John McCain photo

Remarks in Miami, Florida

November 03, 2008

[delivered at midnight]

"Thank you! My friends, it's official: There's just one day left until we take America in a new direction!

We need to win Florida on November 4th, and with your help - we're going to win here, and bring real change to Washington. I need your help. Volunteer. Knock on doors. Get your neighbors to the polls. With your help, we can win. We need a new direction, and we have to fight for it.

I've been fighting for this country since I was seventeen years old, and I have the scars to prove it. If I'm elected President, I will fight to shake up Washington and take America in a new direction from my first day in office until my last. I'm not afraid of the fight, I'm ready for it.

We're going to cut taxes for working families. And we will cut business taxes to help create jobs, and keep American businesses in America. Senator Obama's massive new tax increase would kill jobs and make a bad economy worse. I'm not going to let that happen. We need pro-growth and pro-jobs economic policies, not pro-government spending programs paid for with higher taxes.

If I'm elected President, I won't spend nearly a trillion dollars more of your money. Senator Obama will. I'm going to make government live on a budget just like you do. And I will veto every single pork barrel bill Congresses passes.

I'm not going to spend $750 billion dollars of your money just bailing out the Wall Street bankers and brokers who got us into this mess. Senator Obama will. I'm going to make sure we take care of the working people who were devastated by the excesses of Wall Street and Washington.

I have a plan to fix our housing market, to get home values up and keep people in their homes. That's the American dream and I'm going to protect it.

Democrats are talking about taxing your 401k contributions. I'm going to protect people's retirement, not tax it. I'm going to protect Social Security. I'm going to protect Medicare. And I'm not going to let this Congress tax away your retirement savings.

If I'm elected President, we're going to stop spending $700 billion to buy oil from countries that don't like us very much. We are going to create millions of new jobs with alternative energies. We will lower the cost of energy with every energy alternative - wind, solar, tidal, hybrid cars, clean coal, safe nuclear power, and environmentally safe offshore drilling. Senator Obama opposes drilling. When I am president, we will drill offshore, and we will drill now.

Senator Obama told Joe the Plumber - or as they say in little Havana: Pepe el Plomero - that he wants to quote "spread the wealth around." He's running to be Redistributionist in Chief. I'm running to be Commander in Chief. Senator Obama is running to spread the wealth. I'm running to create more wealth. Senator Obama is running to punish the successful. I'm running to make everyone successful.

This is the fundamental difference between Senator Obama and me. We both disagree with President Bush on economic policy. The difference is that he thinks taxes have been too low, and I think that spending has been too high. My friends, I'm not George Bush. If Senator Obama wanted to run against George Bush, he should have run four years ago.

If we are going to change Washington, we need a President who has actually fought for change and made it happen. The next President won't have time to get used to the office. We face many challenges here at home, and many enemies abroad in this dangerous world.

Senator Biden has warned that Senator Obama would be tested with an international crisis, and at the same time, Democrats in Congress are talking about deep defense cuts. We have troops fighting in two wars, and their answer is to lower our defenses and put someone in office who our enemies will test.

I've been tested, and I've passed that test. Senator Obama hasn't. He's been wrong during this whole campaign. He said he would sit down unconditionally with dictators like the Castro brothers. When Russia invaded Georgia, Sen. Obama said the invaded country should show restraint. He opposed the surge strategy that has worked in Iraq and will work in Afghanistan. When I am president, we are going to win in Iraq and win in Afghanistan, and our troops will come home with victory and honor.

Let me give you some straight talk about the election. America faces a big choice, and there's just 1 day left. The pundits have written us off, just like they've done before, and my opponent is measuring the drapes in the White House. They may not know it, but the Mac is Back! And we're going to win this election!

I'm an American. And I choose to fight. Don't give up hope. Be strong. Have courage. And fight. Fight for a new direction for our country. Fight for what's right for America.

Fight to clean up the mess of corruption, infighting and selfishness in Washington.

Fight to get our economy out of the ditch and back in the lead.

Fight for the ideals and character of a free people.

Fight for our children's future.

Fight for justice and opportunity for all.

Stand up to defend our country from its enemies.

Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. America is worth fighting for. Nothing is inevitable here. We never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history. Now, let's go win this election and get this country moving again."

John McCain, Remarks in Miami, Florida Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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