U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) campaigned for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney today at the American Legion Post 177 in Fairfax. McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, compared his former opponent, President Barack Obama, to President Jimmy Carter, a one-term Democrat who occupied the White House from 1977-1981.
"We need a new commander in chief," McCain said. "What happens in Northern Virginia is going to determine, probably, the outcome of this race."
McCain spent the day campaigning for Romney and after his Fairfax stop, stumped for Romney at the American Legion Post in Woodbridge. The majority of McCain's comments were about national decurity issues including the terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, where four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stephens, were killed on Sept. 11.
"Just today, finally, after all kinds of digging by my staff, we now know that there was no (American military) unit… that was on a state of readiness or alert that could have intervened militarily within that seven-hour period [the time span of the attack]," McCain said. "Now, this raises enormous questions. It was September 11th… Why weren't our forces on alert? Why weren't they in a state of readiness so they could have intervened if necessary?
"The president refuses to do what any president should do, who understands his obligations as commander in chief, which is to go tell the American people exactly what happened," McCain said.
The campaigns for Obama and Romney have Virginia — a crucial toss-up state with 13 electoral votes — in their sights. Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan campaigned in Bristol and Charlottesville this week, and Romney is expected at the University of Richmond on Sunday. President Obama was expected to campaign with former President Bill Clinton on Monday in Prince William County, but it's unclear if the show will go on due to Hurricane Sandy. Vice President Biden had planned to campaign in Virginia Beach and Lynchburg on Saturday.
"I worry about four more years of the present administration, the same way I worried about four more years of [former President Jimmy] Carter…I promise you, that I've gotten to know Mitt Romney so well, that I believe in him and in his ability to lead," McCain said. "Mitt Romney knows American exceptionalism and Virginia will play a key role in sending him to the White House."
Friday was particularly noteworthy for McCain, a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. "This is the 45th anniversary of my ability to intercept a surface-to-air missile with my own airplane. It doesn't take a lot of talent, and then I spent some time as a guest of the North Vietnamese, as you well know," he said.