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Web-Exclusive Excerpts From Rather's Interview With McCain

Find out more about what John McCain talked about during Dan Rather's exclusive interview with him. Below are some Web-exclusive excerpts from that interview.

On how he feels coming back to the Senate after the campaign and a vacation:

"I feel fine. I'm eager to get back into the business of the Senate. I think we do have a bit of a mandate from a lot of people in America that really believe that reform is an important agenda item, and I intend to pursue it. And I think I can have more influence on the process than I did a little over a year ago when I...left [the Senate to campaign]."

On endorsing Bush:

Read Rather's interview with McCain.

"I don't foresee a scenario where I wouldn't support the nominee of the Republican party. And the ticket."

On the future of the Republican party:

"I believe that the Republican party can and will head in the direction of reform - that now, nobody's going to be able to stop it. [The Republican party] has lost [its] way. But that doesn't mean that we've lost all of our principles, out of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. I think we can go back into the the kind of party that attracted a majority of American voters as recently as the presidency of Ronald Reagan, and I'm committed to that."

On the prospects of a negative campaign between George Bush and Al Gore:

"It already started out that way, and it's unfortunate. And the result will be the low voter turnout. Already we're hearing from thousands of people. We're in contact with a couple hundred thousand people over the Internet; we're already hearing from them that they're becoming disillusioned."

"There's got to be a change in this. And one of the ways you can change it is dry up the source of the money that buys all of these negative ads. It's going to be at an all time high....It's got to stop. Otherwise, we're never going to see politics in America conducted in the manner in which will cause young Americans to become engaged again."

On working with the senators who strongly support Bush and opposed McCain's agenda:

"These senators recognize...that the reform agenda is an item that the American people want as a first priority. They're first of all - first and last - public servants. They want to respond to the will of the American people."

"Second of all they want to maintain their majorities in both houses. They know that I can play a very helpful role in that effort. And I intend to help in every possible way that I can. So I'm sure that will return with increased leverage and increased influence. And I intend to exercise that influence in as cooperative a way as possible, but also not in a way that I'm going to abando that agenda."

On how his campaign will be seen by history:

"With total objectivity I can say that it was an honorable campaign. It was composed of wonderful and decent people (whom) I will love for as long as I live. And I'm very proud of what we were able to do. And the agenda of the campaign, I think, will live on long past John McCain no matter what happens to me."