By John Cook
Just days after Sen. John McCain announced his intention to run for the presidency on the Letterman Show, McCain made his first official campaign fundraising stop in Utah.
“When your first stop after making the announcement is the great State of Utah, it would suggest that we are a player,” said Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. at Friday”s press conference. “Here we have attracted the quintessential western candidate.”
Huntsman re-emphasized his support for McCain by telling Utahns that McCain understands Utah.
“I”m very grateful to have the support and friendship of the Huntsman family,” McCain said. “We have had the opportunity to work together on a number of areas, including many of our western issues – issues like water, issues like growth that is dynamic, issues such as fiscal responsibility and other western values.”
Issues facing the country range from the war in Iraq to healthcare and education.
However, Iraq continues to be foremost on the minds of most Americans and will continue to be throughout the election.
“I still understand that Iraq is dominant,” McCain said. “We have the right general, the right strategy. I”m confident that we can succeed, and I am confident that the consequence of failure will be chaos, genocide, and America will sooner or later be back.”
Among the list of consequences for pulling out, McCain reiterated to the Utah public that if America doesn”t stand up to the insurgents, “they will follow us home.”
McCain continues to stand by his previous statements on the Iraq War: the troop surge is best for both America and the future of Iraq.
If elected, McCain said he would hit the pavement running and continue to reach across the partisan aisle.
“Whether they be conservative Democrats like Joe Lieberman or liberal ones like Russ Feingold and Ted Kennedy, I have a proven record of reaching across the aisle and working in a bi-partisan fashion,” McCain said.