McCain Makes His Case to Conservatives

He says he's one of their own and calls for party to unite
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2008 3:25 PM CST
Republican presidential hopeful, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., center, and others, listen to President Bush speak at the National Prayer Breakfast, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – John McCain sought to mend fractured ties with conservatives today, telling members of the Conservative Political Action Conference that he can't win without them, the Washington Post reports. McCain defended his own conservative credentials, calling himself a "foot soldier of the Reagan revolution." Speaking hours after Mitt Romney used the same forum to suspend his campaign, McCain said the GOP must unite behind him to defeat the Democratic nominee.

"If a few of my positions have raised your concern that I have forgotten my political heritage, I want to assure you that I have not," he said. The crowd booed him when he brought up immigration but cheered his pledge to veto bills “with any earmarks in them.” McCain saved his biggest strength for last, painting a dire portrait of Democratic stances on national security.