The Honorable John McCain

Member (AZ)
United States Senate

Biography

John McCain - Employment- Senior United States Senator (R-AZ), first elected in 1986, took the place of Sen. Barry Goldwater; Presidential candidate (2008, 2000); former United States Representative, 1st Congressional district, Arizona, elected in 1982; former Naval aviator. Special Mention- Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Armed Services; member, Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Education- Graduate, Naval Academy (1958). Personal- Father of seven and grandfather of four; married to Cindy; they live in Phoenix, Arizona.

Remarks

Thank you very much, Becky. Thank you for that very kind welcome.  I want to thank all of you for being here.  Thank you for your commitment to less government, lower taxes, a strong national defense, and securing the future of this nation. It's a great privilege and honor to be with you.

I understand you are going to honor William Buckley after my relatively brief remarks of about three to four hours.

And I would just like to say I never had the honor of knowing Mr. Buckley well.  I know his son Chris.  He's a great guy, but my parents and the Buckleys were very good friends, and when my father was Commander in Chief in the Pacific, they spent time with them. But most importantly, he was the founder of conservative thought and action in America when you really look at the enormous contributions, a lonely voice, and responsible for the success of the conservative movement in America.

There are many people who are here who are distinguished people, but I would just like to mention one person who I had the honor of meeting and knowing when I first returned from prison in North Vietnam. Still the finest and most outstanding man, of the greatest integrity, I can't say enough, the lovable Ed Meese is here.

Thank you, Ed.

Ed and Ursula are my dear friends.

I would like to just mention a few things with you and then reserve whatever time you would like for me to respond to your questions or comments or insults, depending on what it may be.

Could I just begin by saying that not only am I honored, but I am deeply humbled to have secured the nomination of the Republican Party, and I want to look you in the eye and tell you that I won't let you down, but I'd also like to say a few words about a couple other people, very briefly.  One of them is Mitt Romney.

Mitt Romney waged a hard, honorable, tough race.  I believe that Mitt Romney is a class act.  I believe he has a role to play in the future of our Republican Party, and I know you agree with me.  I was grateful for his endorsement and his continued friendship and support.

Governor Huckabee, I think brought humor.  He brought sincerity, and he brought a great deal to this Republican primary season.  I still think the greatest line in all those boring debates was when he was asked what would Jesus do, and he said, "Jesus would be smart enough not to run for public office."

I still think that that's the line of the campaigns.

And of course, my beloved friend, Fred Thompson, who I sat next to for years in the Senate, and I always thought Fred was going to be President because he's already been President three or four times in various movies and television programs, as you know.

And could I mention Rudy Giuliani, an American hero, a man who united this nation after we were attacked on 9/11.

So I am not only humbled to have received the nomination, but I am obviously very humbled to be in the company of these fine Americans.  I know that you know we have got to reunite our party, but we also have to reignite our party.  We have got to get our base moving again, and my friends, we didn't lose the 2006 election because of Iraq.  We lost the 2006 election because we let spending get out of control.  We let spending become basically the betrayal of the trust of our Republican base as being careful fiscal stewards of their tax dollars.

I won't go into all of the things.  You know them. The $3 million study of the DNA of bears in Montana, I don't know if that was a paternity issue or a criminal issue.

But it all culminated in a tipping point.  You know, in everything in life, in politics and elections and sports, there is always a tipping point.  That tipping point was when we decided we were going to spend $233 million to build a bridge to an island in Alaska with 50 people on it. I go to speak to our Republican faithful.  I mentioned the "bridge to nowhere."  They all know what it was.  They all know what it was.

So I just want to tell you right now, not only will I not tolerate earmarks, the first bill that comes across my desk with an earmark on it, I will veto it, and I will make them famous.  I will make them famous, and you will know their names.

You know very well, there are people in our own party who have been part of this process.  We have to reject it.  We have to reject it.

We need lower taxes.  We need to make the tax cuts permanent.  These are difficult times.  We have got to show compassion for the people right now that are in danger of losing their homes.

You saw the job reports this morning.  We have a lot to do, but the solutions are not big government programs and solutions.  The solution is to unleash the innovative power and entrepreneurial spirit of America by reducing their taxes, reducing regulation, allowing them to take part in what is still the strongest economy in the world and I believe will continue to be. 

Please remember that we are still the greatest exporter, the greatest importer, the greatest producer, the greatest innovator, and the strongest nation in the world, and we can get through this, but the way through it is not by designing big government programs which not only complicate the situation but delay the recovery.  Of course, we have to act, and we have to act in as compassionate a way as possible.

Let me just say again on the issue of taxes, if we don't make the tax cuts permanent, I think you know what every business and family in America is going to experience, and that is a tax increase.  That is the worst message we can send to the economy at this particular time.

I want to just mention a couple other things with you very briefly.  Judges.  I am proud to have played a role in the appointment of two of the finest judges I think that may have ever been appointed to the United States Supreme Court in Justices Alito and Roberts.

I commit to you, as I have for many years, I will appoint, nominate Judges to the United States Supreme Court who strictly interpret the Constitution of the United States and do not legislate from the bench.  

I know that you know there may be at least two new vacancies on the United States Supreme Court in the next term of the President of the United States.  I think a lot of Americans know how critical that is.

Two more issues with you very quickly; one, climate change.  I know that is an issue of controversy here.  I happen to believe that climate change is taking place, and I think that we have a nexus between eliminating our dependence on foreign oil.  Remember, we are now sending $400 billion a year, half our trade deficit, to countries that don't like us very much, and some of that money ends up in the hands of terrorist organizations.  We must eliminate our dependence on foreign oil, my friends.

It must be done, and there is the entrepreneurial and innovative capability of America.  There is wind.  There is solar.  There is nuclear power.  We have sailed ships around the world with nuclear power plants on it for 60 years, and we have never had an accident.

By the way, the French, 80 percent of their electricity is generated by nuclear power.  We always imitate the French, as you know.

The fact is you also know we now have a pro‑American President in France which shows if you live long enough, anything is possible in this world.

But I mean it, my friends.  We can have hybrid cars.  We can develop a battery that will take you 100 miles or more before it has to be plugged in again.

I am against ethanol subsidies, but the fact is that we can use alternate fuels.  The Brazilians are doing it now.

My friends, we can do this.  We can do this.  We can become independent of foreign oil and at the same time reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and on that issue, let me just say suppose that I am wrong and that climate change is not taking place, and we embrace green technologies.  The world's largest organization, General Electric, has embraced the development of green technologies.  There will be new products coming out all the time, and suppose all we have done is give our kids a cleaner world, but suppose we are right, and climate change is taking place and we do nothing.  Then, obviously, the consequences are there.

Finally, could I, before I respond to your questions, say I want to be President of the United States because we have got to fix Social Security, Medicare.  We have got to restore trust and confidence in government.  We have to secure our borders.  We must secure our borders.  It is a national security issue.

And we have to do all those things.  The reason why I am running for President of the United States is because I believe we face the transcendent challenge of the 21st century which is radical Islamic extremism, which is an evil, which is an evil that is hard for most of us to comprehend, certainly most Americans.

You may have seen a couple of weeks ago that al‑Qaeda took two mentally disabled young women, put explosive vests on them, sent them into a marketplace, and by remote control detonated those vests.  You can't get any more evil than that, my friends, and these people want to destroy everything we stand for and believe in.

And General Petraeus is right when he says that the central battleground in the struggle against radical Islamic extremism is Iraq.

Now, we are going to have a lot of differences between myself and whoever, whether it be Senator Obama or Senator Clinton:  bigger government, smaller government; higher taxes, lower taxes; health care run by the government or let the families decide.  But we are also going to be talking about national security and the future of this nation, my friends.

I believe that we will never surrender, and they will, but we have a tough struggle, and my friends, you and I understand the frustration and sorrow of the American people over the sacrifice that has been made.  But I can also look you in the eye and tell you the surge is succeeding with one of the greatest generals we have had in America's history.

And if we declare a date for withdrawal, that will be a date for surrender, and al‑Qaeda will tell the world that they have defeated us, and we will be back because the region will descend into chaos and genocide, and the same holds true of Afghanistan.  We must win in Afghanistan.

There's a lot of things I could talk to you about, but the Taliban and al‑Qaeda will make a comeback if we lose in Afghanistan as well.  What I am saying is we live in dangerous times, and there is a lot going on, including in our own hemisphere as you well know, but the transcendent challenge of the 21st century is obviously the struggle against radical Islamic extremism.

If I could just conclude by telling you that as you know, there were several times that some of the experts said that our political campaign was dead.  At times, I was reminded of the words of Chairman Mao who said, "It is always darkest before it is totally black."

But with this surge and when they said that I couldn't succeed because of it, I said and I have said a thousand times, I would much rather lose a campaign than lose a war, and all these things are put in perspective.

Every once in a while, we have an experience, and that happened to me in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, a town hall meeting.  A woman stood up and said, "Senator McCain, would you do me the honor of wearing a bracelet with my son's name on it, Matthew Stanley?"  Matthew is 22 years old.  He was killed in combat outside of Baghdad just before Christmas last year.  I said, "I'd be honored to wear this bracelet with his name on it," and then she said, "Senator McCain, I just want you to promise me one thing.  Will you promise me that you will do everything in your power to make sure that my son's death was not in vain?"

My friends, that obviously puts everything in the proper perspective in our ambitions and in our lives, and I want to be President because I believe our greatest days are ahead of us.

When I first met Ed Meese, I had come out of an unpleasant experience where even the names of Ronald and Nancy Reagan had filtered into our prison cells. Things were pretty tough in those days, as many of us remember. But he had a vision and he had an optimism, and I intend to make sure that Americans return to that hope and optimism that he instilled in us.

I don't claim to be anywhere near his talents or his strength, but I do claim that America's greatest days are ahead of us, and I believe we are still a shining city on a hill.

Thank you for having me today, and I would love to respond to any questions or comments that you might have.

ATTENDEE:  Senator McCain, we appreciate your coming.  I have listened to the talk from the very beginning, critically, all the way to the end, and what I am looking for would be where is the third leg in the Reagan stool?

As we honor Ed Meese and this room is full of the Reaganites, how do you plan to connect to those millions of social conservatives that have not heard one word today on your position on that?  So how will you convince us of that?

SENATOR McCAIN:  Well, first of all, sir, one, I will stand on my record.  That's probably the first place to investigate, and that is my record in 24 years of pro‑life voting and advocacy for the rights of the unborn in many, many ways because I believe the noblest words written are that all of us are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, and among these are life.  And I believe that is the unborn as well as the born.

And I do respect ‑‑ I know what it's like to lose one's rights.  So I will continue to advocate for that.

I am proud to have led an effort in my homestate to change our State constitution to protect the sanctity of marriage between man and woman.

So I will be standing on my record.  I was asked to speak as briefly as possible, and I apologize for that, but I will stand on my record.  I will continue to advocate for those fundamental principles of our party and our faith.  I thank you.

ATTENDEE:  Senator McCain, as President, could you outline to us what measures you would take to protect our southern border?

SENATOR McCAIN:  Yes, sir.  We would have to obviously secure our borders first, and I would have the border State governor certify that their borders are secure.

I come from a State where the borders are not secure, as you know, and we have paid a very heavy price for that.

Americans want the borders secured first, so that we don't have a repetition of what we did in 1986.  We didn't secure the borders.  We took care of the issue, and now there's more.

I was disappointed in the failure of this last contract of the, quote, "virtual fence."  I think you have to build walls in certain areas.  I think you have to have UAVs, sensors, cameras, vehicle barriers, depending on where it is.  Populated areas, you have to have walls, and they have to be manned, and we have to have a lot more border patrol.

After we have secured the borders, then we can move forward with tamper‑proof biometric ID cards for temporary workers, and anyone who hires someone that doesn't have that, including an electronic employment verification system, would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

But I'll also tell you these are God's children, and we are going to handle it in a humane fashion, but with a principle that no one who came here illegally would have any precedence over someone who either came legally or waited legally for a chance to become a citizen of this country.

ATTENDEE:  Senator, Americans on the left, the center, and the right, to a large extent, have lost confidence in what politicians say, their promises.  What comfort level can you give conservatives that if you were fortunate enough to move into the White House next January that, to a large extent, conservatives would come into the White House with you? We as conservatives believe personnel as policy.

SENATOR McCAIN:  Well, I can say again and I don't mean to be repetitious, but one is my record.  Second is the vision and the promise I make to the American people, and third, I think is an articulation of the challenges that we face and the remedies which are based on fundamental conservative principles and values that I would pursue to address these challenges, whether it be the burgeoning deficit, out‑of‑control spending, growth in the size of government or fixing a broken Social Security and Medicare system. Also, obviously, the ability, knowledge, background and experience which leads to having the judgment to address the national security challenges that we face.

I think it is all about now we are into campaigns, and I will proudly stand on my record, but I also have to articulate a strong and conservative vision for the future of this country.

I am pleased with the way that the party has been coming together.  I don't have to tell anybody in this room.  Primaries are tough.  In some ways, they are tougher than general elections because sometimes it pits friend against friend, but I am really very proud of the way that all of my opponents have come together and the way that we are joined together, but we have to reenergize our party.

Life is full of experiences.  I will never forget in 2004, traveling across northern Florida with President Bush on a bus.  It was pouring down rain.  People were standing at the side of the road with signs, jumping up and down in the rain.  That is the enthusiasm you have to have from your base if you are going to win elections because we have to have people who are willing to make the phone calls, put up the yard signs, do the things that win elections.

And one of my jobs is not only to articulate that vision, but reenergize, and one of them is a promise, as I said, to bring the spending under control, among other things.

ATTENDEE:  Senator, we are from Ohio, and in 2004, many say that the marriage amendment made the difference for Bush.

This coming election, you are going to have ‑‑ Florida is already on the ballot.  Arizona is more than likely going to be on the ballot, and California.  Will you openly support the marriage amendments in those three States?

SENATOR McCAIN:  Yes, sir.  And as I say, I am proud to have been the honorary chairman of our effort last time, which was narrowly defeated, as you know, because there was a misinterpretation of the language, and we are going to clear that up.  I think we can win it this time.

ATTENDEE:  I was wondering.  Very often in talking about energizing the base, part of the party likes to say to heck with those social conservatives.  That is the group that was characterized or mischaracterized by Governor Huckabee as the "Club for Greed," but if given the choice between either the deep pockets that I don't think are going to vote for your most liberal colleague, Mr. Obama, or your seventh most liberal colleague, Senator Clinton, would you be willing to give a full consideration to someone such as Governor Huckabee or Senator Thompson who came out of the social right into the party?  And maybe we might have to let the economists figure out where their wallets are going to be voting anyway.

Thank you.

SENATOR McCAIN:  Yes, sir.  But I think the ‑‑ obviously, those are outstanding individuals.  Could I just mention the obvious fact that it was just Tuesday.  It wasn't that long ago. So we are trying to set up a process to try to ‑‑ how you consider people and go forward with this process, and obviously, I think the prime criteria for any selection is not regional.  It is not any other basis except for the person who shares your vision, your views, your principles, and your priorities.

We all know that one of the hardest things for a President of the United States is set priorities, and by the way, I still applaud the President of the United States for trying to fix Social Security after the 2004 elections.

And I'd like to make one other comment, after being with him in the White House.  Again, I think he deserves a little credit for the fact that there has not been another attack on the United States of America since 9/11.

ATTENDEE:  Senator McCain, you have said that radical Islam is one of the greatest threats we face.

SENATOR McCAIN:  I think it is the greatest.  Yes, ma'am.

ATTENDEE:  I appreciate that, and I wanted to know as President, we are also facing that threat within the United States of those people who are being enticed into another world view.  How as President would you address this?

SENATOR McCAIN:  The challenge is military intelligence, diplomatic, and cyberspace.

Right now, Osama bin Laden from some obscure place in the world is able to get a message out that reaches billions of people where he instructs, motivates, and recruits people to his evil cause.

My friends, this battle ‑‑ we won the cold war, as you well know, not with a tank battle on the plains of Germany.  We won the cold war because we won the ideological struggle.  We are going to have to do a great deal more on the ideological front.

We have got to counter these messages of hate, and by the way, also child pornography, it is a huge problem in America and in the world, and I hope all of us would devote some of our attention to that.

This is a message that they are successfully using the latest technologies, including, by the way, communications with one another.  Why in the world we haven't passed that Terrorist Surveillance Act is absolutely beyond me.

So we are going to have to join, the same way Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, and other means of communications that the people who were behind the Iron Curtain said after it failed, said, "We listened to Radio Free Europe.  You gave us hope.  You gave us ‑‑ we heard when Ronald Reagan said take down this wall." 

So we are going to have to do a much better job on that side of this struggle, and we are going to have to get the smartest people in America to help us in that ideological struggle.

ATTENDEE:  Senator McCain, our organization speaks to young people of faith, and one of the things that we found when we were in Iowa traipsing around in the 25‑degree‑below weather was that there were tons and tons of young people are energized to come out and vote.

There was one young person from Patrick Henry College, and he called me that night, and he said that there are normally about 80 people at that small caucus in Johnson, Ohio.  There were over 500 people waiting to get in the door.

And what we found in Iowa is young people are really energized.  We are seeing in Alabama that 58,000 new young people have registered to vote.

The challenge for the Republican Party that I see is how do we reach these young people now?  The media is telling them they are in the hands of the Democrats.  We are talking about limited government and lower taxes.  They are concerned about how they are going to get through school, how they are going to pay for health care, how they are going to have a decent job when they get out, is Social Security going to be available.

How do we reach that challenge, Senator McCain, of reaching young people and engaging them?  They are going to be such a critical part of this vote as we come to 2008.

SENATOR McCAIN:  Go to the venues that they pay attention to, to start with, including the Internet where they are getting most of their information and their views shaped.  Present them with the proposal and a vision, proposals and vision that will give them the best opportunity to go as far as their ambitions will take them, and that has to do with limited government.  And as soon as they start paying taxes, they will understand a lot better, as you know.  Help them to understand that the most expensive thing in America could be free health care.

And again, I do think we have a model for this.  I think we all admit that President Reagan was not perfect, but he was able in both '80 and '84 to mobilize and motivate millions of young Americans to our conservative cause, and I think that we ought to take a page from that book.

ATTENDEE:  Senator, my son went to the Naval Academy and is a helicopter pilot.  He's been in Iraq, and he's in the Gulf.  His younger brother died of leukemia, two years ago.  I just want to take this opportunity that if we lose another son, don't let me be for nothing, you know.  Whack those SOBs.

SENATOR McCAIN:  Thank you, sir.

As I think you may know, I have two sons in the military, and one is at the Naval Academy, and I was very, very worried about him because for a while, he had no demerits, and he couldn't have been a son of mine.  I almost did a DNA check on him.

Thank you for your son's service.  Thank him for me, and our heart goes out to you for your loss, and thank you and God bless, and our prayers are with you.  Thank you, sir.

ATTENDEE:  Thank you, Senator, for this opportunity.

I have a suggestion that I think you might find very helpful in the health care debate which I find from the public sector is really dominated by Hillary's health care plan.

Who on your staff, either campaign or advisory, would you tell me to talk to, so that they may relay it to you?

SENATOR McCAIN:  There is a gentleman right back there in the back, and I will have him see you as soon as this meeting is over.  Thank you.

But I would say that we are going to have that great debate, and it is whether families will make the choices or whether the government will make the choices for the family.

We have the best, highest quality health care in the world in America, and the key to it is to keep the inflation under control.  It is the cost of health care my friends, and affordability and availability.  It is not the quality of health care.

ATTENDEE:  I just want to pass along something that may be helpful in your campaign to woo conservatives to your support.

There's rumors floating around from Indiana, a lot of relatives up in Michigan, and rumors floating around up there that if Obama should be elected President of the United States, God forbid, but he would make a deal with Hillary to put her on the first vacancy on the Supreme Court.

I can't think of anything that would generate more support from conservatives than that thought.

SENATOR McCAIN:  Let me just say that I had not heard any of that.  Campaigns abound with rumors.

Let me just repeat to you what I said.  I will have a respectful debate with either Senator Obama or Senator Clinton.  Americans want a respectful debate, but there will be stark differences in our views.  They are liberal Democrats, and I am a conservative Republican.  And I will debate those in a respectful fashion, and I think Americans would like to have that.

ATTENDEE:  I was very appreciative of your mentioning the importance of priorities.

One of the things that I am quite concerned about is that we do not have national leaders who have said anything about the fact that almost 40 percent of the nation's children are born out of wedlock.

The ramifications of that fact affect our schools.  It affects our communities.  It affects so many aspects of our culture that I would like to see the bully pulpit used to change the attitude toward marriage and to change the attitude toward having children out of wedlock.

SENATOR McCAIN:  Yes, ma'am.  And I think the same comment that you made applies to the rights of the unborn as well.  We have to work to change the culture in America to respect the rights of the unborn.  That is the way we will ultimately succeed.  I agree with you.

ATTENDEE:  Senator, thank you.  My question concerns the law of the Sea Treaty.

I have been dismayed by the President's support for that and, as a Navy veteran myself, dismayed by the Navy's support for that because it seems such an obvious threat to American sovereignty, not the least of which is the recent case in California where the court said that the Navy had to stop using sonar because it might hurt the eardrums of some seals and whales.

As a son and grandson of two of the most distinguished flag officers we've had and as a career Navy man yourself, will you give us your clear and unequivocal position on that treaty?

SENATOR McCAIN:  I think it has to be renegotiated.  I think there's some vulnerabilities associated with it.  I think all of us would like to see coherence, so that some countries who claim 3 miles, some 200 miles, et cetera, and clearly, there has to be some coherence, but I am afraid that this treaty gives up too much of American sovereignty.

I would be glad to hear your response, but I think you would agree that some coherence concerning the use of the oceans, the seas, et cetera, is a good thing.  It's just that this isn't the right solution to it.

ATTENDEE:  A lot of us are broadcasters here, and thank you very much for co-sponsoring the bill last year prohibiting the reinstatement of the so‑called "Fairness Doctrine."

And we feel that you will continue that opposition to this abridgement of free speech.

SENATOR McCAIN:  Yes, sir.  If you impose the Fairness Doctrine ‑‑ and I am sure everybody knows what it is ‑‑ the opposing point of view is required to be broadcast if someone articulates a point of view on a policy or an issue or a campaign.

My friends, that will be the end of talk radio.  That will be the end of a lot of cable shows.  Some of that may not be all bad.

But the fact is it will have a chilling effect, and I would say that it would be one of the greatest blows to freedom of speech ever through the media that we could inflict, and you can count on my steadfast opposition to an imposition of the badly named, quote, "Fairness Doctrine."

ATTENDEE:  Many of the issues that CNP folks are concerned about have their origin in where children are educated and who gets control of that process.

What can you tell us about your plan and your views for school choice that would allow other entities to own and operate schools?

SENATOR McCAIN:  Well, first of all, we need to fix No Child Left Behind.  It was a good beginning.  It was a great beginning, and people want to scrap it.  I think we ought to fix it, and I think there are fixes that can be made, rather than go back to where we were before President Bush was the prime mover behind No Child Left Behind.

Look, I just believe in choice and competition.  Cindy and I had the choice of sending a couple of our children to Catholic school in Phoenix.  I am not Catholic, but it was the best school, best education we could give our children.  We had that choice because we had the money.  Why in the world shouldn't every parent in America have that same choice?  

I am sure there are some people here from Arizona who will tell you that charter schools work in my home state of Arizona.  They provide competition to the public schools.  That is what improves the quality of both charter schools and public schools.

And by the way, I think many of you may have heard that there was a recent decision in San Francisco, a court decision in San Francisco which I think is outrageous which would, for all intents and purposes, outlaw homeschooling.  That would be a terrible thing.

If parents want to homeschool their children, they should be able to do that.

ATTENDEE:  Senator McCain, would you please take a couple minutes and explain to us about your faith in God?

SENATOR McCAIN:  Well, let me just say that it is an important factor in my life, obviously very important.

Let me just tell you a brief story.  When I was in prison in Vietnam, one of the things that the North Vietnamese used to do was to take ropes and tie them very tightly around your biceps and pull them back and loop the rope around your head and pull your head down between your legs.  As you can imagine, it was very uncomfortable.

And one night, I was in that position in an interrogation room, and about midnight, a guard came in who I had never talked to before.  I had seen him.  He was what we call a "gun guard."  I never had anything to do with him.  He just walked around the camp with a gun, with a rifle, and he put his fingers to his lips, and he loosened the ropes that I was tied up in, and about four hours later, he came back and he tightened up the ropes again.  Obviously, it was the end of his watch, and never said a word, obviously.

That following Christmas Day, because it was Christmas Day, the Vietnamese allowed us separately ‑‑ in these days, we were kept in solitary confinement or two or three to a room ‑‑ to stand outside of my cell for a few minutes, and so I was standing outside there.  It was a dirt courtyard, and who comes walking over but the same guy, the same gun guard.  He stood next to me, and with his sandal in the dirt, he drew a cross in the dirt.  He stood there for a minute, and then he erased it and walked away.

The moral of that story is very obvious, and he is the one person that I wanted to see again from my experiences, but I believe there's always somebody and somehow that when things are pretty tough that you have to rely on, and I will always think of him as that kind of assistance that comes in times of need.

MODERATOR:  Senator, I am afraid that we are out of time.

SENATOR McCAIN:  All right.  I'm sorry.  We only had 50 more questions here to answer.

Could I say finally, I thank you for your commitment to America.  I thank you for your commitment to this nation maintaining the status as the greatest nation in the world.  We are all committed.  Thank you for your active participation.  This is a wonderful place to visit, and I am glad you are here, but I know everybody in this room had something else to do besides be here today.  But you are here because we love America, and we believe in it.

Thank you very much.  Thank you for having me.

MODERATOR:  Thank you, Senator.

Return to the Policy Counsel Home Page