President Bush gave his support to presumptive nominee Sen. John McCain at the Republican National Convention Tuesday evening by highlighting parts of the senator’s life story that display his strong character, and by declaring that he is the man America needs to lead it.
“John McCain’s life is a story of service above self,” Bush praised. “When he was finally released, his arms had been broken, but not his honor.”
Bush told convention goers via satellite that McCain, when held as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, refused an offer to be released earlier than American troops that had been held longer, resulting in him having to suffer for nearly five more years of torture and imprisonment.
In his personal life, McCain is the father of seven sons and daughters, three of whom he adopted (two from his first marriage and one from his second marriage).
“John is a leader who knows that human life is fragile … that human life is precious … that human life must be defended,” Bush said.
Pro-family groups have often applauded McCain for his unbroken pro-life voting record in the Senate, especially when contrasted with Democratic rival Barack Obama’s strong pro-choice stance.
Originally, Bush was scheduled to speak at the opening night of the convention but instead spoke live via video from the White House because he was busy monitoring Hurricane Gustav’s landfall and relief efforts.
But First Lady Laura Bush as well as former President Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush were at the Convention.
The Republican president also praised McCain for his being an independent thinker who is not afraid to disagree with the majority to stand up for his beliefs.
“[W]e live in a dangerous world. And we need a president who understands the lessons of September 11, 2001 – that to protect America, we must stay on the offense, stop attacks before they happen, and not wait to be hit again,” Bush said. “The man we need is John McCain.”
Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign, charged Bush with trying to “enthusiastically” pass the torch to McCain who they claim “earned it” by voting with Bush 90 percent of the time.
"The man George Bush needs may be John McCain, but the change America needs is Barack Obama,” the campaign declared, according to CNN.
McCain is due to address the convention on its last day, Thursday, to accept his party’s nomination.