McCain Brings His Message to Jackson - - Jackson, MS

Jackson 03/31/08

McCain Brings His Message to Jackson

By Jon Kalahar

Presumptive Republican nominee John McCain began his "Service to America" tour right here in Mississippi.  As he waits for the Democrats to decide who will oppose him in the November general election, this gives McCain the opportunity to tell voters what he's all about.

But one thing's for sure when talking about John McCain. We all know he's strong in national defense and he supports the war in Iraq.  This tour gives him a chance to talk about other issues like the national economy and even education right here in Mississippi.

With family roots based in Carroll County, John McCain began his "Service to America" tour in the Magnolia state. The goal is to let voters come to know the Senator from Arizona. And rather than focus on his tough stance on national defense or his intention to continue the war in Iraq, McCain was asked about the economy and education, and of course gas prices.

"We're sending $300 billion overseas," he said. "We've got to have solar, wind, tide, nuclear power and reduce and eliminate our dependence on foreign oil."

Governor Haley Barbour thinks Mississippians will like what they hear from McCain, especially on the economy.

"Here's a guy that's stood tall against high prices, high spending in the government," said Barbour. 

Others believe McCain is the right leader at the right time.

"When he gets in that debate, when more people hear him as I did today, one on one, they're going to say that's the type of leader I need," said Lt. Governor Phil Bryant.

"There's always a tie in history when people of strong courage, character and leadership are needed," said retired senator Trent Lott. "I believe this is a time when John McCain has got what he people are looking for."

But McCain isn't underestimating his competition in Mississippi. He says he will have to energize his supporters to win in November.

"We'll have to energize our base, not just here in Mississippi but around the country," McCain said. "We've got to energize (our party). Mississippi is one of the places we'll have to do that."

McCain's great-grandfather was sheriff of Carroll County, and his grandfather was born in that part of the state.

McCain will officially receive the Republican party nomination for President in September at the party's national convention in Minneapolis.

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