McCain Sticks by VP Pick; Calls Palin 'Spectacular,' Ready to Lead

"Sen. Obama has a campaign to run, Gov. Sarah Palin has 24,000 employees in the state government," McCain said. "She's responsible for 20 percent of the nation's energy supply. I'm entertained by the comparison and I hope we can keep making that comparison that running a political campaign is somehow comparable to being the executive of the largest state in America."

McCain said receiving the nomination of the Republican Party was "humbling" and spoke about what he would say in his speech.

"I think we've got to make a case that I'm ready, that I put my country first, and it's time to put aside partisan rancor and differences and work together for the country and that I can create jobs and restore our economy and keep our country safe."

"I admire and respect Sen. Obama," McCain said. "He has accomplished great things and he has motivated people, and he loves his country, just as I do."

McCain said he watched excerpts from Obama's speech last week.

In that speech Obama said of McCain, "[He] likes to say that he'll follow [Osama] bin Laden to the gates of hell, but he won't even go to the cave where he lives."

"[Former President] Clinton had opportunities to get Osama bin Laden. President Bush had opportunities to get Osama bin Laden. I know how to do it, and I'll do it," McCain said.

"I understand and I have the knowledge and the background and the experience to make the right judgments. Sen. Obama does not. He was wrong on Iraq. He underestimated Iran. He has no knowledge or experience or judgment. He doesn't know how, how the world works nor how the military works. I do and I can lead and I'll secure the peace," McCain said in his interview with Gibson.

The two candidates differ dramatically on their positions regarding the Iraq War and the war on terror.

"No rational observer would deny that we succeeded and he refuses to do so," McCain said, speaking of the Iraq troop surge. "What he did was motivated by political reasons to get the far left of his party's support and get the party's nomination."

Republican Convention Speeches Highlight Service

On Tuesday, the Republicans geared up the convention after Monday's pared-down schedule due to Hurricane Gustav, with speeches from former Sen. Fred Thompson and independent Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman.

McCain reportedly considered choosing Lieberman, a former Democratic vice presidential nominee, as his running mate, but backed away after many warnings from campaign advisers that Lieberman's position on abortion rights would alienate McCain's core constituency.

"Both presidential candidates this year talk about changing the culture of Washington, about breaking through the partisan gridlock and special interests that are poisoning our politics. But only one of them has actually done it," Lieberman said.

Lieberman also highlighted McCain's ability to cross party lines during his long career in the senate.

"What, after all, is a Democrat like me doing at a Republican convention like this?" Lieberman said. "The answer is simple. I'm here to support John McCain because country matters more than party. I'm here tonight because John McCain is the best choice to bring our country together and lead our country forward. I'm here because John McCain's whole life testifies to a great truth: Being a Democrat or a Republican is important. But it is not more important than being an American."

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