Live Blogging A McCain Town Hall, Part III: Angry At McCain's Staff

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McCain calls on a woman wearing a McCain button. She pulls out a piece of paper. "You are, without a doubt, a true American hero, and we all thank you for that."

She begins to give a speech. "I'm going to do a little straight talk," she says. "Mine is not really a question. It's a statement about a lot of your campaign staff members. I can tell you right now that I am going to be right on top of their shit list."

McCain: "Sssh!"

She says that she and other volunteers work harder than his staff.

McCain jokes that a lot of his paid staff "are on work release program."

"I'd believe it," the woman says. McCain "has gotta make some changes." McCain promises to have a staffer talk with her about her problems.

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A man asks McCain about his health plan b/c there's "a lot of buzz on the internet that your plan doesn't cover pre-existing conditions" and a friend of his with lupus. Man says he's "making his evaluation on character." McCain describes his health care credo. "But there are citizens that have pre-existing conditions. My proposal is very clear: we create government-approved plans. The state and federal government join together, create risk polls...come up with sufficient funding .. so that .. these people are taken care of." Says the federal government "will have to make a significant investment."

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Man asks McCain if he's forgiven Mitt Romney because McCain "has a capacity to forgive." McCain: "Mitt has been a tremendous help to my campaign.. he and the entire Romney family have been wonderful...our party is united and we've got a lot of energizing work to do. ... I'm very concerned about Russia...because just recently the Czechs [describes Russia decision to cut oil supplies]... says Czechoslovakia but catches himself... "The Czech Republic"... mentions Iranian pressure on Georgia... Russia's behavior "is more and more autocratic. The internal stifling of dissent is of great concern."

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Anti-war critic begins to ask question... crowd begins to heckle.. baby begins to cry. When she says "our money"... crowd boos... a man yells "let her speak!".. "Our tax dollars are needed here for health care, infastructure repairs...real climate change..isn't it time to end the occupation." McCain: "You obviously represent the views of many Americans, and I respect those views." But "my first obligation is my country than my political ambitions. And I'll tell you why your respect your view, and I respect the fact that you would come here and state your view... it's far better than some of the shouting sometimes that exists between American because most Americans want us to have the kind of exchange we're having now."

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McCain promises to "do his best for the United States of America... promises not to put his party first.

A man bemoans the state of the Republican Party in New Hampshire.. worries about Sen. Sununu... McCain: "Across this state sir, I have to run an effective campaign, hold a lot of town hall meetings....I think that Sen. John Sununu is probably the smartest senator in the United States senate."

A question and answer on Katrina.

McCain ends: "I am so grateful for the opportunity to engage in another town hall meeting. I think this is what I have to do in order to succeed in November...but I need your help... ..we've got to restore trust and confidence in government. The war we can do it is reaching across the aisle, Republican and Democrat together. I will never let you down. I will always put my country first."

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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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