McCain was the first presidential candidate to speak at the Family Research Council’s “Values Voter” Summit today here in Washington. There was a fair amount of what those in the biz call “red meat”: a full-throated defense of “the unborn” (McCain noted that not only do “they have no rights,” and that they can’t even make campaign donations), and also a line or two about the importance of “traditional marriage.” But he opened with a long discourse on a topic that he’ll likely be alone in advocating at this event: the abolition of torture:
“The world is watching and we live in a time when the images we project cannot be easily erases… We will not surrender to the terrorists and we must not surrender to our fear… the values that make it worth protecting.. I know very well the tools that some countries have resorted to.. in dark places where there are no laws… We must remain true to our ideals not in spite of the threats we face but because of them.”
He also mentioned something about how “you need only to examine my record to know that I won’t change my positions.”
Mitt Romney speaks later tonight.
UPDATE: Text of his remarks available here.