BEDFORD, N.H. -- John McCain ended his night in a familiar spot: Bedford's Old Town Hall - the place where he held his victory rally on the night he won the New Hampshire primary in 2000.
Tonight, a voter took the microphone to ask him about a poll she read about that showed 60 percent of military families believing the cost of the war in Iraq is not justified. McCain told the woman he just came from spending time in Iraq and that he rejected these findings, "I categorically reject that assertion and I will not accept it and I will never accept it. I know these young people who are working and they know they are succeeding," he said.
She replied, "It was a poll that was taken." He interrupted, "I don't care if it was a banana! ... I know them too well ma'am. I've spent too many years associated with the military so, we just have a disagreement with the poll."
McCain did address the second half of her question which was about Iran and the latest National Intelligence Estimate reports. But the Senator didn't sugarcoat his words for Iran either. "The fact is Iran has to go through significantly more changes in their policy their attitude and their behavior before I am ready to embrace them, although as I've said all along I would continue to pursue diplomatic and trade and other efforts before I would initiate a military action."
Another question from the audience was about the cost of the war. "I regret the cost of the war in Iraq and I regret the failures that were made… We either have a situation where we are paying a high cost now or if the Democrats have their way and we set a date for surrender than we will pay a horrendous cost in American blood and treasure in the future," McCain said to applause.
When asked why he wanted to be president, McCain explained, "I want to go to Washington to do the hard things, I want to fix Social Security, I want to fix Medicare. I don't want to hand it off to another generation of Americans in worse shape. And I want to inspire Americans. I want them to serve a cause greater than their self interest and I'm going to find ways for them to serve."