Republican Party. The last two terms with President Bush has left a rancid taste in my mouth. But, I do believe John McCain is the one Republican who is different and stands out from the rest. And that difference is his human element and noble qualities that distinguish him from the pack and sets him apart as an Experienced Candidate, Honourable Man, Great Politician, Genuine Human Being.and Loyal American. Those in my mind are true leadership qualities.

    I hope Americans will give John McCain their serious consideration for their next President.

    January 20, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  14. Scott

    It is amazing to read these comments and try do determine what is going on. Does no one here have any cognitive thought? There are two candidates in this election~ clintonobamaedwardsmccainromneyhuckabeegulianithompson or Dr Ron Paul.
    If the former wins over the latter, I believe this will push this bankrupt (financial, moral, cognitive thinking), country over the edge. The sovereignty of this once great republic is now eroding at a geometric progression and the clintonobamaedwardsmccainromneyhuckabeegulianithompson presidency will facilitate this downward spiral.
    This country is in sorry shape!!!

    January 20, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  15. Tom Foley

    Its amazing that The Senator (McCain) could not give a answer to a question earlier today about the proposed Tax rebate (cut) today.

    He said he had not seen it, we might I suggest that since he is a fiscal conservative, he either should spend more time at the JOB he's getting paid to do, and stop wasting Tax payers money, being in South Carolina, getting rewarded for a past wrong that was done to him eight years ago.

    The others candidates said they had ideas. Maybe they all should give back the money the wasting.

    Uncommittied Dem

    January 20, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  16. PJ, New York

    None of the Republican's running will be able to beat Hillary Clinton (if she gets the Democratic nomination) in November. The only way a Republican may be able to win is if Bloomberg runs a third party. Hillary Clinton may still have the advantage of a poor economy by then and the Iraq war. We know how many American's want to end the war and just about all Republican's are still pro war.

    January 20, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  17. Del Insko

    I'm a die hard Dem, but I respect McCain. As for the rest of the Republican candidates, they are truly a pathetic lot, none of them measure up to the three top Dems. By far the worst of the Republicans is Mike Huckabee, who strongly resembles Lee Atwater and David Duke, racists all. The shameful "southern strategy" is still the cornerstone of the Republican party's national powerbase. McCain has shown himself to be above that.

    January 20, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  18. Cable King Pittsburgh PA

    The guy is:

    2 old

    2 honest

    2 win

    January 20, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  19. Jen Cedar Falls, IA

    to Tim from Hershey, PA
    You forgot one other question:
    Who is the candidate that is too old to be our next President for the 4-8 years?
    McCain!

    January 20, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. NextPresident

    I guess the geritol crowd just loves McCain. Why in the hell does anyone in this country want to continue with the old farts that have been running this country into the ground. McCain's senility will not let him stop reliving war. So all he wants to do it go to war. Now why would you want a old person with one foot on the banana peel to be running this country is beyond me. McCain is living in the past and that's where he need to be in the past for good.

    January 20, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  21. sairefgm

    I am happy for McCain. I hope he is the republican nominee. I will vote for him and I will not vote democratic if obama does not get it.

    January 20, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  22. Tanya

    John McCain amuses me greatly.
    About ten years ago he was the most flaming rebel the independent voter could wish for.
    Then, during Bush's re-election campaign, he was the most loyal poodle, going everywhere with Bush (three steps behind) and gratefully receiving kiss from the monarch himself.
    Now he is a rebel again, firmly on the paranoid side though.
    My crystal ball says that GOP leadership would want someone more predictable and fitting the present mold, such as George W. Huckabee.

    January 20, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  23. Rob Stumpf

    Pretty soon, we are going to have the real life alternative of McCain and another eight years of the Clintons. That's going to be the choice, and no matter what McCain's mistakes have been over the years, he is about a zillion times better than Hillary– in terms of experience, of judgment, of character, of ability, of anything you wish to name. The Dumbocrats will attack him for his age, of course (though Hillary isn't exactly a spring chicken herself). McCain stands for victory in Iraq, lower government spending, and conservative judges...positions conservatives can easily get behind. It would be a lot nicer if Reagan was running, but he's not, so there is no choice but to take the better of the two choices.

    January 20, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  24. POW-MIA

    McAmnesty,

    Voted for a path to citizenship for people who do not respect this country's laws.

    Voted for a bill that would only stop 25% of illegal immigration.

    Tells American's they won't pick lettuce in Yuma, AZ for $50 an hour.

    Tells Michigan the jobs are never comming back and they need to go back to school. What a great leader and visionary he is.

    His own state senate passed the toughest laws in the nation to stop illegal immigration by attacking the root source of the problem- The hiring of illegals!

    ENFORE THE LAWS! HOLD THE CAREER SENATORS TO THEIR OATHS TO THE CONSTITUTION!

    Some people who call themselves Americans, say we canot deport 20 million illegals- we could but don't need to. Just enforce our existing laws and we will see them leave the same way they came in. ON THIER OWN! I'm done paying for social welfare programs. Not just for the scumbag Americans who don't want to earn thier own way and expect the rest of us to pick up thier tab, but especially those who DO NOT BELONG HERE! You have your own countries- demand your own rights there, maybe if you cared about your own place, you wouldn't have to destroy my standard of living.

    Says he fights for the freedom of americans, but then wants to sell us out for cheap labor?

    What a discrace- I would gladly trade that douchbag for all the POW-MIA's still in Nam.

    Gulf of Tonkin? The truth is finally coming out. I wonder what other wars this country has been dragged into because of the neo-cons.

    I can't wait for the economy to crash. Just wait.

    We have all been warned in the Republican debates. They all laughed when a certain statesman brings every issue we face to the forefront and explains how they are all tied to the economy.

    Educated yourselves America, your unborn children deserve better than to be in Iraq for 100 more years. If not, John's silver-spoon wife can pay for it all.

    January 20, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  25. Concerned

    I won't vote at all if OBAMA is not running for PRESIDENT!

    OBAMA 2008 *=

    January 20, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
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