As returns were still coming in on Tuesday night at John McCain headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, a conservative icon and McCain campaign advisor told Newsmax why conservatives should embrace McCain, and sketched out the Senator’s broad strategy for defeating the Democrats in November.
Former Senator George Allen of Virginia, once considered by conservatives as a top seed for this year’s presidential contest, volunteered that he wasn’t a McCain supporter from day one.
“I was Fred Thompson’s national campaign co-chair,” he said. But when Thompson dropped out, Allen surveyed the remaining candidates and determined to throw his support to McCain.
“John McCain was the strongest and most credible on national defense, for curtailing wasteful spending. He had good ideas for reducing taxes and making this country more competitive,” Allen told Newsmax at McCain headquarters at the Old Town Alexandria Holiday Inn last night.
“And I trust John McCain much more than any Democrat to nominate to the federal bench conservative judges who understand that their job is to apply the law, not invent the law.”
Allen believes that if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, she would “certainly unite everyone in our party with her high negatives.”
If Barack Obama emerged as the Democrats’ pick, McCain would have to play a different suit, since Obama does not have Hillary’s negatives.
“The distinction between Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain is Sen. McCain’s experience, his leadership,” Allen said. “Who would you trust more in the midst of this war against terrorists?”
McCain raised a similar theme in his speech to supporters later in the evening, once the results were in showing he had won a clean sweep of the Chesapeake primaries.
“We don’t yet know for certain who will have the honor of being the Democratic party’s nominee for president. But we know where either of their candidates will lead this country. And we dare not let them,” McCain said to whoops and applause from the more than 1,000 supporters who had gathered to cheer him in the ballroom.
November’s contest will present candidates representing an obvious choice on an array of issues of concern to Americans.
“Once it gets down to who you trust the most to be commander in chief in fighting these vile, intolerant, hate-filled terrorists, I think people will look at John McCain and say, he’s a real leader. He’s got real character,” Allen said.
“That matters a lot to our troops and it matters a great deal to their families praying for their safe return,” he added.
A victory by the Democrats will send a very different message, Allen argued. “America’s enemies are going to say, ‘America’s lost her nerve.’ And that’s not a good image you want against the terrorists, nor for our allies that we may need in the future as well.”
McCain also appeals to conservatives because of his strong record of fighting against government waste. For years, McCain has sponsored the annual “Pig Book,” which exposes Congressional pork spending.
“Our base has been disgusted by the wasteful spending in Washington,” Allen told Newsmax. “And there’s no one more tenacious in fighting against it than John McCain. John McCain’s not going to have this wasteful spending on Woodstock museums or bridges to nowhere.”
As Allen summed it up, Conservatives should look at McCain’s votes in the U.S. Senate, which have earned him a lifetime record of 82.3% from the American Conservative Union, as opposed to 9% for Senator Clinton and 8% for Senator Obama.
“Value voters will look at McCain’s record,” Allen said And especially, they will look at four things: “Who we need leading our country in the war; our economic security, reducing wasteful spending in Washington, and nominating judges who understand that their role is to apply the law rather than invent it.”
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