Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for president despite opposition from Focus on the Family leader James Dobson and talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, traveled to New Orleans last month seeking support from conservative true believers.
“We’ve got to get our base moving again,” he told the Council for National Policy at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. The Arizona senator, who has earned conservatives’ enmity in the past, was trying to mend fences on March 7 with more than 400 influential social conservatives.
He sketched himself as one of them: an antiabortion candidate who would defend traditional marriage, curtail federal spending, support strict-constructionist Supreme Court justices, secure the country’s borders, make President Bush’s tax cuts permanent and continue to confront al-Qaeda.
“The transcendent challenge for the 21st century is radical Islam,” he declared.