An encouraging moment:

McCain's comments, especially on torture, seemed to resonate with military vets and current National Guard members who attended campaign events during the day.

The Arizona senator specifically criticized fellow GOP presidential candidates Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson for their lack of military experience and failure to denounce the interrogation technique of waterboarding as torture.

McCain also said that members of the Bush administration should be held responsible as war criminals if waterboarding or other banned activities continued after Congress passed the Detainee Treatment Act, signed into law in 2005, and the Military Commissions Act, which was signed by President Bush in 2006.

"After we passed the Detainee Treatment Act, the Military Commissions Act then obviously anybody who violated any law of the United States would have to be held responsible," he said.

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