McCain Speaks to Rice Students and Alumni

Senator John McCain was in Houston to do some fundraising and hold a short townhall meeting at Rice University. He also picked up another endorsement while he was in town. Houston Public Radio’s Laurie Johnson reports.


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John McCain spoke for about an hour at the James Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.

A short time later at a separate event, former Secretary of State James Baker himself publicly endorsed McCain.

“Today Americans want results, they don’t want rhetoric. They want solutions for problems that range from social security to social ills, from weapons of mass descruction to environmental descruction, from public education to the security of our republic. John McCain offers the roll-up-your-sleeves bottom-line approach that Americans, and I think especially Texans, demand of their leaders.”

McCain spoke to Rice University faculty, students and alumni. He touched on key campaign points including national security, immigration reform, permanent tax cuts, and the war in Iraq.

“Senator Obama said well we shouldn’t have gone in in the first place, if we hadn’t gone in the first place then we wouldn’t be facing this problem. Well that’s history, that’s the past. That’s talking about what happened before. What we should be talking about is what we’re going to do now. And what we’re going to do now is continue this strategy which is succeeding in Iraq and we are carrying out the goals of the surge. The Iraqi military are taking over more and more of the responsibilities, the casualties are down and we will be able to withdraw and come home but we will come home with honor.”

The Senator spent the bulk of his short visit taking questions from the audience. Most of the questions centered on the war and the role of the U.S. in the global community. McCain says he’s been involved in every major national security issue for the last 20 years and believes he has the experience and judgment to lead the country.

“And the issue of Iraq, as you know it wasn’t very popular to support the surge some time ago, and many pundits said that I was through. And my friends, at the time that I was told that I said I would much rather lose a political capaign than lose a war and I feel that way today. And I will be glad to engage in this debate not only on Iraq, but how we confront this transcendent evil of the 21st century which is radical Islamic extremism.”

Senator McCain also says the U.S. needs to decrease dependency on foreign oil, promote free trade with other countries, and secure the nation’s borders.

Laurie Johnson. Houston Public Radio News.

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Laurie Johnson-Ramirez

Laurie Johnson-Ramirez

News Director

Laurie Johnson-Ramirez leads news coverage for Houston Public Media across broadcast and digital platforms. Ramirez is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Before becoming News Director, Ramirez held the position of Executive Producer for Daily News, leading daily and breaking news coverage, helping...

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