John McCain in January 2008:
When asked how he would respond to the fact that voters are now increasingly focused on the nation's economy, McCain said he had no interest in changing his own policy priorities.
"Even if the economy is the, quote, number one issue, the real issue will remain America's security," he said. "If it's not the most important issue in the minds of many voters, America's security will remain the number one issue with me. And if they choose to say, 'Look, I do not need this guy because he's not as good on home loan mortgages,' or whatever it is, I understand that. I will accept that verdict. I am running because of the transcendent challenge of the twenty-first century, which is radical Islamic extremism, as you know."
Reported here, in the Washington Post.