CBNNews.com - Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin hit the campaign trail in Wisconsin and Michigan today. Those are their first campaign appearances after becoming the official presidentian and vice presidential canditates of the GOP Thursday night.
Alive and Kicking
Many times the so-called experts declared McCain's candidacy dead on arrival this past year. But now he and Palin are leaving the convention alive and kicking.
Last night McCain, a self-described political maverick and a former prisoner of war, challenged leaders to set aside partisan politics and called on all Americans to join the fight in making their country a better place.
Click the player for a CBN News interview with Charles Dunn of the Regent University School of Government.
"Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight," McCain shouted above the roaring crowd as he ended his acceptance speech for the GOP nomination. "We're Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history." Watch McCain's full acceptance speech here.
McCain began by calling on politicians to stop working against each other and to put the country above their own self-interests. He says he, not his opponent, will "get this country moving again."
"I have that record and the scars to prove it. Senator Obama does not," he said.
Throughout his speech McCain repeatedly highlighted the idea that public office required serving others over personal interests.
"The constant partisan rancor that stops us from solving these problems isn't a cause, it's a symptom. It's what happens when people go to Washington to work for themselves and not you," McCain said.
Toward the end of his acceptance speech, the veteran senator challenged those who find fault with America to do something to fix it and to make their country a better.
"Because nothing brings greater happiness in life than to serve a cause greater than yourself," said.
After laying out his policy ideas for job creation, energy independence, and education reform, McCain retold his experiences as prisoner of war. He told of how his time in a Vietnam cell with his captors broke his cocky self-confidence and sense of toughness. He told of how it taught him how much he loved his country.
"I was blessed by misfortune. I was blessed because I served in the company of heros," he said, telling of the bravery and inspiration of those fellow American prisoners who struggled with him.
"I'm not running for president because I think I'm blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save our country in its hour of need. My country saved me," he said.
The senator again offered praise for his choice of a running mate in Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. He stressed she's the right person to bring reform to the Capitol.
"She stands up for what's right, and she doesn't let anyone tell her to sit down," he said. "I'm very proud to have introduced our next Vice President to the country. But I can't wait until I introduce her to Washington."
"And let me offer an advance warning to the old, big spending, do nothing, me first, country second Washington crowd: change is coming," he continued.
Since bringing on Palin, the McCain camp has been driving home the reformer image of both candidates. Along that theme, McCain vowed to confront the corruption that has disillusioned many with American politcs.
"We're elected to change Washington, and we let Washington change us," McCain said. "We lost their trust, when we valued our power over our principles. "The party of Lincoln, Roosevelt and Reagan is going to get back to basics."
McCain Emphasizes Patriotism
The long-time public servant and war hero wrapped up his acceptance speech by elaborating on his deep and abiding love for America.
"I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else's," he said. "I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasn't my own man anymore. I was my country's."
Thursday night's speech kicks off the final two month sprint to election day, Nov. 4.
McCain's speech Thursday night was briefly interrupted by a lone protester who yelled out as the senator spoke.
"My friends. Please don't alarmed by the ground noise and the static," McCain quipped, as the person was escorted out of the building. "I'll keep saying it. But Americans want us to stop yelling at each other, okay?"