Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New Hampshire newspapers make the case for McCain

Arizona Senator John McCain won the endorsements of the state's two most influential newspapers -- the Portsmouth Herald and the conservative Manchester Union-Leader.

These endorsements make compelling arguments as to why McCain should be our next president.

Portsmouth Herald
U.S. Sen. John McCain will tell you the truth, even if it costs him the election.
He has a very clear-eyed view of the truth having spent his life fighting for our country and leading the U.S. Senate for the past 20 years on virtually every critical issue facing our nation.
In our view, John McCain stands head and shoulders above the rest of the Republican field and deserves the support of those voting in the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary Jan. 8.

We were deeply moved at a forum here at Seacoast Media Group Dec. 6 when the senator spoke soothing words to a disabled veteran so despondent over his injuries, he asked whether he had a right to go on living. McCain's answer was kind and sincere, emphasizing his belief in the value of all life and the hope that medical advances would someday allow this good man to recover some of what he had lost.

McCain is pro-life, but his views are broad in this area. He also believes in federal funding of embryonic stem cell research because in his view life is also sacred after you have left the womb.

This kindness and pragmatism also guided his thinking on immigration. McCain's state of Arizona borders Mexico and is on the front line of America's struggle with illegal immigration. His position is that we need to tighten our borders and enforce the laws already on the books, but we also need to create a path to citizenship for good, honest, hardworking families who make a real contribution to this country.

His principled stance on immigration has made enemies in his own party and has hurt him in Iowa where this is a major issue.

McCain also angered Republicans with his bipartisan McCain-Feingold legislation that tried to even the playing field to restore the power of one person, one vote, that had been replaced by a million dollars, a million votes. That legislation clearly had some flaws as we have seen special interest groups like MoveOn.org and Swift Boat Veterans For Truth pouring limitless amounts of money into campaigns on behalf of their candidates and causes, but his efforts to reform campaign finances show that McCain's first priority is putting power in the hands of the people and that he can work in a bipartisan way to make it happen.

If McCain is president, nobody would have to write him a memo about whether it is legal to use torture. As a former prisoner of war who was denied medical care and beaten by the North Vietnamese, McCain understands at the deepest level that torturing helpless prisoners who may or may not have some information of value to our national security is a losing strategy in the long run, putting our own soldiers at greater risk for torture and lowering our nation's moral authority in the world.

On Iraq, McCain provides a compelling critique of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's mistakes and paints a positive picture of where we would be if we had gone into the country with a sufficient number of troops who were properly trained and equipped. He says the success of the current surge supports his position. There are some on our editorial board who strongly disagree with McCain's position on Iraq, but ultimately history will be the judge of whether he is right or wrong.

McCain is willing to speak the truth about massive spending and the debt we have piled on ourselves. The Republicans have become the party of big spenders, he says. And he can say that because he has spent decades fighting pork-barrel projects proposed by his congressional colleagues.

McCain has been a leader on energy independence and global climate change. He is the only top-tier Republican candidate who agrees that global climate change is real and that it needs to be addressed immediately. He would make sustainable energy a top priority.

John McCain has been leading the country from his seat in the U.S. Senate for 20 years. He is a man of integrity and honor who would help the Republicans rid themselves of the stench of Jack Abramoff and other lobbyists and allow the GOP to reclaim its status as the party of fiscal restraint. He is a strong military man prepared from day one to defend our nation against its enemies. Of all the Republicans running, he is by far the best qualified to lead our country.

We hope voters in the Republican primary will support John McCain.


Manchester Union-Leader
On Jan. 8, New Hampshire Republicans will make one of the most important choices for their party and nation in the history of our presidential primary. Their choice ought to be John McCain.

We don't agree with him on every issue. We disagree with him strongly on campaign finance reform. What is most compelling about McCain, however, is that his record, his character, and his courage show him to be the most trustworthy, competent, and conservative of all those seeking the nomination. Simply put, McCain can be trusted to make informed decisions based on the best interests of his country, come hell or high water.
Competence, courage, and conviction are enormously important for our next President to possess. No one has a better understanding of U.S. interests and dangers right now than does McCain. He was right on the mistakes made by the Bush administration in prosecuting the Islamic terrorist war in Iraq and he is being proved right on the way forward both there and worldwide.

McCain is pro-life. Always has been. He fights against special-interest and pork-barrel spending, and high spending in general, which ticks off liberals and many in the GOP who have wallowed at the public trough. Yet he also has the proven ability, unique among the contenders, to work across the political divide that has led our government into petty bickering when important problems need to be solved.

We have known John McCain for many years. We will write more about him in the days ahead. For now, we leave you with this to ponder:

When McCain was shot down and taken prisoner by the North Vietnamese, he was repeatedly beaten. When his captors discovered that his father was a top U.S. admiral, they ordered him released for propaganda purposes. But McCain refused, insisting that longer-held prisoners be released before him. So they beat him some more. He never gave in then, and he won't give in to our enemies now.

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