McCain Recycled '04 RNC Riff to Close '08 Convention Speech
For the most part, John McCain's Republican National Convention speech was generally panned. While former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson called the performance ''pretty disappointing," CNN's Jeffrey Toobin deemed it "the worst speech by a nominee that I've heard since Jimmy Carter in 1980." But McCain did get some high marks for his rousing finish, which exhorted Americans to "stand up" and fight. As it turns out, he probably knew that part by heart. After all, he delivered pretty much the same close to Republicans in 2004.
"Our adversaries are weaker than us in arms and men, but weaker still in causes. They fight to express a hatred for all that is good in humanity.
We fight for love of freedom and justice, a love that is invincible.
Keep that faith. Keep your courage. Stick together. Stay strong.
Do not yield. Do not flinch. Stand up. Stand up with our President and fight.
We're Americans, and we'll never surrender.
"Fight with me. Fight with me. Fight for what's right for our country. Fight for the ideals and character of a free people.
Fight for our children's future. Fight for justice and opportunity for all.
Stand up to defend our country from its enemies. Stand up for each other, for beautiful, blessed, bountiful America.
Stand up, stand up, stand up, and fight.
Nothing is inevitable here. We're Americans, and we never give up.
We never quit.
We never hide from history. We make history."
Of course, McCain's two speeches differed in many important regards. But on one point there is simply no comparison. As McCain put it in 2004 but was sure not repeat this week:
"President Bush deserves not only our support, but our admiration."