McCain's NAACP Speech: I'll Give You School Vouchers

07/24/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

John McCain addresses a tough audience today: the NAACP. He begins with some kind words about his opponent:

Let me begin with a few words about my opponent. Don't tell him I said this, but he is an impressive fellow in many ways. He has inspired a great many Americans, some of whom had wrongly believed that a political campaign could hold no purpose or meaning for them. His success should make Americans, all Americans, proud. Of course, I would prefer his success not continue quite as long as he hopes . . . Senator Obama talks about making history, and he's made quite a bit of it already . . . Whatever the outcome in November, Senator Obama has achieved a great thing -- for himself and for his country -- and I thank him for it.

But the focus of his speech is education -- in particular, school vouchers:

Democrats in Congress, including my opponent, oppose the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program. In remarks to the American Federation of Teachers last weekend, Senator Obama dismissed public support for private school vouchers for low-income Americans as, "tired rhetoric about vouchers and school choice." All of that went over well with the teachers union, but where does it leave families and their children who are stuck in failing schools?

Last year, McCain skipped the NAACP convention, citing scheduling conflicts.

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