John McCain speaks at Wake Forest University

May 6, 2008 1:23:49 PM PDT
Meanwhile the presumptive Republican nominee John McCain was in North Carolina Tuesday, but he wasn't talking about the primary.

He spoke at Wake Forest University and brought along former presidential hopeful Fred Thompson.

The actor was an appropriate guest. Inside the Wait Chapel, as McCain talked entirely about law and order, he focused on condemning so-called activist judges who use the bench to advance their own agendas.

"Federal judges today issue rulings and opinions on policy questions that should be decided democratically," McCain said.

And on this issue, McCain drew sharp contrast between his views and those of his Democratic challengers.

"Senators Obama and Clinton have very different ideas from my own," McCain said. "They're both lawyers themselves and don't seem to mind at all when fundamental questions of social policy are preemptively decided by judges instead of by the people and their elected representatives."

McCain said as president he would nominate judges like Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, and he criticized Clinton and Obama for voting against him.

Most of the crowd at Wake was made up of ardent McCain supporters, but there were plenty of undecided voters.

"I certainly was encouraged by what he had to say," WFU employee Patty Lanier said.

"I thought he spoke with conviction, and he seemed to be really well versed in what he was speaking about," student Liz Hankinson said.

Some McCain backers were surprised the Arizona candidate spent nearly his entire half hour speech on one topic but came away satisfied.

"I was expected to hear a lot of the policy, that kind of thing, but his focus, he did a real good job sticking to that," McCain supporter Josh Cox said.

That he did, and in a sign of how different McCain's race for the nomination is from that of Senators Clinton and Obama, he didn't even mention the fact that Tuesday was election day in the Tar Heel state.


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