Republican presidential hopeful John McCain has formally accepted his party’s nomination as candidate to run for the White House, at a rapturous convention in Minnesota.
His speech was intended to cast him as an independent-minded reformer. He said he does not work for a party, he works for Americans.
McCain borrowed the main campaign thrust of his Democratic opponent Barack Obama, and promised that change is coming to Washington.
“Let me offer an advance warning to the old, big spending, do-nothing, me-first, country-second Washington crowd. Change is coming,” he said.
McCain is going into the two month head-to-head campaign trailing Obama in most opinion polls by a couple of percentage points.
He made a direct appeal to those undecided voters, promising to include Democrats and independents in his administration if he is elected.
“Again and again, I have worked with members of both parties to fix problems that need to be fixed,” he told delegates.
“That is how I will govern as president. I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again. I have that record and the scars to prove it. Senator Obama does not.”
McCain promised to drill for more US oil and to expand nuclear and wind power, not only to reduce the country’s dependence on energy imports from abroad, but to provide employment in America’s faltering economy.
The country decides on November 4.