McCain: 'I Know How We Can Unite the Party'

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:32 PM EDT

( - Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Wednesday said he is canceling a planned trip to Europe this weekend so he can "wrap this thing up as quickly as possible."

Instead of going to London and Germany, McCain said he'll be trying to win votes ahead of Saturday's caucuses in Washington State and Kansas and Tuesday's primaries in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

"So we'll be hitting the campaign tomorrow morning, flying back this afternoon, and hopefully we can wrap this thing up, unite the party, and be ready to take on the Democratic nominee in November," the Republican front-runner said at a press briefing in Phoenix.


McCain, who won nine states, including California, on Super Tuesday, said he received "a very broad base of the Republican vote."

With a number of conservatives lining up against McCain (for being out of step with his party on key issues), the senator admitted that he has a lot of work to do to unite the entire party, but he said that's to be expected when a primary campaign ends.

"I know how we can unite the party," McCain said. "I know how we can bring us all together."

McCain said his message will be that "we all share...common, conservative principles, and we should coalesce around those issues on which we are in agreement, and I hope respectfully disagree on the few specifics that there is disagreement on."

He predicted that independent voters and Reagan Democrats "will come our way, because I think we will have a message that will appeal to all of them, whether it be on domestic issues, on spending and taxes, health care, etc., which will be a big part of the debate - or whether it's on national security policy."

McCain said he sees the two Democratic candidates moving further to the left, "which will make for a very spirited debate and one that we can carry from a philosophical standpoint."

The senator said he stands on his record of "fundamental conservative political philosophy."

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