McCain Receives Schwarzenegger's Endorsement

(CBS)
From CBS News' Dante Higgins:

LOS ANGELES -- John McCain and his new political pal Rudy Giuliani crashed a previously scheduled event with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, R-Calif., so the "Governator" could throw his support behind McCain's candidacy.

Schwarzenegger told reporters he was endorsing McCain because "He has incredible credentials on national security and of course he is a fantastic, outstanding public servant. He is a great American hero and an extraordinary leader."

"The thing that Senator McCain has proven over and over again that he is reaching across the aisle in order to get things done. The people out there they talk about reaching across the aisle, but he has shown the action, over and over again."

Schwarzenegger also called McCain a crusader in stopping wasteful spending in Washington and protecting the environment. McCain thanked the Governor and Giuliani for their support calling Schwarzenegger a great American success story and Giuliani an American hero for uniting the nation after 9/11.

Giuliani and Schwarzenegger aren't known as the most conservative Republicans in the party and McCain was questioned about how their endorsements will help him gain support from the Republican base.

"I could never, never ever be anything but honored by the presence of these two great American heroes," he said adding, "Today, Gov. Rick Perry, the governor of Texas will be endorsing me. You will see a flood of endorsements across this country from both liberal and conservative," McCain added. Perry had been a Giuliani supporter until he dropped out and backed McCain yesterday.

"Let me say I'm prepared to lead our party and the nation and I am prepared, and am succeeding in uniting it. We need all parts of our party together if we're going to win in November. I believe our party is beginning to realize that."

Like many of McCain's recent endorsements, this one came from an official who had previously announced that he would not endorse a candidate. Schwarzenegger gave insight for his change of mind. "It's all Rudy's fault," he explained.

"Because both of them are friends of mine and so this is why I really didn't want to endorse anybody because they both have been very supportive of me…But when I saw Mayor Giuliani, my dear friend, discontinuing his campaign and endorsing Senator McCain, I felt that it was the time also to come out and to endorse Senator McCain."

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