Victories in the March 4 GOP primaries in Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island and Vermont helped Arizona Sen. John McCain secure his party's presidential nomination. New York Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign got a much-needed boost when she took both Ohio and Texas. Here are excerpts from the following candidates' March 4 speeches, including New York Sen. Hillary Clinton; Arizona Sen. John McCain; Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee:
McCain's victory speech from Dallas, Texas, after sweeping all four March 4 primaries:
"As you well know, America is at war in two countries and involved in a long and difficult fight with violent extremists who despise us, our values and modernity itself. It is of little use for Americans for their candidates to avoid the many complex challenges of these struggles by relitigating decisions of the past...We're in Iraq. And our most vital security interests are clearly involved there. The next president must explain how he or she intends to bring that war to the swiftest possible conclusion without exacerbating a sectarian conflict that could quickly descend into genocide, destabilizing the entire Middle East, and enabling our adversaries in the region to extend their influence and undermine our security there and emboldening terrorists to attack us elsewhere with weapons we dare not allow them to possess."
Clinton's victory speech from Columbus, Ohio, after learning she won the Rhode Island and Ohio contests:
"They call Ohio a bellwether state. It's a battleground state. It's a state that knows how to pick a president. And no candidate in recent history, Democrat or Republican, has won the White House without winning the Ohio primary...This is a great night. But we all know that these are challenging times. We have two wars abroad. We have a recessionlooming here at home. Voters faced a critical question: Who is tested and ready to be commander in chief on day one? And who knows how to turn our economy around? Because we sure do need it. Ohio has written a new chapter in the history of this campaign, and we're just getting started."
Obama's speech from San Antonio, Texas, after winning the Vermont primary:
"In the weeks to come, we will begin a great debate about the future of this country with a man who has served it bravely and loves it dearly. And tonight I called John McCain and congratulated him on winning the Republican nomination...But in this campaign, he has fallen in line behind the very same policies that have ill-served America...And John McCain and Hillary Clinton have echoed each other,dismissing this call for change as eloquent but empty; speeches, not solutions. And yet they know, or they should know, that it's a call that did not begin with my words. It began with words that were spoken on the floors of factories in Ohio and across the deep plains of Texas, words that came from classrooms in South Carolina and living rooms in the state of Ohio, from first-time voters and lifelong cynics, from Democrats and independents and Republicans alike."
Huckabee's final speech of his presidential campaign from Irving, Texas:
"It's now important that we turn our attention not to what could have been or what we wanted to have been but what now must be, and that is a united party, but a party that indeed comes together on those principles that have brought many of us not just to this race but to politics in general...Let me say, while many among the establishment never really believed I belonged, there were a lot of people in this country who did. And, most importantly, these are the people across this nation who gave me a voice over these past 14 months."
Source: Transcripts of speeches provided by Federal News Service.