TRANSCRIPT: 'On the Trail' with Sen. John McCain

STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you feel a need -- not that far ahead -- do you feel a need to pick someone who conservatives say right off the bat, "He or she is one of us"?

MCCAIN: Well, I hope that I could nominate someone that all of our party -- I mean, we have a lot of our party that all of our party would feel comfortable with. And that's a process that, again, you've seen before, where we begin a process of looking at the various people.

But, again, I am a little bit superstitious in that I really want to make sure that we have the nomination before I started that process.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you've done nothing on that?

MCCAIN: No, nothing.

STEPHANOPOULOS: One of the other things you're going to have to deal with the fall -- and we've seen this throughout the primary process -- the enthusiasm gap.

MCCAIN: Exactly.

STEPHANOPOULOS: More Democrats coming out to vote, Democrats raising a lot more money than the Republicans right now, more enthusiasm for their candidates. That's a big barrier to you in November.

MCCAIN: Oh, listen, this is going to be an uphill battle all the way. I can out-campaign them, and I can out-debate them, and I can out-perform them in what I think my vision for America is more in keeping with the majority of Americans.

But I mentioned to you earlier, we've got to reunite the party, and we've got to re-energize the party. And I'm prepared to do that. We've got plenty of time. But I won't waste a day.

And I'd like to mention one other thing: I'll compete all over America. We won't have -- we'll be competing everywhere, including the state of California.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Including California?

MCCAIN: Excuse me, "Cali-for-nia," yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We're just about out of time. You know, the last time I was on the trail with you -- I've seen you since then, but the last time I was on the trail with you it was in Iowa.

MCCAIN: I remember.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It was back in June. Your campaign was in a lot of trouble.

George: I talk to a lot of people about your campaign and here's what they say…the phrase they use when they talk about your campaign -- "dead man walking"

McCain: laughter

STEPHANOPOULOS: How did you come back?

MCCAIN: I think we went and told everybody the truth. We had the town hall meetings. I told you back then I thought I could out-campaign my opponents, because I love it.

I think also that we had kind of a seminal experience. I was in Baghdad over Fourth of July; 688 brave, young Americans re-enlist to remain in the military and fight there that could have gone home.

I was inspired by that. I said, "Look, we're going to take on this surrender that the Democrats want to have." Harry Reid had declared the war lost. They were all saying they were going to set a quick date for withdrawal.

We fought it off. The surge started succeeding, and we started succeeding in our campaign. And I've been very, very lucky and worked hard, and I'm very humble. And I believe that this isn't about personality; it's about serving. And that's what I want to do for a little while longer.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator, thanks very much.

MCCAIN: Thanks for having me on again.

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