Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Thank you. Thank you, Florida Republicans, for bringing a former Florida resident across the finish line first in -- as I have been repeatedly reminded lately -- an all Republican primary. I have always loved this beautiful state, from the time I was a young naval aviator learning my trade in Pensacola to the time I commanded the largest air squadron in the United States Navy at Cecil Field. Most of all, I have always been indebted to Florida friends and neighbors in Orange Park for taking such good care of my family while I was away on a longer than expected tour of duty. Florida has always been a special place to me, and it is all the more so tonight. Our victory might not have reached landslide proportions, but it is sweet nonetheless. And I am deeply grateful to everyone who worked so hard to make it happen.
Time will only allow me to thank a few of our Florida supporters by name, but to everyone who, in good times and bad, devoted so much time, energy and hope to keeping our candidacy competitive, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Thank you, of course, to the great governor of Florida, Charlie Crist; to my dear friend, Senator Mel Martinez; to Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen; Congressmen Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart; Representative Marcelo Llorente; Commissioner Mildred Fernandez; Representative Adam Hasner; Senator Durell Peaden; Representative Bogdanoff and Council President Durell Davis. And thank you so much to our tremendous statewide volunteer leadership who stuck with us for eighteen long, very long months.
And as always, I want to thank my family for their extraordinary support and encouragement: my wife Cindy, daughter Meghan and son, Doug, who are here, and my children who are not here. It is obvious to me, as it should be to everyone, that I could not have done this without you.
This was a hard fought election, and worth fighting hard for, but I've been on the other side of such contests before, and experienced the disappointment. I offer my best wishes to Governor Romney and his supporters. You fought hard for your candidate, and the margin that separated us tonight surely isn't big enough for me to brag about or for you to despair. Governor Huckabee and his supporters, as always, brought to this campaign conviction and passion and something we don't always have enough of in these contests, good humor and grace. And I want to thank, my dear friend, Rudy Giuliani, who invested his heart and soul in this primary, and who conducted himself with all the qualities of the exceptional American leader he truly is. Thank you, for all you have added to this race, and for being an inspiration to me and millions of Americans.
My friends, in one week we will have as close to a national primary as we have ever had in this country. I intend to win it, and be the nominee of our party. And I intend to do that by making it clear what I stand for. I stand for the principles and policies that first attracted me to the Republican Party when I heard, in whispered conversations and tap codes, about the then Governor of California, who stood by me and my comrades, and who was making quite a reputation for standing by his convictions no matter the changing winds of political thought and popular culture. When I left the Navy and entered public life, I enlisted as a foot soldier in the political revolution he began. And I am as proud to be a Reagan conservative today, as I was then. I trust in the courage, good sense, resourcefulness and decency of the American people, who deserve a government that trusts in their qualities as well, and doesn't abrogate to its elf the responsibilities to do for the people what the people can and want to do for themselves.
We Republicans have always known that the first responsibility of government is to keep this country safe from all enemies foreign and domestic, and the American people unburdened by the heavy hand of government that spends too much of their money on things they neither want nor need, while failing to do as well as we should the things none of us can do individually. Government must defend our nation's security wisely and effectively, because the cost of our defense is so dear to us, measured in losses so hard to bear, and in the heartbreak of so many families. Government must respect our values because they are the true source of our strength; and enforce the rule, which distinguishes successful democracies from failed societies, and is the first defense of freedom. And the judges we appoint to federal benches must understand that is their only responsibility, and leave to elected officials their responsibility to make the laws that they enforce. We believe government should do only those things we cannot do individually, to tax us no more than necessary, and spend no more than necessary, and then get out of the way of the most industrious, ingenious and optimistic people in the history of the world so that they can build an even greater country than the one they inherited.
My friends, as I said the other week in South Carolina, there is nothing in our country that is inevitable. We can overcome any challenge as long as we keep our courage, and stand by the principles that have made our party and our country great. Our party has always been successful when we have, like Ronald Reagan, stood fast by our convictions. And we have only suffered when our allegiance to our principles has not been as steadfast as it should. I intend to make my stand on those principles, and I am confident we will succeed in this contest and in the bigger one in November against anyone the Democratic Party nominates.
Most importantly, I promise you again, I will always put America -- her strength, her ideals, her future -- before every other consideration.
Tonight, my friends, we celebrate. Tomorrow it's back to work. We have a ways to go, but we are getting close, and for that you all have my profound thanks. Goodnight and God bless you.
Monday, January 28, 2008
“Mr. McCain has proved himself a leader over decades, in the military and then in Congress. He has a strong grasp of public policy, especially national security and foreign affairs. But he has made a name for himself in his willingness to buck the powers that be in Washington, D.C. — including leaders in his own party and powerful special interests — for such causes as campaign-finance reform and responsible budgeting.
In this primary campaign, Mr. McCain has stuck by politically risky positions in favor of immigration reform and mandatory steps to fight global warming. His opposition to federal ethanol subsidies and support for phasing out all farm subsidies probably cost him any chance to win the Iowa caucuses.
Mr. McCain’s rejection of subsidies is rooted in his commitment to free trade, a key issue for Florida. Trade supports hundreds of thousands of jobs here and generates billions of dollars in sales for state companies and farmers.
As last week’s presidential debate in Boca Raton showed, Mr. McCain is not the most polished Republican candidate on the stump. That title goes to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. But Mr. Romney’s evolution in recent years from a moderate to a conservative better aligned with GOP presidential primary voters raises doubts about his core beliefs and commitment to principle.
Like Mr. Romney, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee have executive governing experience that Mr. McCain lacks. But none measures up to Mr. McCain’s level of leadership, political courage and integrity.”http://blogs4mccain.com/
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Published January 25, 2008
Florida Republicans have an opportunity Tuesday to provide some clarity in a muddled presidential primary. With a win here, John McCain would build on his victories in New Hampshire and South Carolina and become the clear front-runner heading into the many contests on Feb. 5. The Arizona senator offers the best hope among the Republicans to bring change to the White House and restore America's reputation in the world.
In some respects, McCain is a throwback. At a time when most Americans are rarely asked to sacrifice for their country, his heroic survival for more than five years of torture and isolation in Vietnam prison camps still stirs the soul. While other candidates switch positions based on opinion polls and focus groups, he sticks to his convictions regardless of the political price. McCain is as genuine and unvarnished as some of his competitors are programmed and polished.
While McCain has spent 25 years in Congress, he regularly has challenged conventional political thinking and the Republican establishment. He has told corn-fed Iowans he does not support farm subsidies, Michigan voters that all of the lost jobs in auto plants aren't coming back and Floridians that he does not support a national catastrophe fund to lower property insurance rates. He successfully fought the Republican leadership to bring about campaign finance reform. For years, he has been one of the nation's strongest critics of pork-barrel spending and the abuse of earmarks in the federal budget. Refusing to pander for votes and sticking to his convictions are among McCain's greatest strengths.
That does not mean McCain is unable to reach across party lines, which would be essential for a Republican president dealing with a Congress controlled by Democrats. He has worked with Senate Democrats over the years on issues ranging from HMO regulation to embryonic stem cell research. He was a key member of the so-called "Gang of 14," a bipartisan group of senators that brokered an end to a deadlock over President Bush's judicial appointments. His ability to transcend partisanship and his personal integrity enhances his appeal among independent voters who were critical to his early primary wins.
Only Republicans will vote in Florida's primary, and McCain's biggest challenge remains winning over conservative voters in his own party. Many of those voters remain angry over his lack of emphasis of social issues and his support of comprehensive immigration reform and caps on greenhouse gas emissions. They forget that McCain's overall voting record is more conservative than his maverick reputation suggests - and that immigration and global warming will be high on the next president's agenda.
We have our own disagreements with McCain on some significant issues. He opposes abortion rights, although he does not make that the centerpiece of his campaign. He now says President Bush's tax cuts should be made permanent, but we agree that the alternative minimum tax meant for the wealthy and now targeting the middle class is unfair. McCain also has consistently supported the war in Iraq, where we see little hope of a positive outcome. Instead of suggesting a timetable for withdrawing American troops, he talks about reducing casualties and suggests our troops could have a significant presence there for years to come.
But McCain also was an early critic of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's mismanagement of the war. He regularly called for additional troops, and the Bush administration's surge has reduced the violence even if it has not produced the political changes vital to Iraq's future and our departure. The former prisoner of war also knows something about torture, and he has stood up to the administration and called the waterboarding of suspected terrorists during interrogations what it is: torture. Such straight talk is rare in Washington, and McCain is more of a clear-eyed realist than any of the other Republican candidates.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani virtually set up housekeeping here and made Florida the key to his entire campaign. But he has offered little beyond recounting his 9/11 experiences, a hurricane catastrophe fund plan that lacks specifics, massive tax cuts and an extension of the Bush administration. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee cannot distinguish public service from his personal religious beliefs as a former Baptist preacher. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney helped steer his state toward universal health care, but he has backtracked on that commitment as a presidential candidate. He has switched positions on so many issues in an unsuccessful attempt to rebuild the Reagan coalition that it is unclear whether he has any core beliefs.
McCain has not compromised his values, but that does not mean he is inflexible. He rebuilt his campaign after it almost collapsed last year, bloated with consultants and nearly broke. After losing the 2000 South Carolina primary to Bush, he spent eight years cultivating relationships that contributed to his victory there this year. He continues to support broad immigration reform despite last year's failed attempt, but he now concedes the borders must be secured before the public debate can refocus on a more comprehensive effort.
At 71, the white-haired McCain is not the typical face of change. He has the resume of a government insider. But his honor, integrity and independence set him apart. Among the Republicans, he represents the best opportunity for changing the culture in Washington, repairing our reputation in the world and rebuilding the trust many Americans have lost in their government. The Times recommends John McCain in Tuesday's Republican primary.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Governor Romney has made a habit of making inaccurate claims about his record throughout this race, but ironically you don’t even have to go back that far to see that Governor Romney is not a fiscal conservative. First, he supported farm and ethanol subsidies in Iowa. Senator McCain was considered politically crazy for not pandering to Iowans and stated his opposition to farm and ethanol subsidies relaying his dedication to free trade principles. In Michigan Governor Romney offered voters a $20 billion bailout to the auto industry, not something a fiscal conservative would do. Senator McCain instead told the truth that many of these jobs are not coming back, and offered a retraining program for displaced workers. Now that the race is headed down to Florida Governor Romney is offering incentives to the elderly. Governor Romney’s claim of being conservative is not only a turn-around from his record in Massachusetts, they’re a turn-around from statements he made just a few weeks ago.
Now the Governor is criticizing Senator McCain’s position on the Bush Tax Cuts. Senator McCain has clearly stated that he wanted spending cuts to accompany tax cuts, and if you look at his record and the record of congress over the last eight years its clear that there has been a massive government spending problem that he has battled against. He supports extending the tax cuts because a repeal would be practically the same as a tax increase, which he has never supported. That is a fiscal conservative. Now Governor Romney is offering a huge economic stimulus package the dwarfs President Bush’s. That is not a good thing, and not a conservative thing, that money has to come from somewhere, which in the end means it comes from the voters pockets. Senator McCain instead offers a series of corporate tax breaks, and tax incentives for start-up businesses and for research and development. Choosing to focus on stimulating growth and ingenuity over massive bailouts. The beauty and the frustration of running against a candidate such as Governor Romney whose rhetoric doesn’t match his record is that there is plenty of documentation to show what his record really is. So feel free to not believe me just check the record, and learn for yourself that this newly dubbed ‘economy candidate’ looks a lot like a Liberal.
Original Post A Matter of Economics and A Matter of Record
Thursday, January 24, 2008
"Senator John McCain has served our country with honor in war and in peace. He has demonstrated the type of courageous leadership our country sorely needs at this time. For that reason, he has my complete support."
John McCain thanked General Schwarzkopf for his support, stating, "General Norman Schwarzkopf's distinguished lifetime of service and uncommon devotion to our nation has earned him the respect and admiration of the American people. I am honored by his support."