[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/09/04/rnc.day/art.mccain.ap.jpg caption="Sen. McCain said Thursday that he's ready to lead the Republican ticket."]
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - John McCain vowed Thursday to "shake up Washington" and said he's prepared to reach across the aisle to get the country "back on the road to prosperity and peace."
"We need to change the way government does almost everything," he told the Republican National Convention.
"Fight with me. Fight for what's right for our country. Fight for the ideals and character of a free people."
He said his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, is "just the right partner" to help lead the change.
"She's tackled tough problems like energy independence and corruption," he said. "She stands up for what's right and she doesn't let anyone tell her to sit down."
He added, "Let me offer an advance warning to the old, big-spending, do-nothing, me-first, country-second Washington crowd: Change is coming."