McCain Praises Selma Civil Rights Marchers

SELMA, Ala. (AP) - John McCain says he never saw greater courage than what was shown by the civil rights marchers who were attacked
while crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, in 1965.

In a speech in Selma today, McCain described in detail the beatings endured that day by John Lewis -- now a Democratic congressman from Georgia -- and the other marchers. He says Lewis, who suffered a fractured skull, "believed when he marched across this bridge" that he was striving for a better tomorrow.

When asked about the mostly white makeup of the crowd today in the predominantly black community, McCain said he's aware that African-American involvement in the GOP has been "very small." But he vowed to be "the president of all the people."

McCain's "It's Time for Action" tour will include stops in Youngstown, Ohio, eastern Kentucky and New Orleans' Ninth Ward, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)