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September 12, 2007 9:29 AM

McCain campaigns on 9/11


Sen. John McCain broke with tradition by staging a political rally on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

M.E. Sprengelmeyer reports:

With fellow prisoners of war and military veterans at his side, McCain launched a seven-day "No Surrender" tour at an aircraft hangar in Sioux City, Iowa, hoping to build support for the war in Iraq.

It comes at a time when the U.S. Senate has been grilling the top war commander, Gen. David Petraeus, over the results of a so-called troop "surge" earlier this year - and as many fellow lawmakers, including some from McCain's Republican party, are stepping up calls for a troop withdrawal or a dramatic shift in strategy.

"We can either choose to support our troops and support this strategy - one that is succeeding and is winning - or we can choose to lose," McCain told a campaign crowd standing under three giant American flags. "I choose to win. And I choose to support these young men and women."

Other top presidential contenders chose more low-key ways to mark the sixth anniversary of the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in New York. They attended memorial services, posted remembrance messages on their Web sites, and conducted official business.

M.E. has more on his Back Roads to the White House blog.

Earlier: Is 9/11 a day for remembrance instead of politics?

That's what Rocky political reporter M.E. Sprengelmeyer wants to know through his Back Roads to the White House blog.

There was a time when candidates shied away from politicking on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

But that time has passed.

In Washington, D.C., another Republican, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, participates in a forum co-sponsored by the Center on Politics and Foreign Relations, and the Financial Times. (The topic is a provocative one any day of the week: "A Traditional Non-Intervention Foreign Policy.")

In New York, former Sen. Mike Gravel also participates in a Sept. 11 forum.
McCain's appearance comes at a time when he is trying to revitalize his campaign, in part by focusing on "fighting Islamic extremists."

As the only candidate to schedule a "rally" on one of the most sensitive days on the campaign calendar, he's sure to draw attention. But he also opens the debate on whether it's too soon to consider Sept. 11 just another day on the campaign trail.


  • September 10, 2007

    4:17 PM

    Vinadetta writes:

    Massive Steel buildings don't come crashing to earth at free fall speeds due to fire: It's called the theory of resistance. You only have to be a little smarter than Miss Teen South Carolina to understand that 9-11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB

  • September 10, 2007

    4:17 PM

    KING writes:

    Yes, there should be campaigning on 9/11. What better way to slap the terrorists in the face then illustrate that their puny attacks cannot stop our lifestyles.

  • September 10, 2007

    4:18 PM

    KING writes:

    Yes, there should be campaigning on 9/11. What better way to slap the terrorists in the face then illustrate that their puny attacks cannot stop our lifestyles.

  • September 10, 2007

    4:21 PM

    Duh! writes:

    Are you kidding? OF COURSE campaigning on 9-11 is a golden opportunity to further BS the public about how patriotic you are!

  • September 10, 2007

    4:33 PM

    Vinadetta writes:

    Sure if your into the politics of fear!!! The role of our government should to be to protect us from fear, not to instill fear upon the public

  • September 10, 2007

    4:50 PM

    Anonymous writes:

    Apparently Vinadetta is about as smart Ms South Carolina considering Purdue already put your tired claims of it being an inside job to rest.

  • September 10, 2007

    6:01 PM

    shaggy writes:

    Vinadetta ,
    I just watched a documentary into your so-called conspiracy theory and every single theory you people have come up with was debunked with facts.
    Would you be so bold to tell us all why you still think it was deliberate.

  • September 10, 2007

    6:23 PM

    Dirk Gently writes:

    9/11 conspiracies will never die, because they are impervious to facts, just like organized religion. ;)

    Anyway, it's like this: if people want to campaign about farm policies or energy or something on 9/11, then so be it. But they should not use the day to grandstand, instill fear, or berate war critics as "surrender monkeys." It's crass, misleading and utterly moronic.

  • September 10, 2007

    11:39 PM

    Holier Than Thou writes:

    Which candidates shied away from 911? Name 'em!

    You would sooner convince the world's flies to avoid dung heaps.

    Even Osama bin Laden still enjoys making speeches about 911 and you would think he'd be sick of it by now.

  • September 11, 2007

    8:20 AM

    gr8fuldude writes:

    Why not campaign today? It's as good a day to lie as any other.

  • September 11, 2007

    8:41 AM

    jay writes:

    I think it is important to realize that we're less safe due to the policy decisions this gov't made after 9/11. It's important to realize that we've taken our eyes off the ball by largely abandoning the fight against the type of groups responsible for 9/11 in order to needlessly occupy Iraq. I believe it is paramount to make folks understand that Al Qaeda has been allowed to regenerate and strengthen themselves back the levels seen on 9/10...again...due to incompetent policy decisions of Wco and the former republican majority.

    If we don't recognize mistakes...we'll never learn from them...and before the wingnuts get started...admitting mistakes isn't a "sign of weakness", "defeatist" or "unpatriotic".

  • September 11, 2007

    9:12 AM

    jimi99 writes:

    Candidates should invoke "9/11" only if they know the truth about what happened that day, which a couple of them probably do. Which puts them in a very, very small minority, and that doesn't tranlate to votes. It would be kind of refreshing to hear their take on why all airlines were grounded that day except for ones carrying the bin Laden family out of the country...

  • September 11, 2007

    9:26 AM

    7th grader writes:

    Get out of the 6th grade already. Fear has been time tested. Your hero Tancrado uses it on you like live bait in cold water.

  • September 11, 2007

    9:34 AM

    David Hakala writes:

    Why not, if they can campaign on Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and every other day national remembrance?

    It's not "9/11", it's "9/11/2001". Suck it up and get on with life, already.

  • September 11, 2007

    9:53 AM

    The Brutal Icy Cold Hard Truth writes:

    Bush Republicans must think it's OK.

    After all, one of the lingering images of 9/11were the staged photographs of Dubya "looking presidential" on Air Force One, as it was flying him to a hiding place.

    Even in the minutes immediately following the attacks, when we still were not quite sure exactly what was happening, the GOP spotted and took advantage of a fundraising opportunity.

  • September 11, 2007

    10:00 AM

    The Brutal Icy Cold Hard Truth writes:

    Put simply, the people who believe that 9/11 was an "Inside Job" are ignoring one basic fact - one fact that positively eliminates any chance of it being an "inside Job":

    The Bush administration would have to have been SMART ENOUGH to pull something like that off.

    Case Closed.

  • September 11, 2007

    10:52 AM

    Hank writes:

    Why not, politicos did it after the Revolutionary War, the Spanish American War, the Civil War, WW I, WW II, Korea and Vietnam. Most recently, John Kerry ran on Vietnam, it was the epicenter of his entire platform and campaign...and it was his undoing as well.

    So why not 9/11, Desert Storm, etc.?

  • September 11, 2007

    11:14 AM

    Anonymous writes:

    Why not politicize 9/11?

    Bush did, during the 2004 campaign in commercials showing flag-draped coffins being carried out of Ground Zero.

  • September 12, 2007

    11:59 AM

    jay writes:



    Maybe that's why hacks like McCain are STILL trying to link iraq and 9/11 for the purposes of campaign publicity.


  • September 13, 2007

    7:10 PM

    Anonymous writes:

    We can trust McCain a LOT more than anybody else about Iraq--especially fair-weather Republicans up for election and bimbos like Barack Obama who are now whining about getting out before we GET THE JOB DONE.. Good for John McCain!

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