From CBS News' Andante Higgins:
WASHINGTON, DC – The endorsements from the Republican establishment keep rolling in for John McCain – George H.W. Bush plans to endorse him on Monday in Houston, and Mitt Romney offered his support yesterday.
"Frankly, I was very appreciative of the fact that Gov. Romney endorsed as soon as he did. As we all know, primaries are rough and so many times it takes a little time to have the unity that we're seeking and especially appreciative that he quickly came on board. He was very gracious in his remarks and we had a very pleasant conversation," McCain said while traveling on his press bus after Romney's endorsement in Boston.
McCain also reflected upon his loss to George W. Bush in 2000, saying he understands how difficult it is to lose in the primaries and to throw your support to another candidate. "I will freely admit – I know what it's like to lose. I know it's tough," he said. McCain went on to campaign for President Bush during that election, and the Arizona senator says he knows how hard it is for Romney supporters to immediately throw their support behind a former competitor. "Whenever you go out and you man a phone bank for hours and you walk literally door to door for hours on behalf of the candidate you believe in, it's tough to lose. We all know that. And it takes a while but we're all Republicans. We obviously want to win the election."
McCain said Romney agreed to do whatever is necessary to help him do that. "Governor Romney got over 4 million votes last time I counted and I'll be eager to have him campaign with me around the country," he said. "There's places that he is still extremely popular and I think he can be effective not only for me but for our congressional and senatorial candidates." McCain said he hopes Romney can be particularly helpful in Michigan and the Midwest.
But not every Republican is rushing to the McCain bandwagon. Mike Huckabee insists he'll be in the race until a nominee is officially declared, and spoke out against Romney's endorsement as a "me, too" notion. While Senator McCain says that he respects Huckabee's decision to remain in the race, he made a broader appeal for unity within the GOP. "I think what we try to do in the Republican Party, and I think it's true in the other party as well, is once the people have decided or the individual has decided that it's no longer a good idea to continue that we unify the party. All of us were asked early on, will you support the nominee of the party. And I think that Governor Romney obviously feels that I will be the nominee of the party," McCain said.