John McCain not only flew to Chicago Monday to support GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, he also came with a message for Illinois residents: Please vote.
"No matter how you vote, just show the American people that you're interested," McCain said in an interview with NBCChicago. "I understand frustration and anger ... but this is important."
Indeed, voter turnout could decide Tuesday's Illinois primary for Romney, who pushed the issue Sunday night during a town hall in Vernon Hills.
"I need your vote," he told an audience of about 500.
McCain said Monday no one could have predicted six months ago that Illinois would play such a large role in the election.
"What happens in Illinois will have a significant effect. It will either really give a sense of inevitability to the Romney campaign or there may be conversations about a brokered convention, which would be a disaster."
"We certainly can't take Illinois for granted," McCain said.
When asked about negative advertising, McCain stood by the earmarking claims made in Romney's ads. He also applauded Romney's choice to speak at President Barack Obama's old University of Chicago stomping grounds at noon, saying "the focus has to be on jobs and the economy."
"There's a lot of diversity in Illinois, and what Romney has to do, and I hope his speech today will, is kind of reach out to all elements of the party."