(ERIE, PA.) - Asked what he would do in his first 90 days in office, John McCain told employees of a locomotive manufacturing plant that he would explain his first priority as president. And he did. Four different ways.
1.) Humorously: "Call (former Pennsylvania governor) Tom Ridge to Washington from whatever vacation he's taking... and get him to work." Ridge appeared with McCain today and is rumored to be on McCain's list of possible running mates;
2.) Obligatory: "The president's first obligation is to ensure the nation is safe and that means getting a national security team together, look at the challenges we are facing, if and you need any more affirmation that we live in a dangerous world my friends, look at the events that are transpiring in Georgia. To make sure this nation is safe, that's the first priority of any president";
3.) Fundamentally: "One fundamental mission: restore trust and confidence in government. Therefore, inspire confidence in America again";
4.) Obviously: "Obviously, our first priority has got to be to restore our economy. As I said before, jobs and jobs and jobs and jobs, That to me is our greatest priority."
As for the rest of his speech, it focused on new technology and its role in developing new and less expensive forms of energy. In regards to energy independence, he said that his choice of whether to pursue wind, solar, nuclear, coal, or natural gas would be "all of the above".
McCain made a push for the development of the expensive process of clean coal technology, saying the cost would come down with the growth of its use, and compared it to the drop in price of a cell phone cost over the past two decades.
He called for offshore drilling as a means to help America with rising gas costs as it makes its transition to alternative energy sources.
"By golly, we ought to start going out and getting it as soon as possible," said McCain at the General Electric Transportation plant here.
Unlike his last few days on the trail, McCain made no mention of Barack Obama, who is on vacation in Hawaii this week.