John McCain photo

Remarks at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines

August 08, 2008


... prize-winning boar: Freight Train. 1,253 pounds. And it's a great -- a great experience.


And as soon as I finish here, we're going to try to have a pork chop on a stick and a deep-fried Twinkie.


So thank you all for -- and, you know, I want to point out, this is the heartland of America. This is what America is all about. This is the people I want to know and meet.

And when the rigors of a presidential campaign, people talk about it, I get a chance to come here and reap -- and meet and greet the real America, the people that are providing...


... that are providing products all over this world. All over the world people are consuming the quality products that are produced right here in the great state of Iowa.

And I want to say thank you for that.

And my mission and my job as president of the United States, one of them will be to make sure that every market in the world is open to your products.

And I know you know this, but it's interesting. There's $150 to be made for every hog that's raised and pig that's raised in this state. $30 of those $150 is exports that are sent to markets around the world. If we approve of a free trade agreement between the United States of America and South Korea, that will be 10 more dollars.

This agricultural products here in the state of Iowa can feed the world. And we're not afraid to compete with anybody in the world, my friends.


And that's what we can do here in the great state of Iowa.


Let me just mention one issue with you, because it's warm and I know you want to enjoy the fair rather than listening to a long-winded politician.

So let me just say, my friends, we are facing an energy crisis in America. Who is suffering the most from a $120 barrel of oil and $4- a-gallon gas at the gas station? And that's the lowest-income Americans who are driving the oldest automobiles.

We must achieve energy independence. When I'm president of the United States, we will. We cannot...


We cannot send $700 billion a year to countries that don't like us very much, and some of that money ends up in the hands of terrorist organizations. That's...


This microphone is brought to you courtesy of the Democratic National Committee.



My friends, we must achieve energy independence. I have a plan to do so, and it's all of the above. I call it the Lexington Project. It's got to be wind, tide, solar, nuclear. Nuclear power has to be part of any solution.


And, my friends, we're a long way from the ocean, but we've got to drill offshore, and we've got to drill now. Drill now.


My opponent doesn't want nuclear power, he doesn't want us to drill offshore, and the other day he mentioned that what we need to do is inflate our tires.

(LAUGHTER) My friends, I'm all in favor of inflating our tires, don't get me wrong, but that's a public service announcement, it's not an energy policy.


So we're having fun in this campaign, my friends, and I want you to have fun, too. I want you to enjoy this campaign.

I want you to ask Senator Obama to come to the town hall meetings with me and come here to Iowa, and we'll stand here together -- we'll stand here together and answer your questions and listen to your comments and hear your concerns.

America's hurting right now. I don't have to tell you that. But we've got a lot of work to do. And I want to tell you I'll reach across the aisle and I'll work with the Democrats. I will -- I will work with them to help America.


Because I'll put my country first and I'll put America first.


So let me -- let me just end up.

I've had the great honor, as I've been walking around here and meeting people and saying hello, to run into our great men and women who have served in our military. And that includes the Iowa Guard and Reserve.

Thank you for their service. Thank you for all of our veterans.


Thank you for what you've done in Iraq. Thank you for what you've done in Afghanistan. Thank you for your service to our country.

I'm honored -- I'm honored to know that the bravest and best and most professional military is the one we have today. And they have served and they have sacrificed.


And, my friends, we are winning in Iraq. And we have succeeded. And we will bring our troop home. But we'll bring them home with honor and victory, and not in defeat, as would have happened with my...


So, could I conclude by telling you a brief story that helped me put everything in priority? You know, we politicians need that from time to time.

It happened to me last August, in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. A woman stood up at a town hall meeting, and she said, "Senator McCain, will you do me the honor of wearing a bracelet with my son's name on it?"

His name was Matthew Stanley. He was 22 years old. He was killed in combat outside of Baghdad just before Christmas last year.

I said, "I have the honor to wear this bracelet with your son's name on it."

And she said, "But, Senator McCain, I want you to promise me one thing. I want you to promise me that you'll do everything in your power to make sure that my son's death was not in vain."

My friends, I want to be president of the United States because I want to inspire a generation of Americans to serve a cause greater than their self-interest. And that's what America is all about.

Our best days are ahead of us. America's greatness is ahead of us. We can -- we can recover our economy. We will lead the world.


And when I'm here, and I'm here in the great state of Iowa, it is affirmed by every single citizen I meet here.

I'm honored to be in your company. I'm honored what you do for America and the world.

And I want to tell you, we will disagree from time to time. I believe in renewable fuels. I don't believe in ethanol subsidies, but I believe in renewable fuels. I believe we have to do all of those things to restore our economy.

But, my friends -- and we will disagree on a specific issue, and that's healthy -- but I want to tell you, all my life, since I raised my hand at age 17 as a midshipman in the United States Naval Academy, I have put my country first. And I promise you I will put my country first and I will never let you down.

Thank you and God bless.

I need your support. I need your vote. Thank you very much.

John McCain, Remarks at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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