Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Gary Bauer And Oliver North Endorse McCain

Senator John McCain picked up two important endorsements today - and meaningful ones as far as I'm concerned.

The first one was from someone you know well, Colonel Oliver North. Here's a bit of what he had to say about the matter:


Neither John McCain nor anyone in his campaign asked me to write this column. But I cannot sit silently while my fellow conservatives do to John McCain what GOP "moderates" did to me. Today the stakes for our country are far higher, and the implications for the future are far greater than who sits in one of 100 U.S. Senate seats. Now our nation is at war against a vicious foe. We need a president who has proved how to win it.

During the course of the past six years, I have made a dozen protracted trips to cover U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen, guardsmen and Marines defending us against a jihad hostile to all that we hold dear. In the dark days when Iraq's Anbar province was the bloodiest place on the planet, John McCain was one of the few in Congress brave enough to venture into that cauldron. I know because I saw him there.

During those trips, he listened to bright, brave young Americans wearing flak jackets and flight suits and became a steadfast supporter of a winning strategy for ending this long and costly conflict. But the senator's commitment goes far beyond political rhetoric. One of his sons is a student at our alma mater; the other is a Marine Corps lance corporal serving in harm's way. Thanks to John McCain's vision and resolve, a few weeks ago, my cameraman and I walked in shirt sleeves down streets in Ramadi and Fallujah, where we used to dodge bullets, IEDs and RPGs.

The election in November will determine how we proceed on the most profoundly important matter confronting our nation: the crucial outcome of an unprovoked war being waged against us by radical Islam. All other issues, as important as they are, pale in comparison to achieving victory over those who seek to destroy our very way of life.

Sen. McCain has pledged to win this war. We must do so, for the consequences of failure would be staggering. But as he has acknowledged, he cannot do that without the support of conservatives who man the phone banks, raise the funds, walk the precincts and turn out the vote on Election Day. I hope my fellow conservatives will decide as I have: We need John McCain as commander in chief.

The other endorsement came from a man not so well known,but someone I've come to know and respect through our work together on various issues and a man that I supported for president when he ran some years ago, Gary Bauer:

{..}As a conservative Republican, I respect those who seek ideological purity from the man who would lead our party. But it is also as a conservative Republican that I respectfully ask conservatives to consider these crucial numbers before they abandon Mr. McCain.

Six — That's the number of Supreme Court justices who will be 70 years old or older on Inauguration Day 2009. That number includes all five of the court's left-leaning members. Court watchers predict that the next president will appoint at least two, and as many as five, justices.

Twenty-six — That's the average tenure in years of Supreme Court justices since 1970. While presidents remain in office for four or eight years, Supreme Court appointees have the opportunity to shape our laws for a generation or more.

We know what sort of justices Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama would appoint. Both voted against John Roberts and Samuel Alito and have spoken admiringly of the court's most liberal justices. Mr. McCain, on the other hand, voted to confirm both Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito, and he has pledged to nominate "strict constructionist" judges in the mold of the court's four conservative members. With so many Supreme Court rulings — including those concerning abortion, affirmative action, states' rights, the Second Amendment and religious freedom — being decided by slim 5-4 margins, the prospect of either Democratic candidate nominating even one justice should be enough to rally conservatives around Mr. McCain.

Eighty — That's the percentage by which Iraqi and American deaths fell between December 2006, just before Mr. Bush announced the troop surge, and December 2007. In the face of national defeatism, Mr. McCain stood, virtually alone, as an outspoken defender of the surge strategy. Although he knew his position was deeply unpopular, as he once told a reporter, "I'd rather lose the presidency than lose the war."

Eighty-two — That's the lifetime American Conservative Union rating John McCain has compiled in 25 years in Congress, a score comparable to those of numerous other Senate conservatives, including Sens. Charles Grassley, Lamar Alexander, Bob Bennett and former Sen. Rick Santorum. Meanwhile, Mr. McCain has a 4 percent lifetime rating from the National Abortion Rights Action League, voting pro-life 123 times out of 128

Adding up these numbers helps explain why so many conservative leaders — including Sam Brownback, Tom Coburn, Phil Gramm, Jon Kyl, Haley Barbour, Jack Kemp, Tim Pawlenty and Ted Olsen — have endorsed Mr. McCain.

I've done the math, and that is why I have decided to join these and many other conservatives in endorsing John McCain for president in 2008.

It's one thing to see endorsements from people you don't know personally.That happens all the time.

In this case, these are people who's integrity, patriotism and common sense I have absolutely no doubts about, people I've interacted with personally and have tremendous respect for.

So, like a lot of people, I have some thinking to do. It may just be time for me to get off the fence.

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