Sen. John McCain reacted strongly to news that a military recruiting station in New York City was bombed Thursday morning, calling the perpetrators “idiots” and demanding they be tracked down and thrown in jail.
“My friends,” he told a heavily Republican crowd that packed into a West Palm Beach, Fla., diner during a campaign appearance, “a bad thing happened in Times Square this morning, and that is some idiot tried to harm a recruiting station there in Times Square where we recruit men and women to serve in the military.
“We have to track down and prosecute and throw into jail people that commit acts of that nature,” the GOP’s choice for president said to loud applause.
The bombing in Times Square shattered a glass entry way but did not result in any injuries, police say.
McCain, who appeared with Florida Gov. Charlie Christ, also used the occasion to praise American military personnel, telling the crowd, “I believe we are succeeding in Iraq, thanks to the men and women who are serving our country.”
About 250 voters crowded into the diner to hear the Arizona Republican speak the day after he received President Bush’s endorsement for the presidency.
In his ongoing bid to heal the wounds of a tough primary battle, McCain paid homage to GOP rivals Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and Rudy Giuliani, calling them “great Americans.
McCain said he “appreciated their competition in this race,” adding, “We have emerged as a united party, and we will carry the state of Florida and this nation.”
McCain also renewed his call for U.S. energy independence from foreign oil, telling the crowd some money the United States spends on oil ends up in the hands of terrorists.
“We will eliminate our dependence on foreign oil,” McCain said. “$400 billion dollars per year of your money goes to countries that don’t like us very much, and some of it to terrorist organizations. As president of the United States, we will eliminate our dependence on foreign oil.”
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