The senator was joined by Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina at an event at the VFW Post 7383 in Cary.
The men spoke about their concerns over national security and veterans benefits, which they claimed can only be improved with a change in administrations.
McCain said a recent attack on Americans in Libya by an apparent terrorist group shows the Obama administration's weakness.
"They're coming back strong because of the weakness of American leadership. Mitt Romney understands ... the importance of American leadership, American exceptionalism, and as Mitt Romney said in his speech, if you don't want America to lead, who do you want to lead?" said McCain.
"His economic policy choices have been failures, and his leadership on foreign affairs has led to a more dangerous world," said Graham.
But North Carolina Democrats took issue with the senator's statements. Congressman David Price told ABC11 that the claims are false.
"I'm happy to be a one-man truth squad here this morning with what these surrogates for Mitt Romney are trying to say," he offered.
McCain and Graham had multiple stops planned in North Carolina Tuesday.
The two men held a "Veterans and Military Families' Rally" at North Carolina Veterans Park in Fayetteville Tuesday afternoon.