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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

John McCain Stumps For Oregon Senate Candidate Monica Wehby

Chris Lehman
Northwest News Network

Arizona Senator John McCain came to Oregon Thursday to stump for Republican Senate hopeful Monica Wehby.

The 2008 GOP presidential nominee made multiple stops in an effort to help Wehby's struggling campaign.

In Salem, McCain headlined a $250 a plate fundraiser then stopped to rally a crowd at a Wehby field office. The five-term senator blasted incumbent Democrat Jeff Merkley's foreign policy credentials.

Wehby is a pediatric neurosurgeon with no foreign policy experience of her own. But McCain said she'd still be an improvement over Merkley.

"She has the right instinct,” McCain said. “She has the right ideas. She has the right ideals. And she will listen to people who have that."

Wehby has been fighting a wave of negative headlines recently. She's been accused of using plagiarized policy positions on her website as well as dodging debates and editorial board appearances. Wehby has consistently trailed Merkley in the polls.

The first-term Democrat isn't taking his re-election for granted, though. Merkley's campaign is bringing in Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren this month.