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The Repulcian Convention - The Acceptance speech of SSEnator McCain - History

The Repulcian Convention - The Acceptance speech of SSEnator McCain - History

Republican National Convention September 1-4 2008 Thank you all very much. Tonight, I have a privilege given few Americans -- the privilege of accepting our partys nomination for President of the United States. And I accept it with gratitude, humility and confidence.
Governor Sarah PalinIn my life, no success has come without a good fight, and this nomination wasnt any different. Thats a tribute to the candidates who opposed me and their supporters. Theyre leaders of great ability, who love our country, and wished to lead it to better days. Their support is an honor I wont forget.
Im grateful to the President for leading us in those dark days following the worst attack on American soil in our history, and keeping us safe from another attack many thought was inevitable; and to the First Lady, Laura Bush, a model of grace and kindness in public and in private. And Im grateful to the 41st President and his bride of 63 years, and for their outstanding example of honorable service to our country.
As always, Im indebted to my wife, Cindy, and my seven children. The pleasures of family life can seem like a brief holiday from the crowded calendar of our nations business. But I have treasured them all the more, and cant imagine a life without the happiness you give me. Cindy said a lot of nice things about me tonight. But, in truth, shes more my inspiration than I am hers. Her concern for those less blessed than we are - victims of land mines, children born in poverty and with birth defects - shows the measure of her humanity. I know she will make a great First Lady.
When I was growing up, my father was often at sea, and the job of raising my brother, sister and me would fall to my mother alone. Roberta McCain gave us her love of life, her deep interest in the world, her strength, and her belief we are all meant to use our opportunities to make ourselves useful to our country. I wouldnt be here tonight but for the strength of her character.
My heartfelt thanks to all of you, who helped me win this nomination, and stood by me when the odds were long. I wont let you down. To Americans who have yet to decide who to vote for, thank you for your consideration and the opportunity to win your trust. I intend to earn it.
Finally, a word to Senator Obama and his supporters. Well go at it over the next two months. Thats the nature of these contests, and there are big differences between us. But you have my respect and admiration. Despite our differences, much more unites us than divides us. We are fellow Americans, an association that means more to me than any other. Were dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal and endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights. No country ever had a greater cause than that. And I wouldnt be an American worthy of the name if I didnt honor Senator Obama and his supporters for their achievement.
But let there be no doubt, my friends, were going to win this election. And after weve won, were going to reach out our hand to any willing patriot, make this government start working for you again, and get this country back on the road to prosperity and peace.
These are tough times for many of you. Youre worried about keeping your job or finding a new one, and are struggling to put food on the table and stay in your home. All you ever asked of government is to stand on your side, not in your way. And thats just what I intend to do: stand on your side and fight for your future.
And Ive found just the right partner to help me shake up Washington, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. She has executive experience and a real record of accomplishment. Shes tackled tough problems like energy independence and corruption. Shes balanced a budget, cut taxes, and taken on the special interests. Shes reached across the aisle and asked Republicans, Democrats and Independents to serve in her administration. Shes the mother of five children. Shes helped run a small business, worked with her hands and knows what its like to worry about mortgage payments and health care and the cost of gasoline and groceries.
She knows where she comes from and she knows who she works for. She stands up for whats right, and she doesnt let anyone tell her to sit down. Im very proud to have introduced our next Vice President to the country. But I cant wait until I introduce her to Washington. And let me offer an advance warning to the old, big spending, do nothing, me first, country second Washington crowd: change is coming.
Im not in the habit of breaking promises to my country and neither is Governor Palin. And when we tell you were going to change Washington, and stop leaving our countrys problems for some unluckier generation to fix, you can count on it. Weve got a record of doing just that, and the strength, experience, judgment and backbone to keep our word to you.
You know, Ive been called a maverick; someone who marches to the beat of his own drum. Sometimes its meant as a compliment and sometimes its not. What it really means is I understand who I work for. I dont work for a party. I dont work for a special interest. I dont work for myself. I work for you.
Ive fought corruption, and it didnt matter if the culprits were Democrats or Republicans. They violated their public trust, and had to be held accountable. Ive fought big spenders in both parties, who waste your money on things you neither need nor want, while you struggle to buy groceries, fill your gas tank and make your mortgage payment. Ive fought to get million dollar checks out of our elections. Ive fought lobbyists who stole from Indian tribes. I fought crooked deals in the Pentagon. I fought tobacco companies and trial lawyers, drug companies and union bosses.
I fought for the right strategy and more troops in Iraq, when it wasnt a popular thing to do. And when the pundits said my campaign was finished, I said Id rather lose an election than see my country lose a war.
Thanks to the leadership of a brilliant general, David Petraeus, and the brave men and women he has the honor to command, that strategy succeeded and rescued us from a defeat that would have demoralized our military, risked a wider war and threatened the security of all Americans.
I dont mind a good fight. For reasons known only to God, Ive had quite a few tough ones in my life. But I learned an important lesson along the way. In the end, it matters less that you can fight. What you fight for is the real test.
I fight for Americans. I fight for you. I fight for Bill and Sue Nebe from Farmington Hills, Michigan, who lost their real estate investments in the bad housing market. Bill got a temporary job after he was out of work for seven months. Sue works three jobs to help pay the bills.
I fight for Jake and Toni Wimmer of Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Jake works on a loading dock; coaches Little League, and raises money for the mentally and physically disabled. Toni is a schoolteacher, working toward her Masters Degree. They have two sons, the youngest, Luke, has been diagnosed with autism. Their lives should matter to the people they elect to office. They matter to me.
I fight for the family of Matthew Stanley of Wolfboro, New Hampshire, who died serving our country in Iraq. I wear his bracelet and think of him every day. I intend to honor their sacrifice by making sure the country their son loved so well and never returned to, remains safe from its enemies.
I fight to restore the pride and principles of our party. We were elected to change Washington, and we let Washington change us. We lost the trust of the American people when some Republicans gave in to the temptations of corruption. We lost their trust when rather than reform government, both parties made it bigger. We lost their trust when instead of freeing ourselves from a dangerous dependence on foreign oil, both parties and Senator Obama passed another corporate welfare bill for oil companies. We lost their trust, when we valued our power over our principles.
Were going to change that. Were going to recover the peoples trust by standing up again for the values Americans admire. The party of Lincoln, Roosevelt and Reagan is going to get back to basics.
We believe everyone has something to contribute and deserves the opportunity to reach their God-given potential from the boy whose descendents arrived on the Mayflower to the Latina daughter of migrant workers. Were all Gods children and were all Americans.
We believe in low taxes; spending discipline, and open markets. We believe in rewarding hard work and risk takers and letting people keep the fruits of their labor.
We believe in a strong defense, work, faith, service, a culture of life, personal responsibility, the rule of law, and judges who dispense justice impartially and dont legislate from the bench. We believe in the values of families, neighborhoods and communities.
We believe in a government that unleashes the creativity and initiative of Americans. Government that doesnt make your choices for you, but works to make sure you have more choices to make for yourself.
I will keep taxes low and cut them where I can. My opponent will raise them. I will open new markets to our goods and services. My opponent will close them. I will cut government spending. He will increase it.
My tax cuts will create jobs. His tax increases will eliminate them. My health care plan will make it easier for more Americans to find and keep good health care insurance. His plan will force small businesses to cut jobs, reduce wages, and force families into a government run health care system where a bureaucrat stands between you and your doctor.
Keeping taxes low helps small businesses grow and create new jobs. Cutting the second highest business tax rate in the world will help American companies compete and keep jobs from moving overseas. Doubling the child tax exemption from $3500 to $7000 will improve the lives of millions of American families. Reducing government spending and getting rid of failed programs will let you keep more of your own money to save, spend and invest as you see fit. Opening new markets and preparing workers to compete in the world economy is essential to our future prosperity.
I know some of you have been left behind in the changing economy and it often seems your government hasnt even noticed. Government assistance for unemployed workers was designed for the economy of the 1950s. Thats going to change on my watch. My opponent promises to bring back old jobs by wishing away the global economy. Were going to help workers whove lost a job that wont come back, find a new one that wont go away.
We will prepare them for the jobs of today. We will use our community colleges to help train people for new opportunities in their communities. For workers in industries that have been hard hit, we'll help make up part of the difference in wages between their old job and a temporary, lower paid one while they receive retraining that will help them find secure new employment at a decent wage.
Education is the civil rights issue of this century. Equal access to public education has been gained. But what is the value of access to a failing school? We need to shake up failed school bureaucracies with competition, empower parents with choice, remove barriers to qualified instructors, attract and reward good teachers, and help bad teachers find another line of work.
When a public school fails to meet its obligations to students, parents deserve a choice in the education of their children. And I intend to give it to them. Some may choose a better public school. Some may choose a private one. Many will choose a charter school. But they will have that choice and their children will have that opportunity.
Senator Obama wants our schools to answer to unions and entrenched bureaucracies. I want schools to answer to parents and students. And when Im President, they will.
My fellow Americans, when Im President, were going to embark on the most ambitious national project in decades. We are going to stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that dont like us very much. We will attack the problem on every front. We will produce more energy at home. We will drill new wells offshore, and well drill them now. We will build more nuclear power plants. We will develop clean coal technology. We will increase the use of wind, tide, solar and natural gas. We will encourage the development and use of flex fuel, hybrid and electric automobiles.
Senator Obama thinks we can achieve energy independence without more drilling and without more nuclear power. But Americans know better than that. We must use all resources and develop all technologies necessary to rescue our economy from the damage caused by rising oil prices and to restore the health of our planet. Its an ambitious plan, but Americans are ambitious by nature, and we have faced greater challenges. Its time for us to show the world again how Americans lead.
This great national cause will create millions of new jobs, many in industries that will be the engine of our future prosperity; jobs that will be there when your children enter the workforce.
Today, the prospect of a better world remains within our reach. But we must see the threats to peace and liberty in our time clearly and face them, as Americans before us did, with confidence, wisdom and resolve.
We have dealt a serious blow to al Qaeda in recent years. But they are not defeated, and theyll strike us again if they can. Iran remains the chief state sponsor of terrorism and on the path to acquiring nuclear weapons. Russias leaders, rich with oil wealth and corrupt with power, have rejected democratic ideals and the obligations of a responsible power. They invaded a small, democratic neighbor to gain more control over the worlds oil supply, intimidate other neighbors, and further their ambitions of reassembling the Russian empire. And the brave people of Georgia need our solidarity and prayers. As President, I will work to establish good relations with Russia so we need not fear a return of the Cold War. But we cant turn a blind eye to aggression and international lawlessness that threatens the peace and stability of the world and the security of the American people.
We face many threats in this dangerous world, but I'm not afraid of them. I'm prepared for them. I know how the military works, what it can do, what it can do better, and what it should not do. I know how the world works. I know the good and the evil in it. I know how to work with leaders who share our dreams of a freer, safer and more prosperous world, and how to stand up to those who don't. I know how to secure the peace.
When I was five years old, a car pulled up in front of our house. A Navy officer rolled down the window, and shouted at my father that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. I rarely saw my father again for four years. My grandfather came home from that same war exhausted from the burdens he had borne, and died the next day. In Vietnam, where I formed the closest friendships of my life, some of those friends never came home with me. I hate war. It is terrible beyond imagination.
Im running for President to keep the country I love safe, and prevent other families from risking their loved ones in war as my family has. I will draw on all my experience with the world and its leaders, and all the tools at our disposal - diplomatic, economic, military and the power of our ideals - to build the foundations for a stable and enduring peace.
In America, we change things that need to be changed. Each generation makes its contribution to our greatness. The work that is ours to do is plainly before us. We dont need to search for it.
We need to change the way government does almost everything: from the way we protect our security to the way we compete in the world economy; from the way we respond to disasters to the way we fuel our transportation network; from the way we train our workers to the way we educate our children. All these functions of government were designed before the rise of the global economy, the information technology revolution and the end of the Cold War. We have to catch up to history, and we have to change the way we do business in Washington.
The constant partisan rancor that stops us from solving these problems isnt a cause, its a symptom. Its what happens when people go to Washington to work for themselves and not you.
Again and again, Ive worked with members of both parties to fix problems that need to be fixed. Thats how I will govern as President. I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again. I have that record and the scars to prove it. Senator Obama does not.
Instead of rejecting good ideas because we didnt think of them first, lets use the best ideas from both sides. Instead of fighting over who gets the credit, lets try sharing it. This amazing country can do anything we put our minds to. I will ask Democrats and Independents to serve with me. And my administration will set a new standard for transparency and accountability.
Were going to finally start getting things done for the people who are counting on us, and I wont care who gets the credit.
Ive been an imperfect servant of my country for many years. But I have been her servant first, last and always. And Ive never lived a day, in good times or bad, that I didnt thank God for the privilege.
Long ago, something unusual happened to me that taught me the most valuable lesson of my life. I was blessed by misfortune. I mean that sincerely. I was blessed because I served in the company of heroes, and I witnessed a thousand acts of courage, compassion and love.
On an October morning, in the Gulf of Tonkin, I prepared for my 23rd mission over North Vietnam. I hadnt any worry I wouldnt come back safe and sound. I thought I was tougher than anyone. I was pretty independent then, too. I liked to bend a few rules, and pick a few fights for the fun of it. But I did it for my own pleasure; my own pride. I didnt think there was a cause more important than me.
Then I found myself falling toward the middle of a small lake in the city of Hanoi, with two broken arms, a broken leg, and an angry crowd waiting to greet me. I was dumped in a dark cell, and left to die. I didnt feel so tough anymore. When they discovered my father was an admiral, they took me to a hospital. They couldnt set my bones properly, so they just slapped a cast on me. When I didnt get better, and was down to about a hundred pounds, they put me in a cell with two other Americans. I couldnt do anything. I couldnt even feed myself. They did it for me. I was beginning to learn the limits of my selfish independence. Those men saved my life.
I was in solitary confinement when my captors offered to release me. I knew why. If I went home, they would use it as propaganda to demoralize my fellow prisoners. Our Code said we could only go home in the order of our capture, and there were men who had been shot down before me. I thought about it, though. I wasnt in great shape, and I missed everything about America. But I turned it down.
A lot of prisoners had it worse than I did. Id been mistreated before, but not as badly as others. I always liked to strut a little after Id been roughed up to show the other guys I was tough enough to take it. But after I turned down their offer, they worked me over harder than they ever had before. For a long time. And they broke me.
When they brought me back to my cell, I was hurt and ashamed, and I didnt know how I could face my fellow prisoners. The good man in the cell next door, my friend, Bob Craner, saved me. Through taps on a wall he told me I had fought as hard as I could. No man can always stand alone. And then he told me to get back up and fight again for our country and for the men I had the honor to serve with. Because every day they fought for me.
I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone elses. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasnt my own man anymore. I was my countrys.
Im not running for president because I think Im blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save our country in its hour of need. My country saved me. My country saved me, and I cannot forget it. And I will fight for her for as long as I draw breath, so help me God.
If you find faults with our country, make it a better one. If youre disappointed with the mistakes of government, join its ranks and work to correct them. Enlist in our Armed Forces. Become a teacher. Enter the ministry. Run for public office. Feed a hungry child. Teach an illiterate adult to read. Comfort the afflicted. Defend the rights of the oppressed. Our country will be the better, and you will be the happier. Because nothing brings greater happiness in life than to serve a cause greater than yourself.
Im going to fight for my cause every day as your President. Im going to fight to make sure every American has every reason to thank God, as I thank Him: that Im an American, a proud citizen of the greatest country on earth, and with hard work, strong faith and a little courage, great things are always within our reach. Fight with me. Fight with me.
Fight for whats right for our country.
Fight for the ideals and character of a free people.
Fight for our childrens future.
Fight for justice and opportunity for all.
Stand up to defend our country from its enemies.
Stand up for each other; for beautiful, blessed, bountiful America.
Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. Nothing is inevitable here. Were Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history.
Thank you, and God Bless you.

John McCain speech draws record TV ratings

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate John McCain beat Democratic rival Barack Obama in the crucial battle to attract U.S. television viewers during their race to the White House, according to figures released on Friday.

Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) acknowledges the audience after accepting the nomination during the fourth and final day of the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, September 4, 2008. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Nielsen Media Research said a record 38.9 million TV viewers watched McCain accept the Republican nomination on Thursday, slightly more than the 38.3 million people who tuned in for Obama’s speech last week.

McCain’s tally was believed to be the biggest commercial TV audience every for a single night of a U.S. political convention, Nielsen said.

The Republican convention in St. Paul also attracted more average viewers overall than the Democratic Party convention in Denver last week.

McCain, 72, trails Obama only slightly in most national opinion polls as they head into the November 4 presidential election that will make history either by putting the first African-American into the White House, or choosing the first female vice president.

Nielsen said an average 34.4 million people watched the Republican convention over its main three days. The convention was scaled back on it’s opening day as Hurricane Gustav made landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

An average 30.2 million viewers tuned in to the four-day Democratic Convention in Denver, Nielsen said.

McCain had the daunting task of following his surprise pick for running mate -- little known Alaska governor Sarah Palin -- who had fired up the convention a day earlier with a feisty speech hitting back at critics who questioned her credentials for the job.

Some observers had worried that Palin might upstage McCain, whose reception inside the convention center in St. Paul was more muted than the cheers for the self-described “hockey mom” and mother of five.

Palin’s national prime-time TV debut on Wednesday was watched on television by 37.2 million Americans.

McCain touted his credentials as a reformer and portrayed himself as the real agent of change in the race against Obama as he accepted his party’s presidential nomination in an arena filled with supporters waving blue “Country First” signs.

“I don’t work for a party. I don’t work for a special interest. I don’t work for myself. I work for you,” McCain said in a speech that included only passing criticisms of Obama after a convention marked by scathing attacks on the Democrat.

Eight U.S. TV networks carried McCain’s speech live during prime time.

With the conventions and the selections of running mates out of the way, the next big milestone in nationwide audience terms is the first of three presidential debates, on September 26 in Oxford, Mississippi.


John McCain's Convention Speech

The prepared text of Sen. John McCain's speech in St. Paul, Minn., at the Republican convention.

Thank you all very much. Tonight, I have a privilege given few Americans -- the privilege of accepting our party's nomination for President of the United States. And I accept it with gratitude, humility and confidence.

In my life, no success has come without a good fight, and this nomination wasn't any different. That's a tribute to the candidates who opposed me and their supporters. They're leaders of great ability, who love our country, and wished to lead it to better days. Their support is an honor I won't forget.

I'm grateful to the President for leading us in those dark days following the worst attack on American soil in our history, and keeping us safe from another attack many thought was inevitable and to the First Lady, Laura Bush, a model of grace and kindness in public and in private. And I'm grateful to the 41st President and his bride of 63 years, and for their outstanding example of honorable service to our country.

As always, I'm indebted to my wife, Cindy, and my seven children. The pleasures of family life can seem like a brief holiday from the crowded calendar of our nation's business. But I have treasured them all the more, and can't imagine a life without the happiness you give me. Cindy said a lot of nice things about me tonight. But, in truth, she's more my inspiration than I am hers. Her concern for those less blessed than we are -- victims of land mines, children born in poverty and with birth defects -- shows the measure of her humanity. I know she will make a great First Lady.

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'Change is coming,' McCain tells conventions

1 of 24 Republican presidential nominee John McCain acknowledges the audience as he arrives on stage during the Republican National Convention 2008 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 04, 2008. White House hopeful John McCain has a tough act to follow later tonight when he accepts the Republican White House nomination, a day after his running mate Sarah Palin swept the party convention off its feet. The Arizona senator is expected to spell out his vision for America should he beat Democrat Barack Obama in November's election. AFP PHOTO / Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images) STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images Show More Show Less

2 of 24 ST. PAUL, MN - SEPTEMBER 04: Republican U.S presidential nominee U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) acknowledges the crowd during day four of the Republican National Convention (RNC) at the Xcel Energy Center on September 4, 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota. U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) will accept the GOP nomination for U.S. President Thursday night. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Getty Images Show More Show Less

4 of 24 Delegates look up as the baloons fall after Republican presidential nominee John McCain concluded his speech at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., Thursday, Sept. 4, 2008. Jae C. Hong/AP Show More Show Less

5 of 24 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin shakes hands in the crowd after Republican presidential candidate John McCain's acceptance speech. Susan Walsh/AP Show More Show Less

7 of 24 A member of the Texas delegation holds a sign supporting Republican US vice-presidential nominee, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin,at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, September 4, 2008. REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES) US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2008 (USA) JIM YOUNG/REUTERS Show More Show Less

8 of 24 Republican presidential nominee John McCain addresses the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., Thursday, Sept. 4, 2008. Paul Sancya/AP Show More Show Less

10 of 24 Republican U.S presidential nominee U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) pauses while speaking during day four of the Republican National Convention (RNC) at the Xcel Energy Center . Getty Images Show More Show Less

11 of 24 Republican presidential candidate John McCain acknowledges the crowd as he he gets ready to speak at the Republican National Convention. Paul Sancya/AP Show More Show Less

13 of 24 Republican presidential nominee John McCain gestures as he speaks. Paul Sancya/AP Show More Show Less

14 of 24 Republican presidential candidate John McCain makes his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. Ron Edmonds/AP Show More Show Less

16 of 24 Republican U.S presidential nominee U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) walks on stage during day four of the Republican National Convention. Getty Images Show More Show Less

17 of 24 Delegates and supporters hold up signs in support of Cindy McCain, wife of Republican presidential candidate John McCain. Paul Sancya/AP Show More Show Less

19 of 24 Republican U.S presidential nominee U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) acknowledges the crowd during day four of the Republican National Convention. Getty Images Show More Show Less

20 of 24 Former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger greets U.S. Republican vice-presidential candidate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin at the 2008 Republican National Convention. Rick Wilking/Reuters Show More Show Less

22 of 24 Cindy McCain, wife of Republican presidential nominee, stands on stage with family members during the Republican National Convention 2008 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 04, 2008. From L-R: Andrew, Meghan, Jimmy, Cindy, Jack, Doug, Bridget and Sydney. Paul J. Richards/AFP / Getty Images Show More Show Less

23 of 24 Republican presidential candidate, Sen., John McCain, R-Ariz., right, talks with Neal Spelce about the positioning of his teleprompters during a walk through at the Exel Convention Center in St. Paul, Minn., Thursday afternoon,Sept. 4, 2008 before McCain's appearance at the Republican National Convention Thursday night. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia) Stephan Savoia/AP Show More Show Less

Republican Sen. John McCain - aiming to separate himself from his party's unpopular two-term president, George W. Bush - accepted the GOP presidential nomination Thursday by portraying himself as a maverick warrior and an agent of change who will "get this country back on the road to prosperity and peace."

"I fight to restore the pride and principles of our party," he told a cheering crowd of GOP delegates on the final night of the Republican National Convention in the Xcel Energy Center here.

"We were elected to change Washington, and we let Washington change us," he said. "We lost the trust of the American people when some Republicans gave in to the temptations of corruption. We lost their trust when rather than reform government, both parties made it bigger."

But, he promised, "we're going to change that. The party of Lincoln and (Theodore) Roosevelt and Reagan will get back to basics."

Taking the stage after a lengthy parade of speakers - most notably vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin Wednesday night - launched a volley of sharp partisan attacks on Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, McCain decried what he called "the constant partisan rancor" in politics.

It "stops us from solving these problems. . (It) isn't a cause, it's a symptom," said McCain, 72. "It's what happens when people go to Washington to work for themselves and not you."

And the Arizona senator - in sharp contrast to Palin, who drew cheers from adoring delegates when she sought to portray Obama as an elite celebrity - took a conciliatory tone and insisted that as president, his White House would reach across the aisle to work with Democrats.

"A word to Sen. Obama and his supporters. We'll go at it over the next two months. That's the nature of the business, and there are big differences between us. But you have my respect and admiration. Despite our differences, much more unites us than divides us."

He noted that "again and again, I've worked with members of both parties to fix problems that need to be fixed. That's how I will govern as president. I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again."

And in a comment that brought delegates to their feet, cheering, he added, "I have that record and the scars to prove it. Sen. Obama does not."

Protesters removed

The GOP nominee's speech was interrupted by at least three demonstrators from Code Pink, who were grabbed and led out of the hall as they yelled in protest. Delegates chanted "USA! USA!" to cover the distraction.

McCain's speech capped a week in which just one elected speaker - former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney - even mentioned Bush from the podium, and both the president and Vice President Dick Cheney failed to show in St. Paul, citing the need to attend to the ravages of Hurricane Gustav.

McCain himself only briefly mentioned Bush, saying, '' I'm grateful to the president for leading us in those dark days following the worst attack on American soil in our history, and keeping us safe from another attack many thought was inevitable."

But his themes and tone emphasizing change and maverick politics only underscored his political determination to leave Bush in the rearview mirror.

"I've been called a maverick someone who marches to the beat of his own drum," he said. "What it really means is I understand who I work for. I don't work for a party. I don't work for a special interest. I don't work for myself. I work for you."

And he intended to cast Palin, his surprise choice for vice president, in the same maverick mold, saying "she stands up for what's right, and she doesn't let anyone tell her to sit down."

"I can't wait until I introduce her to Washington," he said. "And let me offer an advance warning to the old, big-spending, do-nothing, me-first, country-second Washington crowd: Change is coming."

Perseverance pays off

McCain's enthusiastic reception as a political and military hero by his party's grassroots activists served as a testimony to his political perseverance as a presidential candidate - one who failed in 2000 and just one year ago was strapped for cash and virtually counted out as a contender.

But Thursday's victorious moment capped his dogged efforts to unite Republicans behind his cause, despite the opposition of many conservative activists and pundits who railed against him in GOP primaries as being a faux conservative.

On the final night of the convention, McCain sought to re-create the feel of an informal town-hall meeting: The stage was rebuilt specifically to bring him closer to the delegates. And much of the evening's tribute underscored his compelling story as a Vietnam War POW who spent more than five years in captivity under torture and in solitary confinement.

Throughout the evening, McCain repeatedly defined himself as a warrior, reciting a list of issues - including some where he faced virulent opposition in his own party- as examples of his battles.

"I don't mind a good fight. For reasons known only to God, I've had quite a few tough ones in my life. But I learned an important lesson along the way. In the end, it matters less that you can fight. What you fight for is the real test.

"Fight with me," he said, as delegates again got to their feet and thundered their approval. He was then joined on stage by Palin and his wife, Cindy.

After the speech, the Obama campaign fired back. "Tonight, John McCain said that his party was elected to change Washington, but that they let Washington change them," said Obama spokesman Bill Burton. "He's right. He admonished the 'old, do-nothing crowd' in Washington, but ignored the fact that he's been part of that crowd for twenty-six years."

Excerpts of McCain's acceptance

"You know, I've been called a maverick someone who marches to the beat of his own drum. Sometimes it's meant as a compliment and sometimes it's not. What it really means is I understand who I work for. I don't work for a party. I don't work for a special interest. I don't work for myself. I work for you."

"I fought for the right strategy and more troops in Iraq, when it wasn't a popular thing to do. And when the pundits said my campaign was finished, I said I'd rather lose an election than see my country lose a war. Thanks to the leadership of a brilliant general, David Petraeus, and the brave men and women he has the honor to command, that strategy succeeded and rescued us from a defeat that would have demoralized our military, risked a wider war and threatened the security of all Americans."

"I fight to restore the pride and principles of our party. We were elected to change Washington, and we let Washington change us. We lost the trust of the American people when some Republicans gave in to the temptations of corruption. We lost their trust when rather than reform government, both parties made it bigger. We lost their trust, when we valued our power over our principles. We're going to change that. We're going to recover the people's trust by standing up again for the values Americans admire. The party of Lincoln, (Theodore) Roosevelt and Reagan will get back to basics."

"I know some of you have been left behind in the changing economy, and it often seems your government hasn't even noticed. Government assistance for unemployed workers was designed for the economy of the 1950s. That's going to change on my watch. My opponent promises to bring back old jobs by wishing away the global economy. We're going to help workers who've lost a job that won't come back, find a new one that won't go away."

"We face many threats in this dangerous world, but I'm not afraid of them. I'm prepared for them. I know how the military works, what it can do, what it can do better and what it should not do. I know how the world works. I know the good and the evil in it. I know how to work with leaders who share our dreams of a freer, safer and more prosperous world, and how to stand up to those who don't. I know how to secure the peace."

"We will produce more energy at home. We will drill new wells offshore, and we'll drill them now. We will build more nuclear power plants. We will develop clean coal technology. We will increase the use of wind, tide, solar and natural gas. We will encourage the development and use of flex fuel, hybrid and electric automobiles."

"I'm not running for president because I think I'm blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save our country in its hour of need. My country saved me. My country saved me, and I cannot forget it. And I will fight for her for as long as I draw breath, so help me God."

"I'm going to fight for my cause every day as your president. I'm going to fight to make sure every American has every reason to thank God, as I thank Him: that I'm an American, a proud citizen of the greatest country on Earth, and with hard work, strong faith and a little courage, great things are always within our reach. Fight with me. Fight with me."

"Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. Nothing is inevitable here. We're Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history."


McCain: Change is coming

(CNN) -- Sen. John McCain spoke to the Republican National Convention on Thursday night. Here is the text of that speech:

Sen. John McCain says the "do nothing" Washington crowd is in for a change.

McCain: Thank you. Thank you all very much. Thank you.

Tonight, I have a privilege given few Americans: the privilege of accepting our party's nomination for president of the United States.

Thank you. Thanks. And I accept it with.

Thank you. I -- and I accept it with gratitude, humility, and confidence.

In my life, no success has come without a good fight, and this nomination wasn't any different. That's a tribute to the candidates who opposed me and their supporters. They're leaders of great ability who love our country and wish to lead it to better days. Their support is an honor that I won't forget.

I'm grateful to the president of the United States for leading us in these dark days following the worst attack in American history.

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The worst attack on American soil in our history and keeping us safe from another attack that many -- many thought was inevitable.

And to the first lady, Laura Bush, a model of grace and kindness in public and in private.

And I'm grateful to the 41st president and his bride of 63 years for their outstanding example.

. for their outstanding example of honorable service to our country.

As always, I'm indebted to my wife, Cindy, and my seven children. You know, the pleasures of family life can seem like a brief holiday from the crowded calendar of our nation's business. But I have treasured them all the more and can't imagine a life without the happiness that you've given me.

You know, Cindy said a lot of nice things about me tonight. But, in truth, she's more my inspiration than I am hers.

Her concern for those less blessed than we are -- victims of land mines, children born in poverty, with birth defects -- shows the measure of her humanity. And I know that she will make a great first lady.

My friends, when I was growing up, my father was often at sea, and the job of raising my brother, sister and me would fall to my mother alone. Roberta McCain gave us her love of life, her deep interest in the world, her strength, and her belief that we're all meant to use our opportunities to make ourselves useful to our country.

I wouldn't be here tonight but for the strength of her character.

And she doesn't want me to say this, but she's 96 years young.

My heartfelt thanks to all of you who helped me win this nomination and stood by me when the odds were long. I won't let you down.

I won't let you down. I won't let you down.

To Americans who have yet to decide who to vote for, thank you for your consideration and the opportunity to win your trust. I intend to earn it.

And, finally, a word to Sen. Obama and his supporters. We'll go at it -- we'll go at it over the next two months -- you know that's the nature of this business -- and there are big differences between us. But you have my respect and my admiration.

Despite our differences, much more unites us than divides us. We are fellow Americans, and that's an association that means more to me than any other.

We're dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal and endowed by our creator with inalienable rights. No country -- no country ever had a greater cause than that. And I wouldn't be an American worthy of the name if I didn't honor Sen. Obama and his supporters for their achievement.

But let there be no doubt, my friends: We're going to win this election.

And after we've won, we're going to reach out our hand to any willing patriot, make this government start working for you again, and get this country back on the road to prosperity and peace.

I know these are tough times for many of you. You're worried about.

Please, please, please. My friends, my dear friends, please. Please don't be diverted by the ground noise and the static.

You know, I'm going to talk about it some more. But Americans want us to stop yelling at each other, OK?

These are tough times for many of you. You're worried about keeping your job or finding a new one, and you're struggling to put food on the table and stay in your home.

All you've ever asked of your government is to stand on your side and not in your way. And that's what I intend to do: stand on your side and fight for your future.

And I've found just the right partner to help me shake up Washington, Gov. Sarah.

Gov. Sarah Palin of the great state of Alaska.

And I want to thank everyone here and all over America for the tremendous, wonderful, warm reception you gave her last night. Thank you so much. She deserves it. What a great beginning.

You know, she has an executive experience and a real record of accomplishment. She's tackled tough problems, like energy independence and corruption. She's balanced a budget, cut taxes, and she's taken on the special interests.

She's reached across the aisle and asked Republicans, Democrats, and independents to serve in her administration. She's the wonderful mother of five children.

She's -- she's helped run a small business. She's worked with her hands and knows -- and knows what it's like to worry about mortgage payments, and health care, and the cost of gasoline and groceries.

She knows where she comes from, and she knows who she works for. She stands up for what's right, and she doesn't let anyone tell her to sit down.

I'm very proud to have introduced our next vice president to the country, but I can't wait until I introduce her to Washington.

And let me just offer an advance warning to the old, big-spending, do-nothing, me first, country second crowd: Change is coming.

I'm not -- I'm not in the habit of breaking my promises to my country, and neither is Gov. Palin. And when we tell you we're going to change Washington and stop leaving our country's problems for some unluckier generation to fix, you can count on it.

We've got a record of doing just that, and the strength, experience, judgment, and backbone to keep our word to you.

You well know I've been called a maverick, someone who.

. someone who marches to the beat of his own drum. Sometimes it's meant as a compliment sometimes it's not. What it really means is I understand who I work for. I don't work for a party. I don't work for a special interest. I don't work for myself. I work for you.

I've fought corruption, and it didn't matter if the culprits were Democrats or Republicans. They violated their public trust, and they had to be held accountable.

I've fought the big spenders.

I've fought the big spenders in both parties, who waste your money on things you neither need nor want, and the first big-spending pork-barrel earmark bill that comes across my desk, I will veto it. I will make them famous, and you will know their names. You will know their names.

We're not going to allow that while you struggle to buy groceries, fill your gas tank, and make your mortgage payment. I've fought to get million-dollar checks out of our elections. I've fought lobbyists who stole from Indian tribes. I've fought crooked deals in the Pentagon. I've fought tobacco companies and trial lawyers, drug companies and union bosses.

I've fought for the right strategy and more troops in Iraq when it wasn't the popular thing to do.

And when the pundits said -- when the pundits said my campaign was finished, I said I'd rather lose an election than see my country lose a war.

And thanks -- thanks to the leadership of a brilliant general, David Petraeus, and the brave men and women he has the honor to command.

. that -- that strategy succeeded, and it rescued us from a defeat that would have demoralized our military, risked a wider war, and threatened the security of all Americans.

I don't mind a good fight. For reasons known only to God, I've had quite a few tough ones in my life. But I learned an important lesson along the way: In the end, it matters less that you can fight. What you fight for is the real test.

I fight for Americans. I fight for you. I fight for Bill and Sue Nebe from Farmington Hills, Michigan, who lost.

. lost their real estate investments in the bad housing market. Bill got a temporary job after he was out of work for seven months. Sue works three jobs to help pay the bills.

I fight for Jake and Toni Wimmer of Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Jake.

Jake works on a loading dock, coaches Little League, and raises money for the mentally and physically disabled. Toni is a schoolteacher, working toward her master's degree. They have two sons. The youngest, Luke, has been diagnosed with autism. Their lives should matter to the people they elect to office. And they matter to me. And they matter to you.

I fight for the family of Matthew Stanley of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.

Matthew died serving our country in Iraq. I wear his bracelet and think of him every day. I intend to honor their sacrifice by making sure the country their son loved so well and never returned to remains safe from its enemies.

I fight to restore the pride and principles of our party. We were elected to change Washington, and we let Washington change us.

We lost -- we lost the trust of the American people when some Republicans gave in to the temptations of corruption. We lost their trust when rather than reform government, both parties made it bigger.

We lost their trust when instead of freeing ourselves from a dangerous dependence on foreign oil, both parties -- and Sen. Obama -- passed another corporate welfare bill for oil companies. We lost their trust when we valued our power over our principles.

We're going to change that.

We're going to recover the people's trust by standing up again to the values Americans admire. The party of Lincoln, Roosevelt and Reagan is going to get back to basics.

In this country, we believe everyone has something to contribute and deserves the opportunity to reach their God-given potential, from the boy whose descendents arrived on the Mayflower to the Latina daughter of migrant workers. We're all God's children, and we're all Americans.

We believe -- we believe in low taxes, spending discipline, and open markets. We believe in rewarding hard work and risk-takers and letting people keep the fruits of their labor.

We believe -- we believe in a strong defense, work, faith, service, a culture of life.

. personal responsibility, the rule of law, and judges who dispense justice impartially and don't legislate from the bench.

We believe in the values of families, neighborhoods, and communities. We believe in a government that unleashes the creativity and initiative of Americans, government that doesn't make your choices for you, but works to make sure you have more choices to make for yourself.

I will keep taxes low and cut them where I can. My opponent will raise them. I will open.

I will open new markets to our goods and services. My opponent will close them.

I will cut government spending. He will increase it.

My tax cuts will create jobs his tax increases will eliminate them.

My health care plan will make it easier for more Americans to find and keep good health care insurance. His plan will force small businesses to cut jobs, reduce wages, and force families into a government-run health care system where a bureaucrat. where a bureaucrat stands between you and your doctor.

We all know that keeping taxes low helps small businesses grow and create new jobs. Cutting the second-highest business tax rate in the world will help American companies compete and keep jobs from going overseas.

Doubling the child tax exemption from $3,500 to $7,000 will improve the lives of millions of American families.

Reducing government spending and getting rid of failed programs will let you keep more of your own money to save, spend, and invest as you see fit.

Opening new markets and preparing workers to compete in the world economy is essential to our future prosperity.

I know some of you have been left behind in the changing economy, and it often sees that your government hasn't even noticed. Government assistance for the unemployed workers was designed for the economy of the 1950s. That's going to change on my watch.

Now, my opponent promises to bring back old jobs by wishing away the global economy. We're going to help workers who've lost a job that won't come back find a new one that won't go away.

We will prepare them for the jobs of day -- of today. We will use our community colleges to help train people for new opportunities in their communities.

For workers in industries -- for workers in industries that have been hard-hit, we'll help make up part of the difference in wages between their old job and a temporary, lower paid one, while they receive re-training that will help them find secure new employment at a decent wage.

Education -- education is the civil rights issue of this century.

Equal access to public education has been gained, but what is the value of access to a failing school? We need.

We need to shake up failed school bureaucracies with competition, empower parents with choice.

Let's remove barriers to qualified instructors, attract and reward good teachers, and help bad teachers find another line of work.

When a public school fails to meet its obligations to students, parent -- when it fails to meet its obligations to students, parents deserve a choice in the education of their children. And I intend to give it to them.

Some may choose a better public school. Some may choose a private one. Many will choose a charter school. But they will have the choice, and their children will have that opportunity.

Sen. Obama wants our schools to answer to unions and entrenched bureaucrats. I want schools to answer to parents and students.

And when I'm president, they will.

My fellow Americans, when I'm president, we're going to embark on the most ambitious national project in decades.

We're going to stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don't like us very much, and some of that money.

We'll attack -- we'll attack the problem on every front. We'll produce more energy at home. We will drill new wells off-shore, and we'll drill them now. We'll drill them now.

We'll -- we'll -- my friends, we'll build more nuclear power plants. We'll develop clean-coal technology. We'll increase the use of wind, tide, solar, and natural gas. We'll encourage the development and use of flex-fuel, hybrid and electric automobiles.

Sen. Obama thinks we can achieve energy independence without more drilling and without more nuclear power. But Americans know better than that.

We must use all resources and develop all technologies necessary to rescue our economy from the damage caused by rising oil prices and restore the health of our planet.

. it's an ambitious plan, but Americans are ambitious by nature, and we've faced greater challenges. It's time for us to show the world again how Americans lead.

This great national cause will create millions of new jobs, many in industries that will be the engine of our future prosperity, jobs that will be there when your children enter the workforce.

Today -- today, the prospect of a better world remains within our reach. But we must see the threats to peace and liberty in our time clearly and face them as Americans before us did: with confidence, wisdom, and resolve.

We have dealt a serious blow to Al Qaeda in recent years, but they're not defeated, and they'll strike us again, if they can. Iran remains the chief state sponsor of terrorism and is on the path to acquiring nuclear weapons.

Russia's leaders, rich with oil wealth and corrupt with power, have rejected democratic ideals and the obligations of a responsible power. They invaded a small, democratic neighbor to gain more control over the world's oil supply, intimidate other neighbors, and further their ambitions of re-assembling the Russian empire.

And the brave people of Georgia need our solidarity and our prayers.

As president, I'll work to establish good relations with Russia so that we need not fear a return to the Cold War. But we can't turn a blind eye to aggression and international lawlessness that threatens the peace and stability of the world and the security of the American people.

We face many dangerous threats in this dangerous world, but I'm not afraid of them. I'm prepared for them.

I know how the military works, what it can do, what it can do better, and what it shouldn't do. I know how the world works. I know the good and the evil in it.

I know how to work with leaders who share our dreams of a freer, safer and more prosperous world, and how to stand up to those who don't.

I know how to secure the peace.

My friends, when I was 5 years old, a car pulled up in front of our house. A Navy officer rolled down the window and shouted at my father that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. I rarely saw my father again for four years.

My grandfather came home from that same war exhausted from the burdens he had borne and died the next day.

In Vietnam, where I formed the closest friendships of my life, some of those friends never came home with me.

I hate war. It's terrible beyond imagination.

I'm running for president to keep the country I love safe and prevent other families from risking their loved ones in war as my family has. I will draw on all my experience with the world and its leaders, and all the tools at our disposal -- diplomatic, economic, military, and the power of our ideals -- to build the foundations for a stable and enduring peace.

In America, we change things that need to be changed. Each generation makes its contribution to our greatness. The work that is ours to do is plainly before us we don't need to search for it.

We need to change the way government does almost everything: from the way we protect our security to the way we compete in the world economy from the way we respond to disasters to the way we fuel our transportation network from the way we train our workers to the way we educate our children.

All these functions of government were designed before the rise of the global economy, the information technology revolution, and the end of the Cold War. We have to catch up to history, and we have to change the way we do business in Washington.

The -- the constant partisan rancor that stops us from solving these problems isn't a cause. It's a symptom. It's what happens when people go to Washington to work for themselves and not for you.

Again and again -- again and again, I've worked with members of both parties to fix problems that need to be fixed. That's how I will govern as president. I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again.

. I have that record and the scars to prove it. Sen. Obama does not.

Instead -- instead of rejecting good ideas because we didn't think of them first, let's use the best ideas from both sides. Instead of fighting over who gets the credit, let's try sharing it.

This amazing country can do anything we put our minds to. I'll ask Democrats and Independents to serve with me. And my administration will set a new standard for transparency and accountability.

We're going to finally start getting things done for the people who are counting on us, and I won't care who gets the credit.

My friends, I've been an imperfect servant of my country for many years. But I've been her servant first, last, and always. And I've never.

I've never lived a day, in good times or bad, that I didn't thank God for the privilege.

Long ago, something unusual happened to me that taught me the most valuable lesson of my life. I was blessed by misfortune. I mean that sincerely. I was blessed because I served in the company of heroes and I witnessed a thousand acts of courage, and compassion, and love.

On an October morning, in the Gulf of Tonkin, I prepared for my 23rd mission over North Vietnam. I hadn't any worry I wouldn't come back safe and sound. I thought I was tougher than anyone. I was pretty independent then, too.

I liked to bend a few rules and pick a few fights for the fun of it. But I did it for my own pleasure, my own pride. I didn't think there was a cause that was more important than me.

Then I found myself falling toward the middle of a small lake in the city of Hanoi, with two broken arms, a broken leg, and an angry crowd waiting to greet me.

I was dumped in a dark cell and left to die. I didn't feel so tough anymore.

When they discovered my father was an admiral, they took me to a hospital. They couldn't set my bones properly, so they just slapped a cast on me. And when I didn't get better and was down to about a hundred pounds, they put me in a cell with two other Americans.

I couldn't do anything. I couldn't even feed myself. They did it for me. I was beginning to learn the limits of my selfish independence. Those men saved my life.

I was in solitary confinement when my captors offered to release me. I knew why. If I went home, they would use it as propaganda to demoralize my fellow prisoners.

Our code said we could only go home in the order of our capture, and there were men who had been shot down long before me. I thought about it, though. I wasn't in great shape, and I missed everything about America, but I turned it down.

A lot of prisoners had it much worse.

A lot of -- a lot of prisoners had it a lot worse than I did. I'd been mistreated before, but not as badly as many others. I always liked to strut a little after I'd been roughed up to show the other guys I was tough enough to take it.

But after I turned down their offer, they worked me over harder than they ever had before, for a long time, and they broke me.

When they brought me back to my cell, I was hurt and ashamed, and I didn't know how I could face my fellow prisoners. The good man in the cell next door to me, my friend, Bob Craner, saved me.

Through taps on a wall, he told me I had fought as hard as I could. No man can always stand alone. And then he told me to get back up and fight again for my country and for the men I had the honor to serve with, because every day they fought for me.

I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else's. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency, for its faith in the wisdom, justice, and goodness of its people.

I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again I wasn't my own man anymore I was my country's.

I'm not running for president because I think I'm blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save our country in its hour of need.

My country saved me. My country saved me, and I cannot forget it. And I will fight for her for as long as I draw breath, so help me God.

My friends, if you find faults with our country, make it a better one. If you're disappointed with the mistakes of government, join its ranks and work to correct them. Enlist.

Enlist in our Armed Forces. Become a teacher. Enter the ministry. Run for public office. Feed a hungry child. Teach an -- an illiterate adult to read. Comfort the afflicted. Defend the rights of the oppressed.

Our country will be the better, and you will be the happier, because nothing brings greater happiness in life than to serve a cause greater than yourself.

I'm going to fight for my cause every day as your president. I'm going to fight to make sure every American has every reason to thank God, as I thank him, that I'm an American, a proud citizen of the greatest country on Earth. And with hard work -- with hard work, strong faith, and a little courage, great things are always within our reach.

Fight with me. Fight with me.

Fight for what's right for our country. Fight for the ideals and character of a free people.

Fight for our children's future. Fight for justice and opportunity for all.

Stand up to defend our country from its enemies. Stand up for each other, for beautiful, blessed, bountiful America.


Alex Wong/Getty Images Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks on night three of the Republican National Convention September 1, 2004 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images Former President George H.W. Bush(R) greets his granddaughters Barbara(C) and Jenna Bush as he arrives at Madison Square Garden in New York City, August 30, 2004 on the first day of the Republican National Convention.

Transcript: Gov. Sarah Palin At The RNC

In these prepared remarks, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin introduces herself to the Republican delegates by talking about her family background and her tenure as the governor of Alaska. She paints herself in the speech as small-town woman, who gets things done and who is an outsider to Washington, D.C. Throughout the speech, she also frequently compares the GOP ticket with the Democratic one. The speech as delivered may vary from the following text.

Mr. Chairman, delegates, and fellow citizens: I am honored to be considered for the nomination for vice president of the United States.

I accept the call to help our nominee for president to serve and defend America.

I accept the challenge of a tough fight in this election against confident opponents at a crucial hour for our country.

And I accept the privilege of serving with a man who has come through much harder missions . and met far graver challenges and knows how tough fights are won — the next president of the United States, John S. McCain.

It was just a year ago when all the experts in Washington counted out our nominee because he refused to hedge his commitment to the security of the country he loves.

With their usual certitude, they told us that all was lost — there was no hope for this candidate who said that he would rather lose an election than see his country lose a war.

But the pollsters and pundits overlooked just one thing when they wrote him off.

They overlooked the caliber of the man himself — the determination, resolve, and sheer guts of Sen. John McCain. The voters knew better.

And maybe that's because they realize there is a time for politics and a time for leadership . a time to campaign and a time to put our country first.

Our nominee for president is a true profile in courage, and people like that are hard to come by.

He's a man who wore the uniform of this country for 22 years and refused to break faith with those troops in Iraq who have now brought victory within sight.

And as the mother of one of those troops, that is exactly the kind of man I want as commander in chief. I'm just one of many moms who'll say an extra prayer each night for our sons and daughters going into harm's way.

And one week from tomorrow — Sept. 11 — he'll deploy to Iraq with the Army infantry in the service of his country.

My nephew Kasey also enlisted and serves on a carrier in the Persian Gulf.

My family is proud of both of them and of all the fine men and women serving the country in uniform. Track is the eldest of our five children.

In our family, it's two boys and three girls in between — my strong and kind-hearted daughters, Bristol, Willow and Piper.

And in April, my husband, Todd, and I welcomed our littlest one into the world, a perfectly beautiful baby boy named Trig. From the inside, no family ever seems typical.

Our family has the same ups and downs as any other — the same challenges and the same joys.

Sometimes even the greatest joys bring challenge.

And children with special needs inspire a special love.

To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters.

I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House. Todd is a story all by himself.

He's a lifelong commercial fisherman . a production operator in the oil fields of Alaska's North Slope . a proud member of the United Steel Workers Union . and world champion snow machine racer.

Throw in his Yup'ik Eskimo ancestry, and it all makes for quite a package.

We met in high school, and two decades and five children later he's still my guy. My mom and dad both worked at the elementary school in our small town.

And among the many things I owe them is one simple lesson: that this is America, and every woman can walk through every door of opportunity.

My parents are here tonight, and I am so proud to be the daughter of Chuck and Sally Heath. Long ago, a young farmer and haberdasher from Missouri followed an unlikely path to the vice presidency.

A writer observed: "We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty, sincerity, and dignity." I know just the kind of people that writer had in mind when he praised Harry Truman.

I grew up with those people.

They are the ones who do some of the hardest work in America who grow our food, run our factories and fight our wars.

They love their country, in good times and bad, and they're always proud of America. I had the privilege of living most of my life in a small town.

I was just your average hockey mom and signed up for the PTA because I wanted to make my kids' public education better.

When I ran for City Council, I didn't need focus groups and voter profiles because I knew those voters, and knew their families, too.

Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown.

And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves.

I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities. I might add that in small towns, we don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening.

We tend to prefer candidates who don't talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco.

As for my running mate, you can be certain that wherever he goes, and whoever is listening, John McCain is the same man. I'm not a member of the permanent political establishment. And I've learned quickly, these past few days, that if you're not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone.

But here's a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion. I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this country. Americans expect us to go to Washington for the right reasons, and not just to mingle with the right people.

Politics isn't just a game of clashing parties and competing interests.

The right reason is to challenge the status quo, to serve the common good, and to leave this nation better than we found it.

No one expects us to agree on everything.

But we are expected to govern with integrity, good will, clear convictions, and . a servant's heart.

I pledge to all Americans that I will carry myself in this spirit as vice president of the United States. This was the spirit that brought me to the governor's office, when I took on the old politics as usual in Juneau . when I stood up to the special interests, the lobbyists, big oil companies, and the good-ol' boys network.

Sudden and relentless reform never sits well with entrenched interests and power brokers. That's why true reform is so hard to achieve.

But with the support of the citizens of Alaska, we shook things up.

And in short order we put the government of our state back on the side of the people.

I came to office promising major ethics reform, to end the culture of self-dealing. And today, that ethics reform is the law.

While I was at it, I got rid of a few things in the governor's office that I didn't believe our citizens should have to pay for.

That luxury jet was over the top. I put it on eBay.

I also drive myself to work.

And I thought we could muddle through without the governor's personal chef — although I've got to admit that sometimes my kids sure miss her. I came to office promising to control spending — by request if possible and by veto if necessary.

Sen. McCain also promises to use the power of veto in defense of the public interest — and as a chief executive, I can assure you it works.

Our state budget is under control.

And I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending: nearly half a billion dollars in vetoes.

I suspended the state fuel tax and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress.

I told the Congress "thanks, but no thanks," for that Bridge to Nowhere.

If our state wanted a bridge, we'd build it ourselves. When oil and gas prices went up dramatically, and filled up the state treasury, I sent a large share of that revenue back where it belonged — directly to the people of Alaska.

And despite fierce opposition from oil company lobbyists, who kind of liked things the way they were, we broke their monopoly on power and resources.

As governor, I insisted on competition and basic fairness to end their control of our state and return it to the people.

I fought to bring about the largest private-sector infrastructure project in North American history.

And when that deal was struck, we began a nearly 40 billion-dollar natural gas pipeline to help lead America to energy independence.

That pipeline, when the last section is laid and its valves are opened, will lead America one step farther away from dependence on dangerous foreign powers that do not have our interests at heart.

The stakes for our nation could not be higher.

When a hurricane strikes in the Gulf of Mexico, this country should not be so dependent on imported oil that we are forced to draw from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

And families cannot throw away more and more of their paychecks on gas and heating oil.

With Russia wanting to control a vital pipeline in the Caucasus, and to divide and intimidate our European allies by using energy as a weapon, we cannot leave ourselves at the mercy of foreign suppliers.

To confront the threat that Iran might seek to cut off nearly a fifth of world energy supplies . or that terrorists might strike again at the Abqaiq facility in Saudi Arabia . or that Venezuela might shut off its oil deliveries . we Americans need to produce more of our own oil and gas.

And take it from a gal who knows the North Slope of Alaska: We've got lots of both.

Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America's energy problems — as if we all didn't know that already.

But the fact that drilling won't solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all.

Starting in January, in a McCain-Palin administration, we're going to lay more pipelines . build more nuclear plants . create jobs with clean coal . and move forward on solar, wind, geothermal and other alternative sources.

We need American energy resources, brought to you by American ingenuity, and produced by American workers. I've noticed a pattern with our opponent.

We've all heard his dramatic speeches before devoted followers.

And there is much to like and admire about our opponent.

But listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform — not even in the state Senate.

This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting and never use the word "victory" except when he's talking about his own campaign. But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed . when the roar of the crowd fades away . when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot — what exactly is our opponent's plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish, after he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet? The answer is to make government bigger . take more of your money . give you more orders from Washington . and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world. America needs more energy . our opponent is against producing it.

Victory in Iraq is finally in sight . he wants to forfeit.

Terrorist states are seeking nuclear weapons without delay . he wants to meet them without preconditions.

Al-Qaida terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America . he's worried that someone won't read them their rights? Government is too big . he wants to grow it.

Congress spends too much . he promises more.

Taxes are too high . he wants to raise them. His tax increases are the fine print in his economic plan, and let me be specific.

The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes . raise payroll taxes . raise investment income taxes . raise the death tax . raise business taxes . and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars. My sister Heather and her husband have just built a service station that's now opened for business — like millions of others who run small businesses.

How are they going to be any better off if taxes go up? Or maybe you're trying to keep your job at a plant in Michigan or Ohio . or create jobs with clean coal from Pennsylvania or West Virginia . or keep a small farm in the family right here in Minnesota.

How are you going to be better off if our opponent adds a massive tax burden to the American economy? Here's how I look at the choice Americans face in this election.

In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers.

And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change.

They're the ones whose names appear on laws and landmark reforms, not just on buttons and banners, or on self-designed presidential seals.

Among politicians, there is the idealism of high-flown speechmaking, in which crowds are stirringly summoned to support great things.

And then there is the idealism of those leaders, like John McCain, who actually do great things. They're the ones who are good for more than talk . the ones we have always been able to count on to serve and defend America. Sen. McCain's record of actual achievement and reform helps explain why so many special interests, lobbyists and comfortable committee chairmen in Congress have fought the prospect of a McCain presidency — from the primary election of 2000 to this very day.

Our nominee doesn't run with the Washington herd.

He's a man who's there to serve his country, and not just his party.

A leader who's not looking for a fight, but is not afraid of one either. Harry Reid, the majority leader of the current do-nothing Senate, not long ago summed up his feelings about our nominee.

He said, quote, "I can't stand John McCain." Ladies and gentlemen, perhaps no accolade we hear this week is better proof that we've chosen the right man. Clearly what the majority leader was driving at is that he can't stand up to John McCain. That is only one more reason to take the maverick of the Senate and put him in the White House. My fellow citizens, the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of "personal discovery." This world of threats and dangers is not just a community, and it doesn't just need an organizer.

And though both Sen. Obama and Sen. Biden have been going on lately about how they are always, quote, "fighting for you," let us face the matter squarely.

There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you . in places where winning means survival and defeat means death . and that man is John McCain. In our day, politicians have readily shared much lesser tales of adversity than the nightmare world in which this man, and others equally brave, served and suffered for their country.

It's a long way from the fear and pain and squalor of a 6-by-4 cell in Hanoi to the Oval Office.

But if Sen. McCain is elected president, that is the journey he will have made.

It's the journey of an upright and honorable man — the kind of fellow whose name you will find on war memorials in small towns across this country, only he was among those who came home.

To the most powerful office on Earth, he would bring the compassion that comes from having once been powerless . the wisdom that comes even to the captives, by the grace of God . the special confidence of those who have seen evil, and seen how evil is overcome. A fellow prisoner of war, a man named Tom Moe of Lancaster, Ohio, recalls looking through a pinhole in his cell door as Lt. Cmdr. John McCain was led down the hallway, by the guards, day after day.

As the story is told, "When McCain shuffled back from torturous interrogations, he would turn toward Moe's door and flash a grin and thumbs up" — as if to say, "We're going to pull through this." My fellow Americans, that is the kind of man America needs to see us through these next four years.

For a season, a gifted speaker can inspire with his words.

For a lifetime, John McCain has inspired with his deeds.

If character is the measure in this election . and hope the theme . and change the goal we share, then I ask you to join our cause. Join our cause and help America elect a great man as the next president of the United States.


'Country First': More than 100 former staffers of Sen. John McCain endorse Joe Biden

Joe Biden and John McCain shake hands after their conversation at the McCain Institute's 2013 Sedona Forum on April 26, 2013, in Sedona. (Photo: Rob Schumacher, Rob Schumacher/The Republic)

Dozens of former staffers for the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., announced Thursday their support for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, an endorsement that could help persuade other McCain-style Republicans to defect in November to oust President Donald Trump.

Ahead of Trump’s nomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, the McCain veterans invoked the “Country First” motto of McCain's 2008 presidential campaign.

More than an expression, they wrote, it is a way to live.

“It is in that spirit that we are supporting his friend, Joe Biden,” they wrote in a column posted on Medium by “McCain Alums for Joe Biden.”

The column continues: “These are unusual times, and this is not an easy decision for Republicans to make. Many of us disagree with the positions espoused by the Democratic ticket, but we are heartened by Joe Biden’s history of bipartisanship.

“We trust that as President, Joe Biden will lead an urgent, comprehensive national effort to contain the COVID pandemic. We trust he will call on Americans to remember our common interests and responsibilities, and not worsen the grievances that have polarized our politics. And we trust that he will defend American interests and values from all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

Those who signed the letter include his former chiefs of staff Mark Salter, Becky Tallent and Deb Gullett his former state directors Paul Hickman, Bettina Nava and Wes Gullett his longtime legislative director Joe Donoghue his foreign policy adviser Richard Fontaine Christian Ferry, a veteran of McCain's 2000 and 2008 presidential runs Peter Spaulding, who was New Hampshire primary chair for McCain's 2000 and 2008 presidential campaigns Lisa Graham Keegan, a former state superintendent of public instruction who was an education adviser on McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign his former communications aides Crystal Benton, Torie Clarke, Jill Hazelbaker, Tim Miller, Howard Opinsky and Andrea Saul and Grant Woods, a longtime family friend who worked as McCain’s chief of staff in the House of Representatives.

The endorsement comes the same week of the second anniversary of McCain’s death. He died Aug. 25, 2018, after a battle with brain cancer.

Biden showcased his friendship with McCain during last week’s Democratic National Convention. McCain’s widow, Cindy McCain, participated in the video that ran during Biden's convention.

The McCain staffers' endorsement comes the same day Republican Voters Against Trump released a new ad featuring McCain and titled “Country First."

The ad contrasts the unifying leadership style of McCain against Trump’s more divisive approach.

The group said Thursday the McCain alumni for Biden statement will run as a full-page ad on Friday in the Washington Post.


McCain Touts VP Pick Sarah Palin

McCain also touted his own judgment for choosing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate.

"I'm very proud to have introduced our next vice president to the country. But I can't wait until I introduce her to Washington. And let me offer an advance warning to the old, big-spending, do-nothing, me-first, country-second Washington crowd: Change is coming," McCain said.

McCain, whose campaign was bankrupt and believed dead only a year ago, also reminded Americans of his rough road to the nomination.

"In my life, no success has come without a good fight, and this nomination wasn't any different. That's a tribute to the candidates who opposed me and their supporters. They're leaders of great ability, who love our country and wished to lead it to better days. Their support is an honor I won't forget."

McCain, who clashed for years with the Bush administration for its handling of the war, offered praise for the current president and his father.

"I'm grateful to the president for leading us in those dark days following the worst attack on American soil in our history, and keeping us safe from another attack many thought was inevitable and to the first lady, Laura Bush, a model of grace and kindness in public and in private. And I'm grateful to the 41st president and his bride of 63 years, and for their outstanding example of honorable service to our country," McCain said.

McCain Eyes Threat, Presents National Security Challenge

McCain, who has highlighted his experience in his bid for the White House, made national security a consistent theme of his address.

"We have dealt a serious blow to al Qaeda in recent years," he said, "But they are not defeated, and they'll strike us again if they can. Iran remains the chief state sponsor of terrorism and on the path to acquiring nuclear weapons. Russia's leaders, rich with oil wealth and corrupt with power, have rejected democratic ideals and the obligations of a responsible power."

McCain said, "We face many threats in this dangerous world, but I'm not afraid of them. I'm prepared for them. I know how the military works, what it can do, what it can do better, and what it should not do. I know how the world works. I know the good and the evil in it. I know how to work with leaders who share our dreams of a freer, safer and more prosperous world, and how to stand up to those who don't. I know how to secure the peace."

During Thursday's program, the Republican National Committee showed a video about the Sept. 11 terror attacks that included images of Osama bin Laden and the aftermath of the attacks, ending with old aerial footage of the World Trade Center towers still standing.

"It will never happen again," said the video's narrator over the images, as the crowd applauded, cheeing "USA! USA!"

Watching the program from the VIP seats was former Nixon administration national security adviser and secretary of state Henry Kissinger, who advised President Bush on the U.S.-led war on Iraq.

Anti-war protesters marched for a fourth night Thursday outside the Xcel Center as McCain delivered his acceptance speech.

Police arrested hundreds of people and fired tear gas and flash bangs at protesters trying to break up the crowds.


The Repulcian Convention - The Acceptance speech of SSEnator McCain - History

In his acceptance speech to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., presidential nominee John McCain made the case for the presidency, describing his policy positions and contrasting himself to Democratic nominee Barack Obama.

He also discussed his life story as a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, and his family's long history of military service.

"When I was 5 years old, a car pulled up in front of our house," McCain said. "A Navy officer rolled down the window, and shouted at my father that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. I rarely saw my father again for four years. My grandfather came home from that same war exhausted from the burdens he had borne, and died the next day. In Vietnam, where I formed the closest friendships of my life, some of those friends never came home with me. I hate war. It is terrible beyond imagination."

McCain writes extensively about the grandfather — they share the same name, John Sidney McCain — in his memoir Faith of My Fathers .

The senior McCain served in the Navy in the Pacific theater during World War II, most notably as commander of the Second Fast Carrier Force and Task Force 38. He was present at the formal signing of the Japanese surrender on the USS Missouri on Sept. 2, 1945.

In his memoir, Sen. McCain recounted that his grandfather was eager to get home after the war ended and didn't want to stay for the ceremony: