John McCain Says He Will Run for President, Make it Official in April

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 1, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

John McCain Says He Will Run for President, Make it Official in April Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 1
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — Arizona Sen. John McCain said last night in an a television appearance that he will definitely be seeking the Republican nomination for president and that he plans to make it official in April. He told CBS’s "Late Show With David Letterman" he wanted to make it clear that he was running for the presidency.

"I am announcing that I will be a candidate for president of the United States," the senator told Letterman on the program.

McCain said on Wednesday that his campaign would be about "whether I have the vision, experience and knowledge to lead the nation."

Political observers say he used the appearance on the show to garner more press attention in what is now typically a multi-step process in making a presidential announcement.

They also think McCain wanted to do something unconventional to help rebound his campaign from lagging poll numbers. The last ABC News-Washington Post national poll of Republicans found that pro-abortion ex-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani leads McCain by a 44-21 percent margin which is down from the more narrow 34-27 percent lead Giuliani had in January.

Asked about the polls, he said: "We keep doing the best we can. We’re very happy with the way things are going."

At a campaign appearance in South Carolina last month, McCain said the Supreme Court should reverse itself on Roe and allow states the opportunity to ban abortions.

“I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned,” McCain said.

The next day, in a visit with voters in Vero Beach, Florida, the Arizona senator said he didn’t flip-flop.

"It is a false claim to say that I have changed my position," McCain said in a press conference following the event.

However, McCain appeared then to be changing his position from a 1999 statement he gave to the San Francisco Chronicle in which he said he didn’t support repealing Roe.

"I’d love to see a point where it is irrelevant, and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary," McCain told the newspaper at the time. "But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations."

McCain has previously voted on the Supreme Court case.

In March 2003, pro-abortion lawmakers attached a resolution to the partial-birth abortion ban supporting Roe v. Wade and saying it shouldn’t be overturned. McCain voted against the resolution and it was later removed from the bill.

Yet, in October 1999, McCain was the only member of the Senate to skip two votes on another resolution endorsing Roe. He later came under fire from pro-life advocates during the 2000 Republican presidential primaries for not opposing the provision.

McCain has also upset pro-life advocates with his vote in favor of forcing taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research and being the prime sponsor of legislation that would adversely impact the election activities of pro-life groups.

Other Republicans who are already int he race or considering bids include Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who recently became pro-life, and pro-life Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback.

Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson, former Virginia governor James Gilmore and Reps. Tom Tancredo of Colorado and Ron Paul of Texas are also Republicans interested in the presidency.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich may join the race for the GOP nomination as well but has said he will wait until the summer or fall to decide.