Posted: March 5, 2008 1:39 PM
President Bush Backs McCain on 'Character and Courage'
A day after Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., clinched the Republican presidential nomination, he headed to the White House for lunch with President Bush and got his endorsement as well.
“He’s going to be the president who will bring determination to defeat an enemy and a heart big enough to love those who hurt,” President Bush said Wednesday afternoon, while standing with McCain in the White House Rose Garden.
McCain said he was “very honored and humbled” to receive the president’s endorsement and he hoped Mr. Bush would be able to campaign with him as much as his schedule would allow.
On Tuesday, McCain’s primary wins in Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont vaulted him over the 1,191-delegate mark needed to secure the nomination at the party’s national convention in September.
After meeting with the president, McCain planned to go to the Republican National Committee headquarters to prepare to take on the eventual winner of the Democratic nomination — either Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., or Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., reported Newsday.
McCain gave a hint of what might come in the general election debate in his victory speech Tuesday night. In it, he said the next president doesn’t get to remake the decision to go to war in Iraq, so instead candidates should explain how they would bring the war to the “swiftest possible conclusion” in a way that does not destabilize the region or embolden terrorists.
He also spoke of making American businesses more competitive with lower taxes and less regulation, health care more affordable and the United States less dependent on foreign oil.