Monday February 11, 2008
The Virginia Aviation Museum was packed as veterans, religious leaders and prominent republican politicians turned out to support the likely GOP presidential nominee.
"He's going to make sure that we reach out as a party to get independents and democrats much like Reagan did in 1980," recalls former Attorney General Jerry Kilgore. "That was my first presidential vote and I see some of the same qualities in John McCain."
McCain hit on a number of key republican issues promising smaller government, strict constructionist judges and lower taxes.
And as he's done in so many of his speeches he emphasized his position on Iraq.
"I want to continue this surge which, as you know, is succeeding," McCain told the crowd, before saying of his democratic opponents, "they want to set a date for surrender. I will never surrender."
He also discussed the importance of tracking down al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, sending the crowd into a frenzy with some of his patented straight talk.
"I'm going to look you in the eye right now, my friends, and I'll tell you right now, if I have to follow him to the gates of Hell, I'll get Osama bin Laden and I know how to do it."
Much like McCain himself, supporters of the Arizona senator say they see a clear difference between the former POW and Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
"I think it's great to have a military man in the office because he knows what the veterans are going through. He's been through it himself," said retired Naval officer Tommy Sammons.
When asked for his advice to Virginia voters, McCain told CBS 19: "Please get out and vote and vote for me and I'll appreciate their support."