Politics & Government

McCain woos N.C. military

FAYETTEVILLE — Republican presidential candidate John McCain tried Tuesday to keep North Carolina in the GOP column, saying that only he was seasoned enough to lead a country at war and with a struggling economy.

McCain predicted he would win North Carolina next Tuesday – a GOP state that Republicans have traditionally taken for granted but over which McCain is battling Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. He sought to tap into the state's military ties during his rally near the home of Fort Bragg, the nation's largest Army base.

"Senator Obama is running to be redistributionist in chief," McCain said. "I'm running to be commander in chief."

The crowd of 8,200 in the Crown Coliseum at Crown Center waved thousands of orange noisemakers and cheered as country crooner Hank Williams Jr. denounced the news media in song. The crowd often drowned out McCain's lines with cheers such as “Fight! Fight! Fight!” or “U-S-A! U-S-A!”

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