On The Trail With McCain

GOP presidential nominee John McCain and his vice presidential pick, Sarah Palin, campaign in swing states after leaving the Republican National Convention.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

SCOTT SIMON:

To presidential politics now. John McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin spending the weekend campaigning together in Western battleground states. Democrat Barack Obama has campaign stops today in Indiana. We'll have more on Mr. Obama's campaign in a moment. First NPR's Scott Horsley reports on how Senator McCain and Governor Palin spent their first day as partners on the official Republican ticket.

SCOTT HORSLEY: The campaign billed the event as a "Meet and Greet on McCain Street U.S.A." But it was actually an old-fashioned political rally in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.

(Soundbite of song "Who says you can't go home?")

BON JOVI & Ms. JENNIFER NETTLES: (Singing) Who says you can't go home? There's only one place they call me one of their own. HORSLEY: The picturesque city of 11,000, just north of Milwaukee, put out the welcome mat. Cedarburg High School Marching Band was on hand, and John McCain and Sarah Palin's names had been added to the marquee above the art deco Rivoli Theater.

Ms. NANCY SWITZER(ph) (Cedarburg Resident): That was just redone, and now it looks almost 100 percent like it did when I grew up.

HORSLEY: Nancy Switzer is a Cedarburg native. She held a hand-painted sign celebrating McCain and Palin. The life-long Republican says her enthusiasm for McCain jumped dramatically after he named his new running mate a week ago.

Ms. SWITZER: I'm pro-life. This is my 30-year-old son. I, at one time, was an unwed mother. I do not believe in abortion. Otherwise he wouldn't be here. So I'm Palin-McCain or McCain-Palin all the way.

HORSLEY: Palin used to be mayor of a small town before she became governor of Alaska, and she'd paid tribute to small town living in her convention speech Wednesday night.

Governor SARAH PALIN (Republican, Alaska; 2008 Republican Vice Presidential Nominee): So it fits that we came right from that convention in Minneapolis to small town America.

(Soundbite of crowd ovation)

HORSLEY: Palin and McCain dropped in to the chocolate factory where the Alaska Governor ordered a large Moose Tracks ice cream cone. Later, the Republican nominees traveled to Michigan where they rallied with thousands of supporters outside Detroit, and McCain tried to claim the title of change agent from Barack Obama. The Arizona senator argued he's taken the risk of challenging his own party on issues like climate change and immigration, while Obama has rarely stood up to his fellow Democrats.

Senator JOHN MCCAIN (Republican, Arizona; 2008 Republican Presidential Nominee): If you want real reform, if you want real change, send the ones who have actually done it. Send the ones who - send a team of mavericks who aren't afraid to go to Washington and break some china.

(Soundbite of crowd ovation)

HORSLEY: Democrats argued that McCain is not the maverick he claims to be, siding with President Bush nine times out of 10. While McCain and Palin are campaigning in swing states, so far they're sticking to heavily Republican neighborhoods. Scott Horsley, NPR News, Colorado Springs.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Related NPR Stories

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.