Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) went to bat for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in his speech at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night.

"It is said this election will turn on domestic and economic issues," he said, according to his prepared remarks. "But what Mitt Romney knows, and what we know, is that our success at home also depends on our leadership in the world."

The 2008 GOP nominee looked back at the outcome of the last presidential election at the beginning of his speech.

Below, McCain's remarks as prepared for delivery. Click here for live blog updates on the latest developments to unfold at the convention in Tampa.

Thank you.

It's an honor, as always, my fellow Republicans, to join you at our national convention, and add my voice to yours as we nominate the next president of the United States, my friend, Governor Mitt Romney.
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I had hopes once of addressing you under different circumstances. But our fellow Americans had another plan four years ago, and I accept their decision.

I've been blessed for so long to play a role in our nation's affairs that I'm conscious only of the debt I owe America, and I thank you for the honor.

When we nominate Mitt Romney, we do so with a greater purpose than winning an advantage for our party.

We charge him with the care of a higher cause. His election represents our best hopes for our country and the world.

It is said this election will turn on domestic and economic issues. But what Mitt Romney knows, and what we know, is that our success at home also depends on our leadership in the world.

It is our willingness to shape world events for the better that has kept us safe, increased our prosperity, preserved our liberty and transformed human history.

At our best, America has led.

We have led by our example, as a shining city on a hill. We have led at the direction of patriots from both parties.

We have led, shoulder to shoulder, with steadfast friends and allies. We have led by giving voice to the voiceless, insisting that every human life has dignity and aiding those brave souls who risk everything to secure the inalienable rights that are endowed to all by our Creator.

We have led with generous hearts, moved by an abiding love of justice, to help others eradicate disease, lift themselves from poverty, live under laws of their own making and determine their own destinies.

We have led, when necessary, with the armed might of freedom's defenders.

And always we have led from the front, never from behind.

This is what makes America an exceptional nation: It is not just a matter of who we are, it is the record of what we have done.

It is the responsibility that generation after generation of Americans has affirmed and carried forward.

It is the cause that many Americans have sacrificed everything - absolutely everything - to defend.

And when they have gone into battle, as they do today, they have done so with the conviction that the country that sent them there is worth their sacrifice, that it stands for something more than the sum of our individual interests.

May God bless all who have served, and all who serve today, as He has blessed us with their service.

We are now being tested by an array of threats that are more complex, more numerous and just as deadly as any I can recall in my lifetime. We face a consequential choice - and make no mistake, it is a choice.

We can choose to follow a declining path, toward a future that is dimmer and more dangerous than our past.

Or we can choose to reform our failing government, revitalize our ailing economy and renew the foundations of our power and leadership in the world.

That is what's at stake in this election.

Unfortunately, for four years, we've drifted away from our proudest traditions of global leadership - traditions that are truly bipartisan. We've let the challenges we face, both at home and abroad, become harder to solve.

We can't afford to stay on that course any longer.

We can't afford to cause our friends and allies - from Latin America to Asia, Europe to the Middle East, and especially in Israel, a nation under existential threat - to doubt America's leadership.

We can't afford to give governments in Russia and China a veto over how we defend our interests and the progress of our values in the world.

We can't afford to have the security of our nation and those who bravely defend it endangered because their government leaks the secrets of their heroic operations to the media.

I believe we can't afford to substitute a political timetable for a military strategy.

By committing to withdraw from Afghanistan before peace can be achieved and sustained, the president has discouraged our friends and emboldened our enemies, which is why our commanders did not recommend that decision and why they have said it puts our mission at greater risk.

We can't afford another $500 billion in cuts to our defense budget - on top of the nearly $500 billion in cuts that the president is already making. His own secretary of defense has said that cutting our military by nearly $1 trillion would be "devastating."

And yet, the president is playing no leadership role in preventing this crippling blow to our military.

A wise congressman from Wisconsin has said, "Our fiscal policy and our foreign policy are on a collision course." And that man is our next vice president, Paul Ryan.

But most of all, we can't afford to abandon the cause of human freedom. When long-suffering peoples demand liberation from their jailers and torturers and tyrants, the leader of the free world must stand with them.

Unfortunately, this is not happening.

When Iranians rose up by the millions against their oppressive rulers, when they beseeched our president, chanting in English, "Are you with us, or are you with them?", when the entire world watched as a brave young woman named Neda was shot and bled to death in a street in Tehran.

The president missed a historic opportunity to throw America's full moral support behind an Iranian revolution that shared one of our highest interests: ridding Iran of a brutal dictatorship that terrorizes the Middle East and threatens the world.

The situation is far worse in Syria. What began as peaceful protests has now become, 18 months later, a savage and unfair fight.

With the full backing of Iran, and Hezbollah, and Russia-with tanks, and helicopters, and fighter jets, Bashir Assad is murdering men, women and children.

More than 20,000 people have perished. Extremists are gaining ground. And the conflict is becoming more dangerous by the day for our allies, and for us.

In other times, when other courageous people fought for their freedom against sworn enemies of the United States, American presidents - both Republicans and Democrats - have acted to help them prevail.

Sadly, for the lonely voices of dissent in Syria, and Iran, and elsewhere, who feel forgotten in their darkness, and sadly for us, as well, our president is not being true to our values.

For the sake of the cause of freedom, for the sake of people who are willing to give their lives so their fellow citizens can determine their own futures and for the sake of our nation - the nation founded on the idea that all people, everywhere, have the right to freedom and justice - we must return to our best traditions of American leadership, and support those who face down the brutal tyranny of their oppressors and our enemies.

Across the world, people are seizing control of their own destinies. They are liberating themselves from oppressive rulers. And they want America's support.

They want America's assistance as they struggle to live in peace and security, to expand opportunity for themselves and their children, to replace the injustices of despots with the institutions of democracy and freedom.

America must be on the right side of history.

The demand for our leadership in the world has never been greater. People don't want less of America.

They want more.

Everywhere I go in the world, people tell me they still have faith in America.

What they want to know is whether we still have faith in ourselves.

I trust that Mitt Romney has that faith, and I trust him to lead us.

I trust him to affirm our nation's exceptional character and responsibilities.

I trust him to know that our security and economic interests are inextricably tied to the progress of our values.

I trust him to know that if America doesn't lead, our adversaries will, and the world will grow darker, poorer and much more dangerous.

I trust him to know that an American president always, always, always stands up for the rights, and freedoms, and justice of all people.

I trust Mitt Romney to know that good can triumph over evil, that justice can vanquish tyranny, that love can conquer hate, that the desire for freedom is eternal and universal, and that America is still the best hope of mankind.

And now, my fellow Americans: Let's elect our next commander-in-chief, and the next leader of the free world, my friend, Governor Mitt Romney.

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  • Republican vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan, left and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney waves to delegates after his speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney acknowledges delegates before speaking at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Republican vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan and his wife Janna salute delegates following Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's speech during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. Behind is Mitt Romney and his wife Ann. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • Mitt Romney

    Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney waves to delegates before speaking at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Mitt Romney

    Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney acknowledges delegates before speaking at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Mitt Romney

    Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Mitt Romney

    Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney hugs a supporter as he walks to the stage during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney makes his way through delegates before speaking at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • Ann Romney, wife of U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, cheers as Olympians are introduced during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • Republican vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan, right, and his wife Janna applaud during Florida Senator Marco Rubio's speech during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

  • Republican vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan, right, along with Ann Romney, wife of U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, left, applaud during Florida Senator Marco Rubio's speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

  • Marco Rubio

    Florida Senator Marco Rubio addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Florida Senator Marco Rubio addresses delegates during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • Marco Rubio

    Florida Senator Marco Rubio addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Clint Eastwood

    Actor Clint Eastwood addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Actor Clint Eastwood speaks to an empty chair while addressed delegates during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

  • Tom Stemberg, founder and former CEO of Staples speaks to delegates during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • Bob White

    Chairman of the Romney-Ryan Campaign Bob White addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Pam Finlayson

    Pam Finlayson addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Frantz Placide and Sean Duffy, center, listen to Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, left, as he speaks during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012.during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

  • Jeb Bush

    Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush steps onstage to speak to delegates at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

  • Oscar Poole

    Oscar Poole from Ellijay, Ga., wears his hat at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Newt Gingrich, Callista Gingrich

    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista walk onto the stage to speak to delegates during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista speak to delegates during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • Herman Cain recites the Pledge of Allegiance during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • Connie Mack

    Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla., addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Senator Scott Brown, R-Mass., answers questions during a press conference in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

  • Stagehands make final adjustments to the expanded stage where Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will accept his party's nomination later tonight a the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Protesters yell as Republican vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • A delegate holds up a mask of Republican vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Jeb Bush

    FILE In this Aug. 27, 2012 file photo, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush looks at the convention floor from the podium during a microphone check at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

  • Stagehands make final adjustments to the expanded stage where Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will accept his party's nomination later tonight a the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Paul Ryan

    Republican vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan waves toward the delegates during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Paul Ryan

    Republican vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Sam Ryan yawns in his mother's arms while Janna listen to her husband Republican vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan's speech during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. Right is Charlie Ryan. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • Ann Romney, wife of U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, applauds with Republican vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan's wife during Paul Ryan's speech during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • Republican vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan speaks to delegates during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012.(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • Condoleezza Rice

    Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Susana Martinez

    New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Condoleezza Rice

    Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Mike Huckabee

    Former governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Mike Huckabee

    Former governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Mike Huckabee

    Former governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Republican vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan's wife Janna, left, sits next to his mother Betty Ryan Douglas during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • Tim Pawlenty

    Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Rob Portman

    Ohio Senator Rob Portman addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Rob Portman

    Ohio Senator Rob Portman addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • John Thune

    South Dakota Senator John Thune gestures to the delegates during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Rob Portman

    Ohio Senator Rob Portman waves to the delegates during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)