We’ve been expecting it but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has done it. He officially endorsed Arizona Sen. John McCain in the presidential GOP primary.
The governor offered a hint yesterday when he said that two of his friends were seeking the presidency. But New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani dropped out after a dismal showing in Florida on Tuesday despite spending millions of dollars campaigning there.
Schwarzenegger’s endorsement is a big boost for McCain as he rolls into Tsunami Tuesday and primary elections in more than 20 states.
On the other hand, the governor’s nod won’t endear McCain to diehard California conservatives who view both men as too moderate on issues such as immigration and global climate change. The California Republican Party has also barred independents from voting in its primary, which could hurt McCain.
Here’s what Schwarzenegger said in a release sent out a few minutes ago:
“I am endorsing Senator McCain to be the next President of the United States because I am interested in a great future and I think Senator McCain has proven over and over again that he can reach across the aisle to get things done,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “He has also crusaded to end wasteful spending in Washington, which is so important.”
And John McCain is a crusader with a great vision for protecting the environment, while simultaneously protecting the economy. He has incredible credentials on national security and, of course, he is a fantastic public servant. He is a great American hero and an extraordinary leader.”
John McCain thanked Governor Schwarzenegger for his support, stating, “I am honored to have the support of my friend Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. I am very proud that Governor Schwarzenegger has taken the lead in California to protect our environment, an important priority for our nation and the world. I thank him for his leadership. I thank him for being a great American success story. This is a story that is an inspiration not only to young citizens here in California, but all over America and the world. He came to this country without very much, except his strengths, his talents and his ambition.
“And he is now the governor of the largest state in America, and I am proud to be in his company. I know that he serves as a role model and a guide to millions of Americans and people throughout the world. And that is why I am doubly honored by his endorsement of my candidacy and thankful for his help on the road to the presidency of the United States.”