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Another Bush Tips His Hat to McCain

By Juliet Eilperin
Just a day after President Bush said nice things about Sen. John McCain, former Florida governor Jeb Bush decided to jump on board his campaign bandwagon.

The president's brother, who wrote McCain a $1,000 check in addition to announcing his public support, called the senator "a patriot and devoted conservative leader" in a statement. "Like no other candidate in the field, John McCain has made tremendous sacrifices for this nation. He is beholden to no interest other than that of the public good. He is determined and steadfast in his commitment to reducing the burden of high taxes, restoring the people's trust in their government, and winning the war against radical Islamic extremists. It is with pride that I announce my endorsement of John McCain for president."

McCain -- who is hoping to marshal as much conservative support as possible in the face of his primary contest with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee -- thanked Bush right back. "I am very proud to have Jeb Bush's support," McCain said in a statement. "He has a distinguished record of conservative leadership and I admire his dedicated service to the people of Florida. He makes a great addition to our growing team of Republican leaders."

Jeb Bush is not the only presidential confidant to embrace McCain in recent days: Former top Bush adviser Karl Rove recently sent McCain a $2,300 check. McCain joked with reporters on Friday that he suspected Rove had been waiting a while to send the check over.

"Yeah, Karl gave us a check," McCain told reporters on his campaign plane as it headed from Wichita to Seattle. "I saw the moths fly out."

Despite the razzing, McCain said he would welcome Rove's counsel as he tries to wrap up the GOP nomination and take on the Democrats. "Nobody denies that he's one of the smartest political minds in America," the senator said. "I'd be happy to get his advice."

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 11, 2008; 4:55 PM ET
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