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McCain meets conservative test on the challenges facing nation

I have been proud to serve as chairman of Rudy Giuliani's North Dakota campaign. He brought solid ideas and a record of accomplishment to this year's presidential race. And like the thousands of North Dakotans who backed him, I was disappointed h...

I have been proud to serve as chairman of Rudy Giuliani's North Dakota campaign. He brought solid ideas and a record of accomplishment to this year's presidential race. And like the thousands of North Dakotans who backed him, I was disappointed his run for the White House didn't turn out as we hoped. I am also proud to now, like Giuliani, lend my support to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

More than any other candidate in the field, McCain has an ability to unite Republicans in a campaign that will end in victory in November.

For national security conservatives, McCain is hands-down the best candidate. His judgment on matters of foreign affairs, defense and the war on terror has been proven right time and again.

For economic conservatives, he has a long record as a budget watchdog. His campaigns against government waste are legendary. His sound, pro-growth policies have been endorsed by some of the leading conservative economic thinkers in America, from Jack Kemp to Phil Gramm.

For social conservatives, he has an unquestioned pro-life, pro-family and pro-Second Amendment rights record.

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McCain is a mainstream conservative who has broad appeal across the political spectrum. Is he a maverick from time to time? Sure, but like most North Dakotans, I appreciate someone who tells me what they really think instead of pandering simply to get my vote.

Most of all, McCain is a man whose character and integrity are unmatched. He has honorably served his country ever since he first pledged his fidelity to her as a 17-year-old midshipman. He has never failed to put his country before any political ambitions.

Regardless of who is the Democrat nominee, McCain's experience and electability are a combination that bodes well. And poll after poll prove he is the only Republican candidate in the field who can bring us to victory in November. His ability to work across party lines and heal the nation are perfect foils for the hyper-partisanship of the Clinton soap opera.

Giuliani's decision to drop out of the race must have been a difficult one for him. I sense that his decision to then support McCain was easier.

McCain was the clear choice for Giuliani. He is the clear choice for me. I hope he will also be the clear choice for the majority of North Dakota Republicans today.

Cramer, Bismarck, is a member of the North Dakota Public Service Commission.

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