Bush Hails McCain as 'Ready to Lead'

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CBNNews.com - Speaking to Republican convention-goers Tuesday night, President Bush praised John McCain as a courageous candidate who is "ready to lead this nation."

"John McCain's life has prepared him to make those choices. He is ready to lead this nation," Bush said at the Republican National Convention. He spoke briefly via satellite from the White House.  Click here to watch President Bush's entire speech.

Bush had been scheduled to speak Monday night, but chose to postpone because of the threat Hurricane Gustav posed to New Orleans.

He called McCain courageous for supporting the Iraq war, despite the political risks to his bid for the White House. Bush reminded his party of how the senator stood by his call for a troop surge in Iraq despite the Democrats threat to cut troop funding.

He said McCain "above all had faith in our troops and the importance of their mission."

"Some told him that his early and consistent call for more troops would put his Presidential campaign at risk. He told them he would rather lose an election than see his country lose a war," Bush said. "That is the kind of courage and vision we need in our next Commander-in-Chief."

Bush continued on the national security theme that has marked his presidency since 9/11.

"We live in a dangerous world. And we need a President who understands the lessons of September 11, 2001: that to protect America, we must stay on the offense, stop attacks before they happen, and not wait to be hit again," Bush said

"John is an independent man who thinks for himself," he said. "He's not afraid to tell you when he disagrees. No matter what the issue, this man is honest and speaks straight from the heart."

Bush told those gathered that he was confident that Americans will "cast their ballots for the McCain-Palin ticket."

He also joked that although he could not be at the convention, "with Laura Bush there, you have clearly traded up."

Source: CBN News, The Associated Press

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