McCain Invokes Reagan Conservatism in Alabama Campaign Stops

Senator John McCain

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - U-S Senator John McCain made another presidential campaign visit to Alabama. McCain presented himself as a common sense, Ronald Reagan-style conservative during speeches to the Legislature and to a Republican Party fundraising reception. It was McCain's third visit to Alabama so far this year.

McCain voiced support for the Bush administration's troop build-up in Iraq. He said a troop withdrawal would bring chaos and American troops eventually would have to return.

McCain was introduced at the Legislature by Governor Bob Riley. They were both asked whether Riley might end up as a vice presidential running mate. Riley says he's not seeking the vice presidency. McCain danced around the question by calling Riley a friend and a new generation of Republican leaders.

McCain had a slipup in his speech to the Legislature. He quoted the governor as saying it's time "to draw a line in the sand around our children." That line actually came from state Senator Hinton Mitchem's Democratic response to Riley's State of the State speech two weeks ago.

Riley's communications director, Jeff Emerson, said he doesn't recall Riley ever using that phrase in a speech.

Mitchem says he was surprised when he heard McCain's attribution to Riley and he looked around to make sure he heard it right.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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