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. JJ

    Despite his lack of any substantive foreign policy experience, the Obama campaign continues to bloviate that Senator Obama is best qualified to be Commander and Chief because “only he had the judgment to make the tough decision against the use of force in Iraq”. This argument is not only hackneyed, but blatantly inaccurate.

    Even if you believe in hindsight that the use of force against Iraq was the wrong decision, it’s a decision that Obama never had to confront. A decision implies one has the authority and information to make a choice which will affect an outcome. Barrack Obama had neither the authority nor the information necessary to make such a decision, let alone affect the outcome. He could not even cast one of his decisive votes of “present”, because he wasn’t! At the time, he was merely an inexperienced Illinois State legislator, representing a very anti-war district. His so called “difficult decision” was no more difficult than it was relevant.

    Mr. Obama had no more information than did I, my butcher, the paperboy down the street, or any other typical American citizen on this issue. He was not in a position to receive intelligence briefings, or even debate the facts. Those who were, such as Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, came to the same conclusion and made the same decision as John McCain. They each had the authority and the intelligence information that Obama did not, and each voted for the use of force against Saddam Hussein. Obama himself admitted as much. When asked how he would have voted on the Iraq resolution he said: "I'm not privy to Senate intelligence reports. What would I have done? I don't know." (The New York Times on July 26, 2004)

    Once Obama was in fact in a position where he had both authority and information to make real decisions on Iraq, he failed in making the correct ones each and every time.

    After Obama claimed that he "Absolutely wants to make sure that the troops have sufficient support to be able to win, we must fund our troops” (CNN March 28, 2003), he cast his vote against the funding for our troops in the middle of the conflict. A vote that even Joe Biden, his “experienced” pick for Vice President, has chastised.

    During the most difficult times of the Iraq conflict, after public support had waned, Obama made the easy political choice. Only John McCain had the experience and the judgment to make the correct call. He went against Obama, Biden and the democrats (who seemed all too eager to lose the war in order to gain political advantage over the Bush Administration) and also the republicans (who rallied around the Administration and its failing “stay the course” policy). At his own political expense, John McCain called for the dismissal of the Secretary of Defense, Don Rumsfeld, and the very surge policy that has succeeded, while Obama and Biden called for retreat and defeat.

    After the surge had been implemented (despite Obama and Biden’s opposition), John McCain, traveling around Baghdad, proclaimed that things were in fact improving and that the surge was in fact succeeding. Senator Obama and his supporters in the mainstream media were ridiculing Senator McCain’s statements as fantasy. Although he will not admit to his failure of judgment, Obama has now stated: “The surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated, including President Bush and the other supporters, it has gone very well. It succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.” (O’Reilly Factor September 4, 2008)

    The truth is that the success was indeed anticipated and even reported on by John McCain, months before Obama was willing to accept it. Not only did the surge succeed beyond Obama’s wildest dreams, it succeeded despite Obama’s political dreams and poor judgment.

    September 27, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  2. Monica, Texas

    Why is McCain so angry...He was the grumpy old man!!!!!

    September 27, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  3. Cheryl in Florida

    Yes McCain you made me feel proud that I am supporting Obama, who you could not even look in the face tonight.

    September 27, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  4. R.I.F.

    Mccain me proud in casting my vote for Obama

    September 27, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  5. dmmcs

    I'm more convinced Obama is a better leader for the presidency
    chair position . While, McCain should pull out his rocking chair,
    retire, and use it.

    September 27, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  6. Juliane

    You were wrong, You were wrong! Barack said!! yes,

    Why did McCain never look at Obama, he seemed very nasty and hostile, he was supposed to look at Obama out of respect, there was none, Obama was the only gentleman on stage....................

    September 27, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  7. Darcy - AR

    FLDem, me too.
    Obama won

    September 27, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  8. Jeff

    haha I know right... He was dominated. It's sad that it's still this close.

    September 27, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  9. Megan

    I feel McCain did very well and made me very proud, he is indeed the best man for the job.

    September 27, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  10. Boot the GOP

    McCain is angry. I guess he thinks being disrepectful is showing presidential prowess.

    Obama was a better debater, hands down.

    September 27, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  11. Sherri

    You didnt make me proud just scared... We know you like the war and sounds like you want to start more wars which could only mean DRAFT because we dont have enough people for all the wars. You and Sarah Palin are a big disaster for this country and making a laughing stock out of us. NO WAY NO HOW NO McCAIN /PALIN

    September 27, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  12. tedious898

    No one....but no one but blindly loyal GOPers feel that John McCain won this thing. Think about it...McCain was the home team location (Mississippi – as red a state as it gets – and you know what I mean by red) and the topic Foreign policy. If it was close, the win goes to the visiting team. Obama

    Aside from that, Barack handled himself admirably. Steady, intelligent, concise, educated answers. And responded without belittling his opponent. That's why he gets the educated vote.

    Of course, John McCain can never look good unless he makes his opponent look bad – What does that tell ya? How about "....I'm a joke so try to make the other guy look bad to distract from the obvious"

    September 27, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  13. Ron Watson

    Yes, John we are more aware now than ever – Barack Obama must be the next Commander-in-Chief if we are to survive in America. McCain rambles about his past. 1960 – nobody in my house was even born yet. Can he wake up and realize it's 2008.

    OBAMA rocks.

    September 27, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  14. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Yes Johnnie Mac! You totally agreed with the Fuhrer, called yourself a "maverick" and showed up for a debate after almost pulling the same stunt you did in the California primary in 2000 when Bush was ahead in the polls. To paraphrase the late Nikita Khrushchev , "The Reptilican Party is over! We will bury you!"

    September 27, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  15. R. Squibbs

    Yes they absolutely did show who's qualified to be Commander-In-Chief.

    But it wasn't John McCain.

    September 27, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  16. natalia


    September 27, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  17. Anonymous

    I can't seem to shake how fake Sen. McCain appears to be. His debate certainly didn't make me appreciate him anymore.

    September 27, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  18. bob

    Obama won . I cant wait to knock them out on thursday.

    September 27, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  19. johndavis

    I would like CNN and the whole country to note how foul, dirty and untruthful McCain was. How on earth was McCain's campaign able to release a webvideo against Barak with McCain's approval, when he was not even off stage during the debate. INCREDIBLE. I mean did he even watch the webvideo first before approving? Or how could he have seen the video to even approve of it. The odds of that happening is ZERO.

    He was also very untruthful in the debate. There were a whole lot of things he said the were untrue. Political thinker is a proof. Even Barak said that to him many times and he still went on lying. I was a staunch McCain supporter, but now I moving toward Obama's camp. He seemed more interested in helping our nation. I rest my case

    September 27, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  20. Sandy - PA

    I thought Obama hit home on more of the issues that the average American cares about.

    Obama clearly won this debate from where I sit – It is clear to me that McCain's entire mindset is military. This is very disturbing to me.

    September 27, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  21. MsSeRepulican

    John McCain is a man that stands by his word unlike Barack Obama. I pray that God's will be done. I am a Repulican but whatever outcome comes out of this is GOD will. Believe the end is near!

    September 27, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  22. Charlie

    Great job Senator McCain!! You were the only President on that statge tonight!!

    September 27, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  23. Tracy

    John, Thanks for confirming my decision to vote for Barack. Barack gets it! You couldn't even look Barack in the eye. What were you afraid of? It reminded me of my son, he would never look me in the eye when he was lying.

    I can't wait to to see Palin and Biden go at it next week! I felt so sorry for her in that interview. It was hard to watch.

    NO McBush!

    September 27, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  24. Donna Jean Richards

    Very minor comment. Remember all that Obama was put through for not wearing an American Flag lapel pin??? I heard about it & read about it for weeks, got numerous e-mails.

    WHERE WAS OUR HERO (JOHN MC CAIN's) pin ????????

    Not a word will be said. Just wondered if anyone other than my husband and myself noticed.

    September 27, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  25. AUC


    For the future not the past-

    Obama/Biden 08/12

    September 27, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
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