MR. RUSSERT: Your hero, Theodore Roosevelt. Let me show you a picture of him. This is from Fargo, North Dakota, in September 1912. Mr. Roosevelt was then running as the bull moose candidate for president. He tried to win the Republican nomination; lost to Senator Taft. If John McCain ran for the presidency in the Republican primaries, carried the Independents, carried the crossovers, but didn't receive the Republican nomination, would you ever consider running as an Independent?Seems a bit inconsistent, doesn't it? He's devoted to the party because Roosevelt is his role model. Not very convincing. (Thanks to John for pointing this out.)
SEN. McCAIN: No, I don't think that that would be possible, number one. And number two is I keep emphasizing I'm of the party of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. I see no other reason. By the way, a new book is out on Roosevelt's post-presidency year. It's very excellent. And one of the things he was seriously thinking about was running again in 1920. So...
MR. RUSSERT: You would never run as an Independent?
SEN. McCAIN: I cannot imagine a scenario where I would because, again, I would be leaving the party that I've been a part of and loyal to and worked for for all my political life.
UPDATE: John cites the New Republic article "This Man Is Not a Republican."