This campaign event summary was written by Joe Briggs. Mr. Briggs is the host of “PolicyWatch”- an apolitical foreign and domestic policy talk show aired on channel 23 in Manchester. He can be reached at 603.493.2386.
Manchester NH, July 25, 2007
Arizona's Senior Senator and Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain appeared before a town-hall style gathering in a restored post-office in downtown Manchester; now the law offices of the State's largest law firm of Devine Millimet.
He opened up the meeting with remarks detailing the growing threat of Al Queda in Iraq, the need to succeed in the military effort, and the growing threat of Iran as it exports its deadly armor-piercing IED road-side explosives to the insurgents opposing the US forces now occupying that country. He stated that he had been blessed with the ability to know what is in the best interest of our country, and the fortitude to act on it. McCain also stated that he would make energy-independence a strategic security objective of the country, and, citing the success of the French nuclear power industry, emphasize the role of that technology and fuel recycling.
Upon opening up for questions, he was first asked if he supported former British Prime-Minister Tony Blair's statement last week of the critical importance of moving forward to end the long suffering of the Palestinians and establish their own independent, contiguous, and democratic state. McCain responded that he was in principle, but that he was more interested in the threats that the Israeli government was facing in the region, namely from Iran, and that it was essential that Hamas political party acknowledge the right of the Jewish State to exist first. When asked in the post-discussion press session if he would press the Israeli government to offer the same acknowledgment of the right of a Palestinian state to exist, he declined.
A orthopedic surgeon and member of the influential American Medical Association who qualified himself as not supporting a single-payer national health-care system asked how McCain would help pay for those who could not afford care. The senator replied that he acknowledged that health-care is one of the key domestic issues, and one in which he is still familiarizing himself with the details. He wanted to follow-up with future single-topic meetings to increase his awareness of the issue and solution options, but stated that the Canadian model was not in the cards.
One mother had professed that she has lost faith in the government to protect her family and the country, and felt ashamed that she couldn't honestly answer her teenager's questions on the issue. A young girl of about eight years old asked him what he was going to do about Iran. He responded that despite the trouble that he got into earlier this year by responding to the same question by singing “Bomb, bomb, Iran” to the tune of “Barbara Ann”, he said he still liked the Beach Boys.
McCain's appearance was the 2nd in a series of candidate appearances jointly sponsored by the Manchester Chamber of Commerce and the Law Firm of Devine Millimet.