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Romney Endorses John McCain

Posted on 2/15/2008 12:44:00 PM

Republican candidate Mitt Romney has endorsed leading rival John McCain for the party's presidential nomination. Earlier Romney had suspended his campaign, indicating that he did not want a democrat candidate to win the presidential race. Romney has now asked his delegates to support McCain.

Both leaders interacted in private before they appeared alongside each other at a news conference. McCain, who was campaigning in Vermont and Rhode Island, flew to Boston to attend the announcement of his endorsement by Romney.

While announcing his endorsement, Romney praised McCain for his integrity and capability. "Even when the contest was close and our disagreements were debated, the caliber of the man was apparent," he said, as McCain stood beside him. He also called McCain "a man capable of leading our country at a dangerous hour." McCain responded appropriately by blaming the stress of campaigning for the disagreements between them. "Primaries are tough," the senior Senator remarked. "We know it was a hard campaign and now we move forward, we move forward together for the good of our party and the nation," he said.

Romney's endorsement has ended almost a year of acerbic rivalry between the two leaders. Romney repeatedly picked on TV ads of McCain aired in New Hampshire. Both leaders also publicly debated over differences, and neither was known to particularly like the other. Romney portrayed McCain as not being conservative enough, while McCain insinuated that Romney's retracting over key issues was indicative of Romney's readiness to adapt his ideology to suit political ends. According to campaign officials, Romney has decided to endorse McCain before it is too late and it becomes clear who the democrat candidate will be.

With Romney dropping his campaign, McCain's nomination from the Republican Party is now assured. Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas Governor, and Ron Paul, the Texas Representative with libertarian are the only two Republicans still in the race. However, neither really stands a chance of beating McCain with the number of delegates they win.
Since Romney has already won 280 delegates, the number of delegates for McCain would now be quite close to the 1,191 delegates needed to capture the nomination. And it is still nine months before the general elections will be conducted.

Even following Romney's announcement, eight members of the Republican National Committee endorsed McCain adding his total to 851 delegates. Though Romney can ask delegates to vote for McCain, he cannot actually hand them over; this is because the actual delegates will be selected during the state conventions in spring, by people who voted for Romney in the caucuses. It would not be possible to predict whether they would accept Romney's endorsement of McCain.

Romney suspended his campaign last week last week, but had refrained from supporting McCain as Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson did.


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