Warm crowd connects with McCain in Denver | VailDaily.com

Warm crowd connects with McCain in Denver

Daniel J. Chacon
Rocky Mountain News
Vail, CO Colorado
Joe Mahoney/Rocky Moutnain NewsRepublican presidential candidate Sen, John McCain, of Arizona, listens to an audience member's question at a campaign stop in downtown Denver on Thursday afternoon.

DENVER, Colorado “-Sen. John McCain is wrestling with distressing poll numbers and a high stakes debate tonight for his vice presidential pick.

But an enthusiastic group of hundreds of Colorado women seemed to lift up the Republican presidential candidate in Denver today during a town hall meeting filled with touching moments.

Near the end of the one-hour meeting at the Sheraton Grand Hotel downtown, McCain said it was one of his most memorable.

“Maybe because it’s a women’s town hall,” he said, generating loud applause.

McCain expressed confidence in his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, whose support in the polls has fallen since the Republican National Convention.

The first mention of Palin triggered thunderous applause.

“I know she would be pleased at that incredible response,” he said, later adding that Palin is a reformer who has taken on her own party and special interests.

“Sarah has a clear record, a clear record of reform,” he said.

MCain also said Palin will deliver a “clear message” during the debate with Sen. Joe Biden, the running mate of Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama.

“Change is coming,” McCain said. “Change is coming, and some of them aren’t going to like it.”

McCain said he has the experience to inspire a generation of Americans to “serve a cause greater than themselves.”

“I know how to keep this country safe, and I know how to bring our troops home with honor and victory, not in defeat,” he said.

McCain touched on issues that reverberate with women, from the economy to health care. He also said that women are the fastest growing segment of small business owners in America.

Soon after he took the stage, McCain let the audience ask questions. At one point, he singled out a woman because she was holding a baby, and the mostly female crowd reacted lovingly.

One of the most touching moments was when a woman gave McCain a ribbon that belonged to one of the men who raised the flag at Iwo Jima.

The woman told McCain it was “to acknowledge the integrity and honor you will bring to this country.”

McCain said he was “honored and touched.”

McCain plans to go to Pueblo Friday for a town hall meeting scheduled for 11 a.m. The doors open at 9 a.m.

Tickets are free but will be required. For the Pueblo event, call (719) 543-1725.

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