Liveblog: John McCain townhall in Denver

People wait for John McCain to take the stage at a live townhall in Denver.

People wait for John McCain to take the stage at a live townhall in Denver.

John McCain is holding a townhall meeting in Denver today at the Sheraton in downtown. The campaign event is being attended by a couple of hundred people. The Colorado Independent is liveblogging the townhall with regular updates.

3:31 p.m. – The ballroom at the Sheraton is beginning to fill to capacity. McCain is expected to take the stage in 10 minutes.

3:38 p.m. – The crowd is waiting for McCain to take the stage. It will be interesting to see what McCain says today about the economy. He and his opponent Barack Obama both voted for the passage of loaded $800 billion financial rescue package for the troubled banking industry.

3:47 p.m. – McCain has taken the stage to a loud applause line.

3:51 p.m. – This townhall was billed for women and it’s quite apparent here today. The crowd of a couple hundred is almost totally made up of women who just gave a very loud cheer when McCain mentioned his running mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the first woman to be on a Republican presidential ticket.

3:55 p.m. – McCain: America is supported by small businesses and the working people. Let’s cut taxes. Let’s make it easier for business owners. Obama won’t do that.

3:57 p.m. – McCain: We passed the economic plan that people know as the bailout last night. A lot of Americans are upset about that and “I understand that. We don’t want (bigger) government in our lives.” But, we have to pass this legislation. It will help America. It will stop the bleeding but America still has to fix the way it does business in Washington, D.C.

3:58 p.m. – McCain’s campaign pulled out Michigan today. Word around the event is independent groups are still going to stay active in the swing state but McCain’s campaign dollars will be spent in other places.

4 p.m. – McCain: Washington needs change. He can bring that. Sarah Palin can bring that. If you want reform you have to elect them.

4:01 p.m. – McCain: “I will veto pork barrel spending and projects.” Obama has asked for $932 billion in pork. “My friends, there is a major difference.”

4:03 p.m. – McCain: “I know you know that you know that I know how to keep this country safe.” Wow, that was a lot of knows. “I can bring our troops home with honor.” Now he is mentioning the bracelet that a mother of a fallen soldier gave to her. The bracelet story is getting some miles. McCain including it in his acceptance speech at the RNC, in Colorado Springs a couple of days later and during the first debate with Obama.

John McCain speaks to people at a Denver townhall forum. (Photo/Jason Kosena)

John McCain speaks to people at a Denver townhall forum. (Photo/Jason Kosena)

4:04 p.m. – The questions from the audience are beginning now. The first one asked McCain what he has been doing to energize the youth vote. McCain said outreach is important, so is the Internet and venues that young people are engaged in like the “late night shows like Leno and Letterman, really, young kids watch those.” No Jon Stewart or Colbert Report?

4:11 p.m. – A woman asked McCain what he can do to help her, an struggling woman who is educated as an engineer but can’t get a job in the field after being laid off four times. McCain again talks about the value of small businesses. Lower energy costs. Tax cuts. More money for families with children.

4:20 p.m. – Sorry for the delay. Computer problems here at the event. Wifi signal is on and off. Strange.

4:21 p.m. – A small business owner is now talking to McCain: “The last two years have been hell for us. But, what she really wanted to know is what McCain is going to do about the media. “It’s killing the car businesses, it’s killing our economy… it’s killing America.”

McCain: “Ah, you know, I do believe there are many occasions where the nature of the media is to (sensationalize) things and to not be as accurate as we would like them to be. But, let me say seriously, that one of the causes of this (economic) problem was not the media… I love to bash the media all the time but the (fact) is Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac got out of control.”

4:25 p.m. – Next question: Has Gov. Palin convinced you to drill in ANWR yet?

McCain: “That is what happens when you think you’re getting a softball question from a woman in a McCain/Palin t-shirt. The fact is we have to start by drilling off-shore, and I will talk with Sarah about that and listen to what she has to say but I think we need to start by drilling off-shore and drilling now.”

4:28 p.m. – A woman asked McCain when he is going to “take the gloves off?” The crowd cheered louder and longer than at any point of the event, including McCain’s entrance to the stage. McCain had a good line to answer: “How about Tuesday night?” During the next debate.

4:40 p.m. – after a woman told him that she just left her career to start a new one as mother, McCain told the crowd this is the most emotional townhall he can remember. “Maybe that us because I am talking to a room full of women ”

4:45 p.m. – McCain is telling people he needs their vote this year in the state of Colorado. We need to win here.

4:47 p.m. – The townhall has concluded.

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Jason Kosena

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