From NBC/NJ's Adam Aigner-Treworgy
PHOENIX, AZ -- At his wife's high school alma mater today, McCain made a push for the youth vote with an endorsement from Puerto Rican Reggaeton star Daddy Yankee, whose real name is Ramon Ayala. The campaign called a "press conference" in the Central High School library where Yankee -- who McCain called Ramon -- announced his support for McCain.
"I'm here endorsing Sen. McCain because I believe in his ideas and his proposal to lead this nation," he said, as high school girls swooned on a riser behind him. "And like I said before, he's been a fighter for the Hispanic community and I know that me personally, I choose him as the best candidate because he's a fighter for the immigration issue. So for me he's the best guy to lead this nation."
Yankee is most famous for his song "Gasolina," which translates to "gasoline" -- but has nothing to do with offshore drilling or McCain's energy policy mantra "drill here, drill now."
A rough translation of the song's chorus, "A ella le gusta la gasoline -- dame mas gasoline," shows that Yankee might be singing about a different kind of "gasoline" than McCain talks about on the stump. The singer proclaims, "My babe doesn't stop from hanging out because she likes gasoline," to which a female singer echoes, "give me more gasoline."
Although the campaign told the press corps that today's event was going to be a "press conference," it turns out that the only members of the media who might have had the opportunity to ask McCain questions were reporters from the school's paper. As McCain and Yankee shook hands following the endorsement, students were funneled towards the musician by the senator, receiving a quick, "Sup, papa" or "How you doin' lady?" as they shook Yankee's hand.
The only reference McCain made to the convention beginning in Denver tonight was a vague compliment directed towards his opponent.
"This is a tough presidential campaign we're in," McCain said. "I have a very honorable opponent, and one who will receive the nomination of his party this week in Denver. And I look forward to the last couple months of the campaign with him."
McCain has not spoken to the press since August 13 in Birmingham, MI -- the day his wife sprained her wrist at a fundraiser.