In spite of suggestions about his age, Republican John McCain often says he should bring his mother to campaign stops to show off his good genes. On Wednesday, he did.
"I am so happy to be here. I think I'm going to cry," 95-year-old Roberta McCain said as she introduced her son to about 200 seniors at a retirement community.
The 71-year-old senator is trying to raise his profile on a two-day visit to the state. Despite his loss of momentum in the summer amid a financial meltdown, people are no longer quick to write him off - especially here, where he remains popular among older Republicans and those with military ties.
Faye Trueblood, the community's self-proclaimed oldest resident at 103, said she hopes no more candidates join the crowded Republican field for the 2008 election.
While Trueblood has not decided on a candidate, she has decided against former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
"I'll tell you one thing, I don't like Romney," Trueblood said. She is a Southern Baptist and says she does not care for Romney's Mormon faith.
Romney's religion was no obstacle for Bob Jones University chairman Bob Jones III, who said this week he was backing the former governor.
Jones ran the Christian fundamentalist school in South Carolina in 2000 when McCain criticized its ban on interracial dating and its anti-Roman Catholic views. McCain also criticized his then-chief challenger, George W. Bush, for speaking there.
"Actually, I haven't been critical of Bob Jones University in the past, except I did not agree with their racial segregation policies - which they have done away with," McCain said.
On Wednesday, the college sent out a news release saying Jones' endorsement of Romney did not reflect the school's position.