McCain gets loud welcome at Sturgis bike rally
‘I'll take the roar of 50,000 Harleys any day,’ he says in jab aimed at Obama
Mary Altaffer / AP
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., addresses
a crowd at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, S.D., on Monday.
updated 11:46 p.m. ET, Mon., Aug. 4, 2008
STURGIS, S.D. - Thousands of motorcyclists greeted Republican presidential candidate John McCain with an approving roar Monday as he sought blue-collar and heartland support by visiting a giant motorcycle rally.
"As you may know, not long ago a couple hundred thousand Berliners made a lot of noise for my opponent. I'll take the roar of 50,000 Harleys any day," McCain said, referring to Democrat Barack Obama's recent visit to the German capital.
Billed as the largest event of its kind in the world, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has become something of an annual bikers' Woodstock during the past 70 years. It features nine nights of entertainment, with bands including Def Leppard, Lynyrd Skynyrd and REO Speedwagon.
McCain played to a crowd that paused for a veterans salute. He criticized Obama for supporting a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq while opposing efforts to reduce record-high energy prices. "My opponent wants to set a date to come home. I want us to come home with victory and honor so we will never go back again," the Arizona senator said.