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Huckabee Drops Out Of GOP Race

Mike Huckabee dropped out of the race for the GOP presidential nomination Tuesday night.

CBS News confirms that President Bush will endorse presumptive GOP nominee John McCain on Wednesday. McCain will travel to the White House to receive the endorsement and have lunch with the president.

"What a journey," Huckabee told supporters in Texas Tuesday night. "A journey of a lifetime."

McCain has been projected by CBS News to win Tuesday's contests in Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island. He entered the day with just under 1,000 delegates, and his wins gave him the 1,191 delegates he needed to clinch the nomination.

"I want to commend again, my friend, Governor Mike Huckabee, and his supporters, for their passionate commitment to their campaign that Governor Huckabee so ably represented," McCain told supporters in Dallas, Texas, Tuesday night, according to his prepared remarks.

Huckabee, who won the GOP's first contest in Iowa, had been continuing to campaign despite McCain emerging after Super Tuesday as the likely Republican nominee. He had come under increasing pressure from Republican leaders to drop out of the race so that McCain could shift his focus to the general election.

"We stayed in until the race was over," Huckabee said Tuesday night. He noted there were people who "didn't think we would make it to March '07, let alone March '08."

Huckabee, a Baptist minister and former Arkansas governor, won the GOP contests in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, West Virginia, Louisiana and Kansas in addition to Iowa. He had hoped for a surprise victory in Texas based on support from the state's social conservative voters, but fell short.

Huckabee told supporters Tuesday that McCain "has run an honorable campaign because he is an honorable man."

"For Huckabee, he leaves the race with increased stature and a possible future in Republican presidential politics," said Senior Political Editor Vaughn Ververs. "His refusal to engage McCain in a negative manner over the past several weeks leaves him with a lot of goodwill among the party's rank-and-file."

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