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Presidential Candidate John McCain Visits UT

Published: January 25, 2008
Senator and presidential candidate John McCain made a visit Friday to The University of Tampa to participate in a televised discussion focusing on national security.

Several nationally known political figures attended the roundtable event, including former Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.

A crowd of McCain supporters, members of the media as well as University staff and students packed Plant Hall’s Music Room to watch the discussion, which centered on the threat terrorism poses to the nation.

“I still believe the transcendent challenge of the 21st century is radical Islamic terrorism,” McCain said. “It is a challenge that has taken many fronts. And the central battlefield is in Iraq.”

The panel members, who also included Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee and Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe, were unanimous in their support of McCain as the presidential candidate who can best maintain national security and strengthen the nation’s military.  

“They say that people will judge you by the company you keep,” McCain said. “I’m honored to be in the company of these people.”

Student Government Vice President Tom McKissock, who was among the event’s spectators, said that a visit from any presidential candidate is an experience that benefits students and the University community as a whole.  

“It’s good to see the issues from a broad perspective and it’s good to see how decisions are made,” McKissock said. “Even if you disagree with a particular candidate, it’s still good to hear their positions.”

McCain is making frequent visits throughout Florida this week in preparation for Tuesday’s Republican presidential primary.