John McCain, following Rudy Giuliani at the Republican Jewish Coalition conference, opened by joking that he felt like Zsa Zsa Gabor’s fifth husband. He ditched the lectern for a casual stump-style speech, roving around the podium, microphone in hand, and was also warmly received by the crowd.
McCain spent much of his time talking about Iraq, emphasizing that he was a lonely voice calling for more troops several years ago. This was part of larger point he made about his superior national security credentials due to his own military service and his work in the Senate.
“I am prepared to serve this nation, ” he said.
Then, in an apparent reference to Giuliani not having visited Iraq, McCain said, “You have people running for president who have never been there.”
Asked in the question and answer session whether a president needs to have military experience to be a good commander in chief, he said no, pointing to Lincoln, FDR, and Reagan. But he added that it would still be beneficial because, “It helps to know what the young men and women are going through.”