McCain softens tone in vets tribute

John McCain downplayed the politics at a Veterans Day ceremony in New Hampshire today. Even though Americans are split on the Iraq war, he said, society has hung together to support the men and women who have served in it.

"The war in Iraq, sadly, has divided America, but it has divided none of us," McCain said. "None of us are divided in our love and affection for those men and women in the military who are serving the cause of freedom, and I thank you for that."

It wasn't always that way, said McCain, a Vietnam veteran. "Some of us here were in another war where America was divided in their support, and that made our challenge of welcoming and bringing home all of our veterans all the harder," he said. "I'm so proud that Americans today are undivided in their support of those men and women who are serving."

McCain wasn't apolitical all day, the last of a three-day swing through New Hampshire. Before the ceremony, he appeared on Fox News Sunday and was bullish on his chances in the first-in-the-nation primary.

"We're on the upswing. And I can tell you right now I will win New Hampshire," he said.

- Lauren R. Dorgan