The following are excerpts from Sen. John McCain's speech.
Today, I announce my candidacy for president of the United States. I do so grateful for the privileges this country has already given me; mindful that I must seek this responsibility for reasons greater than self-interest; and determined to use every lesson I've learned through hard experience and the history I've witnessed, every inspiration I've drawn from the patriots I've known and the faith that guides me to meet the challenges of our time, and strengthen this great and good nation upon whom all mankind depends.
We've begun another campaign season earlier than many Americans prefer. So soon after our last contentious election, our differences are again sure to be sharpened and exaggerated. That's the nature of free elections. But even in the heat of a campaign, we shouldn't lose sight that much more defines us than our partisanship; much more unites us than divides us. We have common purposes and common challenges, and we live in momentous times. This election should be about big things, not small ones. Ours are not red state or blue state problems. They are national and global. Half measures and small minded politics are inadequate to the present occasion...
We are fighting a war in two countries, and we're in a global struggle with violent extremists who despise us, our values and modernity itself. If we are to succeed, we must rethink and rebuild the structure and mission of our military; the capabilities of our intelligence and law enforcement agencies; the purposes of our alliances; the reach and scope of our diplomacy; the capacity of all branches of government to defend us. We need to marshal all elements of American power: our military, economy, investment, trade and technology. We need to strengthen our alliances and build support in other nations. We must preserve our moral credibility, and remember that our security and the global progress of our ideals are inextricably linked.
Government spends more money today than ever before. Wasteful spending on things that are not the business of government indebts us to other nations; deprives you of the fruits of your labor; fuels inflation; raises interest rates; and encourages irresponsibility.
Our dependence on foreign sources of energy not only harms our environment and economy, it endangers our security. So much of the oil we import comes from countries in volatile regions of the world where our values aren't shared and our interests aren't a priority.
When I'm president I'll offer common sense, conservative and comprehensive solutions to these challenges. Congress will have other ideas, and I'll listen to them. I'll work with anyone who is serious and sincere about solving these problems. I expect us to argue over principle, but when a compromise consistent with our principles is within reach, I expect us to seize it. Americans expect us to disagree, but not just to win the next election. They want us to serve the same goal: to ensure that a country blessed with our matchless prosperity, ingenuity, and strength can meet any challenge we confront.
We face formidable challenges, but I'm not afraid of them. I'm prepared for them. I'm not the youngest candidate. But I am the most experienced. I know how the military works, what it can do, what it can do better, and what it should not do. I know how Congress works, and how to make it work for the country and not just the re-election of its members. I know how the world works. I know the good and the evil in it. I know how to work with leaders who share our dreams of a freer, safer and more prosperous world, and how to stand up to those who don't. I know how to fight and how to make peace. I know who I am and what I want to do.
I don't seek the office out of a sense of entitlement. I owe America more than she has ever owed me. Thirty-four years ago, I came home from an extended absence abroad. While I was away, I fell in love with my country. I learned that's what good for America, is good enough for me. I have been an imperfect servant of my country ever since, in uniform and in office, in war and peace. I have never lived a single day, in good times or in bad, that I haven't thanked God for the privilege.