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REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION : EXCERPTS OF McCAIN'S
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'What you fight for is the real test'

September 05, 2008

Tonight, I have a privilege given few Americans -- the privilege of accepting our party's nomination for president of the United States. And I accept it with gratitude, humility and confidence. . . .

These are tough times for many of you. You're worried about keeping your job or finding a new one, and you are struggling to put food on the table and stay in your home. All you've ever asked of government is to stand on your side and not in your way. And that's what I intend to do: stand on your side and fight for your future.

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Let me just offer an advance warning to the old, big-spending, do-nothing, me-first, country-second Washington crowd: Change is coming.

I'm not in the habit of breaking promises to my country and neither is Gov. [Sarah] Palin. And when we tell you we're going to change Washington, and stop leaving our country's problems for some unluckier generation to fix, you can count on it.

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You well know I've been called a maverick, someone who marches to the beat of his own drum. . . . What it really means is I understand who I work for. I don't work for a party. I don't work for a special interest. I don't work for myself. I work for you.

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I fought for the right strategy and more troops in Iraq when it wasn't a popular thing to do. And when the pundits said my campaign was finished, I said I'd rather lose an election than see my country lose a war.

Thanks to the leadership of a brilliant general, David Petraeus, and the brave men and women he has the honor to command, that strategy succeeded and rescued us from a defeat that would have demoralized our military, risked a wider war and threatened the security of all Americans.

I don't mind a good fight. For reasons known only to God, I've had quite a few tough ones in my life. But I learned an important lesson along the way. In the end, it matters less that you can fight. What you fight for is the real test.

I fight for Americans. I fight for you.

I fight to restore the pride and principles of our party. We were elected to change Washington, and we let Washington change us. We lost the trust of the American people when . . . we valued our power over our principles.

We're going to change that. We're going to recover the people's trust by standing up again for the values Americans admire.

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We believe everyone has something to contribute and deserves the opportunity to reach their God-given potential, from the boy whose descendants arrived on the Mayflower to the Latina daughter of migrant workers. We're all God's children, and we're all Americans

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I will keep taxes low and cut them where I can. My opponent will raise them. I will open new markets to our goods and services. My opponent will close them. I will cut government spending. He will increase it.

My tax cuts will create jobs. His tax increases will eliminate them. My healthcare plan will make it easier for more Americans to find and keep good healthcare insurance. His plan will force small businesses to cut jobs, reduce wages and force families into a government-run healthcare system where a bureaucrat stands between you and your doctor.

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My fellow Americans, when I'm president, we're going to embark on the most ambitious national project in decades. We are going to stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don't like us very much. We'll attack the problem on every front. We will produce more energy at home. We will drill new wells offshore, and we'll drill them now. We'll drill them now! We'll build more nuclear power plants. We'll develop clean coal technology. We'll increase the use of wind, tide, solar and natural gas. We'll encourage the development and use of flex fuel, hybrid and electric automobiles.

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Today, the prospect of a better world remains within our reach. But we must see the threats to peace and liberty in our time clearly and face them, as Americans before us did, with confidence, wisdom and resolve.

We have dealt a serious blow to Al Qaeda in recent years. But they are not defeated, and they'll strike us again if they can. Iran remains the chief state sponsor of terrorism and is on the path to acquiring nuclear weapons. Russia's leaders, rich with oil wealth and corrupt with power, have rejected democratic ideals and the obligations of a responsible power.

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We face many threats in this dangerous world, but I'm not afraid of them. I'm prepared for them. . . .

When I was 5 years old, a car pulled up in front of our house. A Navy officer rolled down the window and shouted at my father that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. I rarely saw my father again for four years. . . . I hate war. It's terrible beyond imagination.

I'm running for president to keep the country I love safe, and prevent other families from risking their loved ones in war as my family has.

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