AUBURN – There were no promises of getting “Dirigo” tattooed anywhere, but Meghan McCain said she enjoyed her visit to Maine.

McCain, 23, the daughter of Republican presidential nominee John McCain, spent about an hour shaking hands and talking with patrons at Gritty’s Pub in Auburn on Friday.

Meghan McCain has campaigned on behalf of her father across the country, including New Hampshire, where she recently promised to get the state’s motto, “Live Free or Die,” tattooed on her body if her father won the presidency and took the state.

She said she was impressed with the reception she received from Maine people.

“I’ve never had people cry before,” she said. Three people were overcome with emotion during her visit, she said, because they felt so strongly about the significance of the upcoming election.

McCain arrived in town after making planned stops at Pat’s Pizza in Orono and the Bangor Republican Party office and an impromptu visit to Schartner Farms in Thorndike.

“Maine’s been fantastic,” McCain said. “I came to visit once before, in Bath, when my father’s ship was christened, but I was pretty little.”

In 1992, the McCain family came to Bath Iron Works for the launching ceremony of the guided missile destroyer “John S. McCain,” a DDG-56 built at BIW. Meghan was 8.

“It was so beautiful to get out and walk around,” she said of the stop at the farm. “We got some cider and pumpkins and gourds, and it was just really nice out.”

Traveling with McCain for the day was Miss Maine USA 2008 Kaetlin Parent, 20, of Van Buren. Parent is a student at St. Joseph’s College in Standish.

“As Miss Maine, I’m allowed to campaign with any political candidate at my discretion and it was an amazing experience to meet Meghan,” Parent said. “She was very down to earth.”

McCain is working to connect younger voters with her father’s campaign, often meeting with college Republican groups in the various states she visits.

She has her own blog, www.mccainblogette.com, which is unaffiliated with the official McCain presidential campaign, but is written by Meghan while on the trail. She has said in the past that she started the blog because speaking at rallies is “not her thing” and it provides her with a way to communicate with the public.



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