September 26th, 2008
11:45 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain: 'I hope I made you proud tonight'

OXFORD, Mississippi (CNN) – Senator John McCain dropped in on a vocal group of supporters near the University of Mississippi campus late Friday night after his face-off with rival Barack Obama, asking the crowd: “Do you think we showed them who's qualified to be commander-in-chief?”

McCain, joined by his wife Cindy and daughter Meghan, visited a debate watching party at the club Lyric on Oxford Square. A smiling McCain briefly addressed the crowd of about 1,000 backers, “I'm overwhelmed by your enthusiasm and support ,and I want to say that I thank you all for being here. I want to tell you that I will not let you down.”

He talked about his family’s roots in the state, and his time stationed at the Naval Air Station in Meridian. To loud cheers, he said, “I hope I made you proud tonight. I'm grateful for your friendship, I'm grateful for your support and I can't think of a better place to be than Oxford, Mississippi."

McCain then boarded the Straight Talk Express to drive 90 minutes to Memphis. He will fly back to Washington overnight.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (516 Responses)
  1. David - Va

    Sen. Obama 'Held his own' on a McCain turf???
    Clearly Sen Obama won!
    Sen. Obama was on Point! Knew his stuff and was very detailed!! Obama clearly proved to be very presidential! Sen Obama looked directly at me through the camera, he looked directly at McCain and Sen. Obama was wearing a FLAG PIN!
    All of the above which McCain failed to do! Now dispute that!

    Anybody in their right mind calls this even a tie is really not paying attention!
    You can't spin the facts folks! Sorry not this time!
    No Way
    No How
    No McCain

    September 27, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  2. let's take our country back

    Straight Talk Express now known as the BS Express.

    BOJO '08

    September 27, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  3. Sue

    I was frustrated Senator McCain would not answer questions asked of him, was rude, and would not look Senator Obama in the eye.Clearly he was uncomfortable. He went off on his "old war stories" without answering questions and his words seemed very scripted . "You don't understand" got old fast. I think Obama has shown he speaks thoughtfully and strongly, not an struck in the same rut of the past. I admire McCains service record, but it's the same old, same old . We need a change . He is hung up on war, war, war.

    September 27, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  4. tonyinlargo

    Barack Obama expressed it best when he said that the problems facing us as a nation must be looked at as being linked to one another. Thus, the economic problems that we face today, it is fair to say, have been exacerbated by the current financial crisis as it places another burden on our central government. Senator McCain’s past as a Vietnam veteran have transfixed his vision at winning the war in Iraq in the short run. He doesn’t understand that the war in Iraq needs to be fought for a long time and that it needs to be addressed from many angles, including dialogue. Senator Obama’s grasp of the whole picture was obvious, where Senator McCain picture of a whole is lacking. Senator McCain stated at one point that, he would hold people accountable for financial debacles like the one we have witnessed in the past 2 weeks. Senator Obama made it clear that firing people after the fact doesn’t work. He made it clear that improved regulations would likely preclude financial institutions from going bankrupt. Senator McCain has said that he “is always in favor of less regulations”. The only conclusion that one can reach, therefore, is that Senator McCain plans to hire “Seances” or “mind readers” to hold positions such as “Chairman of the Securities & Exchange Commission”. This, because without regulations, reports and other accountabilities, reading minds would be the only way for anyone, holding those positions, to preclude endings such as the one that we have witnessed in Wall Street. Senator McCain can try, but can’t get shake his past history of having voted 90% of the time with the failed policies of the Bush Administration. Only someone in denial, of the fact that we have just experienced the worst 8 years in our country’s history, could still say that he or she supports John McCain. In fact, John McCain’s lack of detailed examination at selecting his Vice-Presidential running-mate is a perfect example of his lack of leadership abilities. Sarah Palin’s apparent inability to tune-in to the subtleties of the questions put to her by Katie Couric and others is an example of McCain’s shoot from the hip attitude. Before choosing Sarah Palin, he should have considered much more seriously her ability or lack thereof, as in her case, to lead the nation in the event of his demise. The Republican revolt in Congress against the Bush Administration’s plan for the infamous “Bailout” and the lack of Senators and Congressmen willing to appear before the media, after the debate, to hail John McCain, points to their fears of losing their seats in Congress. In conclusion, the score is Senator Obama 1, John McCain -1.

    September 27, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  5. Lance

    John McCain = grumpy old backward thinking neoconservative that got us into this mess.

    September 27, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  6. Laurie M

    Sen McCain,
    God Bless you and thank you for your courage and leadership. My husband also finished up his flight training in an A-4 at Meridian.

    Sen McCain, you did an outstanding job tonight and did us proud, and there is no doubt that you do not need "on the job" training. Your education and first-hand experience in leadership through the grueling Corps of Cadets at one of the finest training grounds for leadership in the entire world, the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, demonstrated that it was an education that is measured not just by grades. Sen Obama does not have a clue and that was demonstrated very clearly tonight.

    I deeply appreciated how you were able to draw upon your extensive experience and able to put the most pressing national security issues and foreign policy challenges into historical context, and you clearly have thought these issues through and consulted with those who have faced these challenges head on, like Sec Kissinger. I am grateful for the experience and grounding you will bring to the White House.

    It is hard for me to believe or accept that Sen Obama is a graduate of Harvard Law. I was always under the illusion that Harvard Law rigorously trains it graduates to be able to debate effectively with polish and poise. Maybe Sen Obama missed too many moot court debates? His continual interruptions and pointing and arrogant mannerisms indicated his lack of poise and diplomatic skill.

    I am sure that very few people missed Sen Obama's obnoxious "I have a bracelet too" only to struggle as he had to READ the name of the soldier. This man does not deserve to lead our men and women in uniform, his contempt and arrogance towards those in service to our great nation was demonstrated in that very gesture.

    God Bless you Sen McCain and Semper Fi.

    September 27, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  7. Tim

    He made me sad to be an American, not proud.

    September 27, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  8. RC

    Obama did not debate well. McCain aced the debate. Let's wait and see for the next one.
    Obama needs to ace the next one if he doesn't he is doomed to fail.

    September 27, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  9. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    How can you be proud of someone who was so disrespectful that he couldn't even look at Obama? His whole body language was almost to have his back to Barack. And he kept snickering. We've put up with eight years of snickering. John McCain is uppity!

    September 27, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  10. Kris

    I was happy to see that Henry Kissinger just issued a statement that he did not say what Obama said. And that Obama misunderstood. It was also reported that he was not very happy with what Obama said. I am a independent/always voted Dem for a President, I will happily and proudly be voting for John S McCain . He was very impressive and I feel safe with him as my president.

    September 27, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  11. Chrystel from Fayetteville, NC

    I think that John McCain did his best tonight, which has only bolstered my belief that I am backing the right candidate; Barrack Obama.

    Sen. Obama did more than hold his own; he showed mental toughness, intelligence and savvy, characteristics that I feel are inherent to the personality of a great commander and chief.

    I believe that John McCain offered up no new ideas. Just because he has been around forever (and ever) doesn't make him the best man for the job. Logically, that makes him part of the problem, doesn't it?

    Good Job Obama!!!!!

    September 27, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  12. fred

    in proud im not voting for you . you think the debates a joke but your the only joke. go obama

    September 27, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  13. JD in NC

    If Senator McCain wants to suspend campaigning pending the bailout, why was his campaign posting ads before the debate was over?

    Just wondering.

    September 27, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  14. Truth

    Yes, for sure Obama.

    Thanks McCain, after that horrible interview with Palin, and the debates, I am ready to vote for Obama/Biden.

    September 27, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  15. Jewel79

    McCain came off to me as a old conniver. The lies just slipped so easily from his lips, gee it's almost like he's been lying all his life.


    September 27, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  16. luci

    John Mccain is way better than osama

    September 27, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  17. Punkers

    McCain, you made me proud to donate another $250 to Barack Obama tonight.

    September 27, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  18. meee

    i stronlgy can say that he made me realize and the whole world VERY SCARED

    Quick Vote
    Who fared better in the first presidential debate?
    Sen. John McCain 27% 33453
    Sen. Barack Obama 67% 81556
    Neither 6% 6821

    September 27, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  19. Bee

    McCain campaign created an ad that said he won the debate when he was still hedging whether he was even going to be there?????

    For those who think he "looked weird" its called Botox, thats why his eyes and upper lip did not move when he spoke.

    As for the actual debate McCain would make one scary bad tempered twitchy Commander in Chief, whereas Obama was cool, collected and levelheaded with far more grip on world facts than McPain.
    McCain did not mention Bin Laden once! Yet he harped on about things that had happened to him 20, 30, 40 years ago!

    September 27, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  20. GG for Obama

    FLDem, +1.
    Obama is a winner.

    September 27, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  21. Whats left in your wallet?

    You did good my manchurian candidate.

    September 27, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  22. Anonymous

    Obama gets points from me in only one area of the foreign policy debate. It was smart to connect our current relationship with Russia and our need for energy independence. Unfortunately, he didn't have me for long. Apparently, the only goal he was willing to throw under the bus in the face of worsening economic conditions was the timetable for his energy policy. Something about that just doesn't seem intellectually honest. Either energy is a high priority or it isn't. Because energy independence underpins any future economic stability for this country, it has to be a top priority, if not THE top priority, even above early childhood education. I mean, let's be honest, how much good is preschool if our childrens' safety isn't secured first?

    Otherwise, McCain owned the foreign policy debate. McCain is right. An American president should not sit down with the leadership of a rogue state without precondition. It legitimizes extreme views as something worthy of high level discussion. Of course, I do not consider the president of Spain in that light, but the fact that it bothers the president of Spain that President Bush has not done so is extremely revealing of how these presidential meetings are seen in the eyes of the world.

    The biggest gaffe Obama made was concerning Pakistan. I don't understand why this hasn't been seized upon by the pundits. McCain was absolutely right that you do not publicly challenge a new president with a shaky base of support, whose cooperation is sorely needed, with threats of border incursions. The fact that Obama has gone on the record with such statements just highlights his foreign policy inexperience. More importantly, Pakistan isn't just any country. It is a nuclear power. We need their cooperation, not just in flushing out Al Qaeda, but with nuclear nonproliferation. Huge, COLOSSAL mistake!

    Good job by McCain in flexing his foreign policy muscles.

    September 27, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  23. Isaac A. (Democrat)

    I loved how whenever Obama would speak, the dials showed Obama was received well by independents, and democrats and even republicans for the most part took many of Obama's segments well.

    September 27, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  24. Margaret

    I agree, FL Dem.

    There can be little doubt that Obama has the firmer grasp of the facts and the stronger ability to reason from them. Obama came across as the Commander-in-Chief in the wings, McCain as the guy who will soon have ample opportunity tp write another book.

    September 27, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  25. manuel

    YES...Very proud of my next President, BARACK OBAMA.

    September 27, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
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