McCain, Obama visit New Jersey

February 4, 2008 3:58:35 PM PST
With the theme from Rocky blasting in the background, Arizona Senator John McCain bounded onto the stage at the Colonial Firehouse in Hamilton to rally the troops for Super Tuesday. He's the GOP front-runner in New Jersey. Some polls put him more than 30-points ahead of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

"The thing I know is we're going to take New Jersey and we're going to take this nomination and we're going to get it tomorrow with your help," said McCain.

A big reason McCain made the effort to come to New Jersey is that it's a winner take all state for Republicans -- whoever wins, walks away with all 52 GOP delegates.

McCain was surrounded by high profile supporters: the Governor of Florida, Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who threw his support for McCain after dropping out last week.

McCain talked to the crowd about making the Bush tax cuts permanent, cutting business taxes, improving health care for veterans and, of course, the war in Iraq, which he fully supports.

Calling radical Islamic extremism the challenge of the 21st century, McCain got his biggest applause when he said, "I am looking you in the eye and I will tell you if I have to follow him to the gates of hell, I will get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice."

Despite what critics on the right say, McCain described himself as a solid conservative who is optimistic, enthusiastic and confident he can lead the nation.

Democrat Barack Obama also appeared in New Jersey on Monday.

The Illinois senator appeared at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, the home of the New York Giants, who defeated the previously unbeaten New England Patriots on Sunday night to win the Super Bowl.

"Sometimes the underdog pulls it out," he said, talking about himself as much as a football team. "You can't always believe the pundits and prognosticators," he told the crowd.

A Quinnipiac University poll of likely Garden State voters released today shows Obama has erased Hillary Clinton's double-digit lead of a month ago.

Forty-eight percent of the supporters are backing Clinton, while Obama has 43 percent.