Image: Jimmy, Cindy and Jack McCain
Susan Walsh  /  AP
Cindy McCain, wife of Republican presidential candidate John McCain, takes the stage with her family, including sons, Jack, right, and Jimmy, left, during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., Thursday, Sept. 4, 2008.
updated 9/4/2008 10:20:07 PM ET 2008-09-05T02:20:07

Cindy McCain took the stage Thursday night at the Republican National Convention to urge support for people caught up in Hurricane Gustav.

McCain was the warm-up act for her husband, John, who was ready to come to the floor and accept his party's presidential nomination.

Before speaking, she introduced their seven children to the cheering delegates. McCain's wife then told of "stirring stories" she has heard of people helping people in bad times. She said more could be done "if only the federal government would get itself under control and out of our way."

She introduced her husband as "someone of unusual strength and character ... to lead us through the reefs and currents that lie ahead."

Speaking for the third time at the convention, Cindy McCain came onto the platform to a long ovation, accompanied by the entire McCain family. In a speech she delivered using a handheld microphone — freed from the restrictions of the podium — she cast her husband, a 72-year-old survivor of 5½ years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, as the living embodiment of "the resilience of the American people."

"His courageous service to America in war and peace leaves no doubt what our forefathers would make of him," she said. "It’s these virtues of character that led him to this campaign, to this moment...

"I know John. You can trust his hand at the wheel."

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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