January 29, 2008

Eyes on the Primaries: McCain Looks to Win Florida

Print More

With Super Tuesday just a week away, Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) campaign is gaining momentum at a critical point in the presidential race. McCain is currently anticipating the results of today’s primary in Florida, considered to be the most decisive contest to date.
The senator began his presidential campaign about a year ago, receiving early support from fund-raisers and policy advisers from the past two Bush campaigns. McCain’s campaign has since raised $32.1 million, roughly half of what his Republican competitor former governor Mitt Romney has raised.
McCain started the primary season off trailing behind his contenders in the Iowa caucus on Jan. 3, but his campaign began picking up speed when he won the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 8 with 37.1 percent of the vote.
On Jan. 19, McCain won the South Carolina primary with 33.2 percent of the vote.
Recently, McCain has received an array of support from prominent public figures. On Jan. 25, The New York Times endorsed McCain as the Republican candidate.
“We have strong disagreements with all the Republicans running for president,” The Times stated in an editorial. “McCain is the only Republican who promises to end the George Bush style of governing from and on behalf of a small, angry fringe. With a record of working across the aisle to develop sound bipartisan legislation, he would offer a choice to a broader range of Americans than the rest of the Republican field.”
Additionally, on Jan. 26, just days before today’s primary in Florida, McCain received the endorsement of Gov. Charlie Crist (R-Fla.).
“Senator John McCain is a true American hero and patriot and I am honored to endorse him tonight in St. Petersburg,” Crist said.
One of the most prominent issues on McCain’s agenda is lowering the cost of health care.
“The biggest problem with the American health care system is that it costs too much … Businesses and families pay more and more every year to get what they often consider to be inadequate attention or poor care,” McCain stated in Iowa in October.
While McCain opposes making health care mandatory for all citizens, he has proposed a free-market system that would lower the cost of insurance. He plans to improve the affordability of health insurance by granting tax-credits to low-income earners, making generic drugs more easily available and creating a federal commission to oversee the cost of health insurance.
In response to the lagging economy, McCain has proposed make Bush’s tax cuts permanent and grant additional middle-class tax cuts.
“My middle-class tax cut is exactly what the sluggish U.S. economy needs. It would lower marginal tax rates, raise economic growth immediately and over the longer term, and over the next five years lead to an additional $2,000 for every man, woman and child in America,” McCain said on Jan. 12 in Michigan.
While his Democratic rivals have advocated for a troop withdrawal from Iraq, McCain supports a troop increase and opposes a timetable for withdrawal.
Laura Kaplan ’09 supports McCain and believes that he has the potential the steer the nation in the right direction.
“[McCain] has the intelligence, maturity and experience needed to navigate the country through the war in Iraq and restore the U.S.’s international image,” she said.
McCain has expressed mixed views on the controversial issue of abortion. Most recently, he articulated that he would like to see Roe v. Wade overturned and supported a federal ban on partial-birth abortion.
In 1999, however, McCain asserted that he would “love to see a point where [Roe v. Wade] is irrelevant, and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary. But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations.”
Before entering the political spectrum, McCain received many military honors for his service in the Vietnam War. While serving in the war in Oct. 1967, McCain was captured as a prisoner of war after a missile struck his plane. He remained in captivity for five and a half years.
McCain ran in the 2000 presidential race, but after losing to George W. Bush in the South Carolina primary, McCain’s campaign never rebounded and he lost nine of the 13 Super Tuesday contests.
“Senator McCain represents the best of both worlds. While he has been a diligent student of the ways of Washington, he has managed to stay true to his principles,” said Ilana Yoffe ’09, a McCain supporter. “Other candidates pay lip service to change, whereas Senator McCain’s actions have spoken louder than words.”
Want to read about the other candidates? Click on the candidates name: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), former Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Gov. Mitt Romney, former Sen. John Edwards , Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) or Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y).