McCain Meets with Billy Graham and Son

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CBNNews.com -  Republican presidential nominee John McCain had the chance to pray with an old acquaintance of his family on Sunday.

He met privately with Billy Graham and his son Franklin at Graham's home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The three men met for almost an hour.

It was McCain's first time to meet the evangelist. The elder Graham had prayed with McCain's parents twice while John was being held as a prisoner of war in Hanoi during the Vietnam War.

Franklin Graham said his father "expressed gratitude for the senator's long and brave service" to the country.

McCain has been trying to court the religious and conservative vote, but he insists the meeting wasn't a political one.

"They have known my family and me for many years, and the great leaders of this nation," McCain said. "I appreciate the opportunity to visit with him and am very grateful for the time they spent with me."

After the meeting, Franklin Graham praised McCain for his "personal faith and moral clarity." He said he would not endorse anyone for president, but he asked "men and women of faith" to vote and be involved in the political process. Graham also said they had the opportunity to pray for the senator and his family, and "for God's will to be done in this upcoming election."

"I encourage people to vote for the candidate at every level who best represents their values and convictions, and then to pray for those in authority over us as required in Scripture," Franklin Graham said.

McCain said last week that he did not consider the meeting with Franklin Graham political.

"He is a man whose family is respected, incredibly respected, and I consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to meet with him," McCain said.

"I think the Graham family really transcends politics in America. Billy Graham was an adviser to every president and so I'm not sure that there is any - there certainly is no political aspect to the meeting that I will have," he explained.

Earlier this month, Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, met with the younger Graham and 30 other evangelical leaders in Chicago.

Source: The Associated Press, ABC News

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