Senator McCain visits East Texas

We are less than a week from the March 4th primaries.  Arizona Senator and Republican presidential candidate front runner, John McCain was in Tyler this morning to rally support and votes in East Texas.

McCain spoke to a packed crowd of about five hundred people at the Tyler Rose Garden.  During his speech, he touched on many topics including the economy, health care, the war in Iraq and immigration reform.  He also praised the state of Texas for producing some great leaders.

A debate comment from Democrat Barack Obama drew derision today from GOP presidential candidate.  Obama said in his debate with Hillary Rodham Clinton last night that he'd take action as president "if al-Qaida is forming a base in Iraq."  McCain told the crowd in Tyler today -- quote -- "I have some news.  Al-Qaida is in Iraq.  It's called 'al-Qaida in Iraq."

In a news conference after the town hall meeting, McCain addressed a couple of issues not included in the meeting.  One of those things were yesterday's comments made by radio talk show host Bill Cunningham about Barack Obama.  McCain said he wasn't in the building at the time of the speech, and apologized for the remarks.  The Arizona Republican says he didn't know about the remarks, but said he takes responsibility for them.

The Ohio radio talk show host who gave a controversial warm-up speech at a John McCain rally says he's disappointed the Republican candidate is denouncing what he said.  Now Bill Cunningham says he'll support Hillary Rodham Clinton instead of McCain.  Cunningham repeatedly referred to Barack Obama by including his middle name, Hussein, and called the Illinois senator a "hack, Chicago-style" politician.

Senator McCain has wrapped up his visit to East Texas.  His next stop is San Antonio.  Get complete coverage of today's campaign swing on the East Texas News at 5, 6 and Nightcast at 10.