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Alfonse D'Amato Endorses McCain

By Robin Shulman
Sen. John McCain swooped into Rudy Giuliani territory yesterday to announce an endorsement from Alfonse D'Amato, the influential former New York senator, in a hotel in midtown Manhattan.

"I think he is our best chance to win the White House," said D'Amato, when asked why he chose McCain over Giuliani, a native son.

"My support for him is not because there's somebody else in the wings that I may have differences with -- even though that may be true," added D'Amato.

McCain came to the city as recent polls show him leading the former mayor in New York state 36 to 24 percent, in a poll by Siena College, and 36 to 23 percent, in a survey by WNBC/Marist.

"Last night, I noticed the Democratic candidates mentioned my name quite frequently," said McCain, flanked by D'Amato and former Texas senator Phil Gramm in a wood-paneled library at the St. Regis Hotel. "I'm always flattered to be mentioned in a Democratic debate. It's pretty clear they view me as the most formidable opponent. I agree with them."

Asked about the impact of Fred Thompson's withdrawal, McCain said, "I don't know the effect on my campaign." He added, "He's a very fine man, an honorable man, a friend of mine. He ran an honorable campaign."

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 22, 2008; 7:14 PM ET
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