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McCain campaigns for Raese, defends attacks on Dems

Charles Town, WV -- Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) showed up here ready to shake hands, sign autographs, and encourage the people along W. Washington Street to meet and vote for GOP Senate nominee John Raese (R), whom he described as a “fiscal conservative” and an “old friend.”

(One description of Raese that didn’t come up today was “crazy.” When asked about opponent Joe Manchin’s newest ad that describes many of Raese’s more controversial ideas as “crazy,” Raese chose not to respond.)

As McCain and Raese walked down the street together, greeting veterans and flanked by cameras, the Arizona senator told a local candidate, “When I heard John say he was more conservative than the Tea Partiers, that’s my man.”

Later at a street corner press conference McCain did not back down from the harsh tone he has taken while campaigning against Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Patty Murray (D-WA.) His response: “These are harsh times.” In reference to his comments specifically about Murray, McCain said, “I have been on the floor for 20 years saying that earmarking is a corrupt practice ... so why should I be reluctant to say it when one of the most ardent practitioners of it ... will continue on that path?”

He was less harsh towards Raese’s opponent and joked, “I did notice that Gov. Manchin is running away from President Obama as fast as he can... If I can make a suggestion, I would suggest that the governor become a Republican and run against [Dem Sen. Jay] Rockefeller next time.”