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Bush Signals Support for McCain

By Peter Baker
President Bush plans to give an implicit endorsement of onetime rival John McCain's conservative bona fides tomorrow as the Arizona senator seeks to consolidate the party behind his candidacy.

In a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in the morning, Bush plans to say that the nominee of the party will be a strong conservative, according to excerpts released by the White House tonight.

"We have had good debates and soon we will have a nominee who will carry the conservative banner into this election and beyond," Bush says in the excerpts. "The stakes in November are high. Prosperity and peace are in the balance. So with confidence in our vision and faith in our values, let us go forward, fight for victory and keep the White House in 2008."

Bush does not mention McCain by name, but the clear signal of his words to this particular audience is that the senator is a faithful conservative despite their doubts and that it is time to put aside internal disagreements and rally behind the apparent nominee-to-be. Bush has stayed out of the nomination fight, but with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's departure from the race today, he is preparing to help bring the party together to the extent that McCain wants his assistance.

His endorsement of McCain's conservative credentials carries some weight, since the two battled fiercely for the Republican nomination in 2000 and have quarreled in the seven years since over issues such as taxes, torture and the execution of the Iraq war. In particular, Romney sharply questioned McCain's conservative record in the waning days of his campaign by pointing out that the Arizona senator voted against Bush's tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. McCain now says he supports making those tax cuts permanent.

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 7, 2008; 10:01 PM ET
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Next: An Eventful Day at CPAC


"Peace and prosperity"? What peace? And prosperity for the pharmaceutical, insurance, oil and other big business but not for the average American! McCain had better beware of the kiss of the Godfather - we all know where that ends. Cheney is probably making a list for McCain to follow in regard to torture, rendition and all the other programs of this administration. Beware, McCain.

Posted by: Utahreb | February 9, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Will the Republicans still be chanting "four more years" in the midst of a deep recession this summer?

Posted by: Trumbull | February 8, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

The world could never go wrong doing just the opposite of what Bush could ever say or recommend. Hopefully, his endorsement of McCain. Jesus said you will know them by their fruits. Bushes fruit is as the post wrote a couple days ago about Red Ink. Wars, huge tax cuts for the richest of the rich, bulging deficits, and allot of dead bodies around including Vets walking the streets in American deluded and feeling deceived by one who would not himself serve.

Posted by: mjd21 | February 8, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes, I get the sense Peter Baker is writing from Mars.

Posted by: zukermand | February 8, 2008 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Bush has the devil in his closet in the White House. Mr. McCain is the only person that can keep it all hidden. Remove the Republicans from the White House. We need to see what they did in our name. No more hiding and shredding.

Posted by: vigor | February 8, 2008 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Yes any backing from the Devil himself George Walker Bush is like putting the final nail into ones own coffin and John McCain will be sealing his own fate if he allows this. Seems to me the Incompetent President George Walker Bush and Karl Rove are the ones who smeared John McCain when he ran against Bush for leadership of the Republicans in 2000 by claiming John McCain had an illegitimate Black child. What a two faced lying scumbag George Walker Bush is and I hope he enjoys the anals of H'ell upon his death as he is no Christian but a
disgusting lying pathetic human being.

Posted by: morriso | February 8, 2008 7:21 AM | Report abuse

President Bush's administration has shown no fiscal responsibility. Senator McCain has even less understanding of economics and fiscal responsibility than the President! Senator McCain is tainted by his dubious mob-linked, Keating supporting past, which includes betraying the families of MIAs and POWs who supported McCain when he was a prisoner of war. Is the Washington Post too scared of the lobbyists who support McCain to investigate the Senator's past and present and bring the facts to the attention of the readers?

Posted by: politics12 | February 8, 2008 6:12 AM | Report abuse

That should say something. In any event, McCain has been coming on strong, yet still Obama or Clinton are much more widely accepted (I wonder why):

The Google Battle (See chart of all presidential candidates within link):

Posted by: davidmwe | February 8, 2008 1:28 AM | Report abuse

I can think of a few HONKIES that should be impeached, then lynched.

Posted by: senatorsun | February 8, 2008 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Bush the honable man will give a welsocme conserative endorsement, Now MaCain should offer the VP to Romeny not Huckabuck. MaCain is tired and a weak need modeate at best and aLiber in sheeps clothing. He need both Romeny and Bush (who ratings are way above the Liberal Congress. But at least he will not discrase the Oval office like some former have done!

Posted by: grip | February 8, 2008 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Bush the honable man will give a welsocme conserative endorsement, Now MaCain should offer the VP to Romeny not Huckabuck. MaCain is tired and a weak need modeate at best and aLiber in sheeps clothing. He need both Romeny and Bush (who ratings are way above the Liberal Congress. But at least he will not discrase the Oval office like some former have done!

Posted by: grip | February 8, 2008 12:20 AM | Report abuse

maybe they will get to hang a NIGGA

Posted by: harried | February 8, 2008 12:13 AM


And that's from my heart, you HONKIES!

Posted by: harried | February 8, 2008 12:19 AM | Report abuse

McCain is a great American! But I figure conservatives are attacking him because, well, they're the party of angry people. Shoot first, ask questions later. Even Buchanan said tonight that conservatives need to "move beyond their emotions" and get behind McCain.

Posted by: webg | February 8, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

maybe they will get to hang a NIGGA

Posted by: harried | February 8, 2008 12:13 AM | Report abuse

kerrycindy1...isn't that the same thing they said about Bush?

Posted by: lharris_wax | February 8, 2008 12:10 AM | Report abuse

I must agree - Never before has the endorsemet of a sitting president been viewed by so many as a curse. Apparently GWB and his buds don't care anymore what happens after their turn at the helm.
McCains only hope is to show clearly each and every vote he cast against the current administrations plans. The thought of OB or Hilly/Billy in the White house is sickening. One would be asking the rest of the worlds opinion and permission on each and every situation that might impact another country while the other will be bringing back renting out the Whitehouse bedrooms to their hollowood friends. Both will be laying on more taxes to pay for their socialization of the country including a health care program that will leave us as bad or worse than our northern neighbors who have to wait in line for many common types of surgery.

Posted by: AmzgGrce | February 8, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Heh heh heh .. McCain has pretty much boxed himself into having to wrap himself in this endorsement. And his "straight talk" and "never change a position" imperatives will compel him to promise to follow in Bush's footsteps, 'cause otherwise they'll follow us home. Anythin' in Iraq other'n vic'try is unaccept'ble. The surge is succeeding. Make the tax cuts permanent. Stop the slaughter of the unborn.

I need a barf bag.

Yeah McCain is gonna get 50 states.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | February 8, 2008 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Does Bush really qualify as a conservative? He has shown no fiscal responsibility, spending money like a drunken sailor on shore leave. He has shown no respect for the U.S. Constitution, signing "side agreements"; and, selective manipulation of U.S. Law and international law. He has shown no compassion for the victims of Katrina. He has broken the Army and thus homeland security, by deploying U.S. soldiers into foreign nations. Political hacks say Bush picked Cheney as Vice President because Cheney was too old, and had no ambition to run for President. According to google, Dick Cheney was born 30 January 1941 -- Cheney just turned 67. Again according to google, John McCain was born 29 August 1936. He will be 72 this August. Using Bush logic (sic), is McCain too old, and does he have the ambition to run for President? Has Bush poisoned the GOP kool-aid? His endorsement (explicit or implicit) has no currency, given Bush's legacy of failure. It's not like Bush is handing over the keys to the kingdom.

Posted by: rmorris391 | February 8, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, "garbage scow". Scowl is what we all do when we have to listen to him address the country.

Posted by: B2O2 | February 7, 2008 11:55 PM | Report abuse

This is SO hilarious. Bush is so reviled by the American people that his endorsement of McCain is careful to not include McCain's name. That way the Democratic nominee can't use it very easily in a campaign ad.

Bush is like that garbage scowl that was doomed to wander the eastern seaboard a few years ago because nobody wanted it.

Posted by: B2O2 | February 7, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse




Posted by: senatorsun | February 7, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

McCain a conservative?? When did this happen? Bush is as left leaning as Howard Dean! Go on Dubya, endorse McCain.... Americas only hope was Romney and he's now gone. We're basically F*CKED.

Posted by: Romes944 | February 7, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Norquist will die in Dubai!

Posted by: harried | February 7, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Without any Bush endorsement; the democrats still needed to tie Bush tightly
enough around McCain's neck to strangle him. With the Bush endorsement, assuming McCain is stupid and far right wing enough to accept it, this job just became infinitely easier

Posted by: ssuser | February 7, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

The republican party is fractured and over. Romney was their only hope. McCain won't be able to rally support. It's Hillary or Obama.
Romney was the most educated and qualified candidate to run for president in decades. He was an optimistic leader and he inspired us all to make the American Dream a reality. The other options in the republican party are dire. Romney had 11 states and McCain had 12. Romney had 4 million votes and McCain had 4.7 million. Washington state was coming up and Romney was predicted to win by a large percentage. Bigotry has destroyed the republican party.

Posted by: poliscistudent | February 7, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: brucerealtor | February 7, 2008 11:26 PM

What be the going price on a 30 year fixed?

Posted by: harried | February 7, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: brucerealtor | February 7, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Next thing you know, they will ask for a hanging. Just for show!

I think they are pumping Obama!

Posted by: harried | February 7, 2008 11:17 PM


Look, that hangin stuff, too many folks in my family got hung for stealing a mule!
I'm "BLACKER THAN OBAMA" and a wee bit older.
This is my country, born and raised, and I love my country!

Posted by: harried | February 7, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Gee, that ought to be worth it's weight in.....something brown and smelly. Seriously, Bush is going to say (in effect), "I, a loser who couldn't manage to get any of my grand schemes to work out (even though I did snow many of you into voting for me twice) but did manage to shred the constitution and wreck the economy, highly recommend John McCain for president in my place"?

Posted by: marknesop | February 7, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

I don't care what this direlect bush "signals", and neither should McCain nor any of his supporters. McCain owes bush nothing and should distance himself from this bug as much as possible.

What a nerve in george to imagine anyone cares about any "signal" of his in the first place. Pompous arrogant.

I'm a Democrat and support Barack Obama, and I believe the best match-up of presidential candidates will be McCain vs. Obama. I believe such a contest would be the best and most dignified we have may ever have seen in my country, and no matter what happens just that will mean not only a lot to us and our history but to the rest of the world.

So george, bug off, Mr. Utter Failure. Just go away.

Posted by: binkynh | February 7, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Next thing you know, they will ask for a hanging. Just for show!

I think they are pumping Obama!

Posted by: harried | February 7, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Republicans might burn crosses after one of their Satanic masses, but they will be doing it again on the White House lawn in 2009.

Yes, the Republicans will likely win again in November.

It's brilliant: McCain is confirmed the Republican nominee early in the going, allowing him to build his campaign war chest and rest up until Hill and O-Dog are done lashing each other. Despite his age, McCain is looking more robust than his younger, more telegenic counterparts.

Bush, despite his offensive, pathological, criminal history, has effectively given conservatives their marching orders, and they will hold their noses and vote for McCain before they allow "That B$%&h" and "Mr. Hussein" to seize the reins of power.

Unified under the unholy trinity of racism, sexism, and jingoism, the Republicans will appear clearer, more decisive, and less splintered than the flagging Democrats, who can't seem to agree on anything. Americans will forget that their country shares a hideous human rights record with China and Egypt, and vote for the newly-anointed, "straight talking," unifier.

In short, the Republicans appear to know what they're doing, and can arrive at decisions quickly, whilst the Democrats do not and cannot. Americans will reflexively push the Easy Button.

Sorry, O-Dog and Hill: No, We Can't.

Posted by: WilliamB1 | February 7, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

I served under John McCain attack squadron VA 174, Wild Razors and will not vote for him or any candidate that would continue the Bush Administration disastrous foreign and domestic policies....Mr. McCain should you win the Presidency, and I believe that you will hands down, considering the two Democratic front runners are unelectable....will you continue the Iraq War, knowing full well that it was a small group of Saudi Arabians armed with box cutters that brought our country to a stand still and not Iraq, that the cave dwelling scum Osama Bin Laden, also a Saudi, who was behind 9-11 is hiding in Pakistan more then likely....and further more do you not realize that we do not have the money or anyway of getting it to fund the war?

Posted by: 123Njord | February 7, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

This is wierd! first time in my life when nobody in the party wants a two term president's endorsement!

I'm 69 years old!

Posted by: harried | February 7, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

No doubt, a President with 30% approval rating is going to recommend McCain as the "dyed in the wool" Conservative Savior of the Republian party. His endorsement has the value of our Dollar in foreign markets. Not what it used to be.

Posted by: leedolce | February 7, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Is this right? Did McCane say OK?

This is the "KISS OF DEATH"!

Posted by: harried | February 7, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

How exactly did Bush signal his support, with a devilish smirk as McCain squeezed a dollop of KY onto the tip of his nose?

Posted by: thc1138 | February 7, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

if you think that bill and monica is the reason our nation has lost respect in the world, you must have been in a coma for the past 5 years...If you were, i am sorry. Either way, i invite you to the world of reality.

Posted by: sgtpepr611 | February 7, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Woo Hoo! The Kiss of Death. It's official now: McCain is a Loyal Bushie!

Posted by: fzdybel | February 7, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

badger and rl must be off. mccain is a real american hero and will be one of the best presidents we have had since fdr. he will be able to stop a lot of the petty politics that have been going on for the past 16 years, or longer. he will be a true uniter , not a divider. the best person for the job, john mccain, will lead this nation to victory over those who wish us a violent death, and he will give this nation a respect we have not had since before bill and monica.

Posted by: kerrycindy1 | February 7, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Like other posters are alluding to...if Bush really wants McCain to have a chance of winning against either Clinton or Obama, he'd be wise to shut his mouth.

Posted by: laf2h | February 7, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

An endorsement from the criminal in chief: George W Bush is the kiss of death. Regardless, there will be a Democrat in the White House come January 2009.

Posted by: castillomark | February 7, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

I am just wondering. After Conservative Political Action meeting, do they a burn a cross?

Posted by: sthorat | February 7, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Endorsement by Bush will be the kiss of death to McCain, double if he accepts it.
The only chance for McCain will be to come out against everything Bush has done and anouncce withdraw timeframe from Iraq. Short of that he is done before he starts.

Posted by: rl5614 | February 7, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

McCain should pay him not to.

Posted by: badger3 | February 7, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

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