Rough Sunday for McCain

Senator John McCain on Fox News Sunday. (Photo: Gary Gardiner/Fox News Sunday, via Associated Press)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – While Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell was giving his much-anticipated endorsement Sunday morning to Senator Barack Obama on NBC's "Meet the Press,'' Senator John McCain was across the dial on Fox News Sunday, defending himself in an interview that began with the question: "Aren't you in a world of trouble?"

It was that kind of morning for Mr. McCain. It started off better, when the Columbus Dispatch bucked the emerging trend among newspapers and endorsed Mr. McCain over Mr. Obama. But then came the news that Mr. Obama had raised a record-shattering $150 million in September and the Powell endorsement.

On Fox News Sunday, Mr. McCain shrugged off the endorsement by Mr. Powell, a Republican former secretary of state who had contributed to his campaign last year.

"Well, I've always admired and respected General Powell,'' he said. "We're longtime friends. This doesn't come as a surprise. But I'm also very pleased to have the endorsement of four former Secretaries of State, State Kissinger, Baker, Eagleburger and Haig and I'm proud to have the endorsement of well over 200 retired army generals and admirals. I respect and continue to respect and admire Secretary Powell.''

And he did his best to turn Mr. Obama's blockbuster $150 million September into a liability, noting that Mr. Obama had broken his earlier pledge to accept public financing for the general election.

"He broke his word to me and the American people when he signed a piece of paper, when he was a long-shot candidate that he would take public financing if I would,'' Mr. McCain said. "He signed a piece of paper. Then twice on national television, he looked into the camera with Senator Clinton sitting there and said I'll sit down and talk to John McCain before I make a decision on public financing or not. He didn't tell the truth.''

Mr. McCain pressed his economic arguments, and spoke about what the first 100 days of a McCain presidency might look like. But in response to a question from the host, Chris Wallace, he also allowed that he had considered the possibility he might lose.

"Oh, sure,'' Mr. McCain said. " I mean, I don't dwell on it. But, look, I've a wonderful life. I have to go back and live in Arizona, be in the United States Senate representing them, a wonderful family, daughters and sons that I'm so proud of and a life that's been blessed. I'm the luckiest guy you have ever interviewed and will ever interview. I'm the most fortunate man on earth and I thank God for it every single day.''

"So if the world turns an unfortunate way on November 4th, don't feel sorry for John McCain?" Mr. Wallace asked.

"Don't feel sorry for John McCain and John McCain will be concentrating on not feeling sorry for himself,'' Mr. McCain said.

Mr. Wallace said, "And you might just be president."

"You never know,'' Mr. McCain said.

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