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GOP House Leaders Flock to McCain

Republican Presidential nominee contender Senator John McCain holds a press conference withthe House Republican Leadership. (Gerald Martineau / The Washington Post.)

By Jonathan Weisman
Republican presidential nominee-to-be John McCain received a far warmer welcome this morning from House Republicans than he had been led to expect -- he accepted the endorsements of the entire top House GOP leadership.

GOP leaders had said yesterday they intended to remain neutral, but after an extended closed-door session with the Arizona senator, House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and House Republican Conference Chairman Adam Putnam (R-Fla.) all fell in line.

"John McCain is an American hero and will make an excellent president of the United States," Boehner said. "McCain has a solid conservative record as one of the most vocal opponents of wasteful spending, a staunch defender of America's national security, and a strong believer in the sanctity of human life. He is uniquely suited to lead our country forward as we take on the many opportunities and challenges of the years ahead."

McCain spent much of the session with House Republicans not only taking their praise but also reassuring them on one big issue, immigration. He repeatedly told them he had gotten the message and would back shoring up border controls and cracking down on employers of illegal immigrants before considering a new push to give an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the country a pathway to citizenship.

McCain also was encouraged to go after Illinois Sen. Barack Obama hard, and he did, denouncing what he called Obama's rhetorical "platitudes."

"Look at the record," he said, "not the platitudes but the principles."

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 13, 2008; 1:18 PM ET
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I read in the Boston Globe how some of these guys have said, "McCain has transformed into a candidate with the ideals they believe it." Funny, I guess if that means you tell people what they want to hear in order to win their vote, that you flip flop almost every political decision you've held for some time to get a vote, that truly is the weasel republican way. Those must be the kind of conservative ideals that true conservative leaders exhibit. Talk about a Party committing herry kerry. It would seem to me the only chance they had was to appeal to the independents in the center. But they are so stupid they are forcing this guy to the far right. The Republicans had a more convincing candidate had they left the man in the center before causing him to publicly turn on nearly every major stand he's taken in modern times. Campaign finance reform? Mind changed. Torture? Mind changed. Bush tax cuts? Mind changed. I'm thinking that is exactly the kind of consistency independent voters are looking for. McCain will have very little to go on the attack with come November. The Republican's are engineering a weak candidate because of their own selfishness around the issues.

Posted by: fortheclueless | February 14, 2008 3:56 AM | Report abuse

Can you say, "The Bush McCain Policies of the Past" over and over again until November? Come on try!
The Bush McCain Policies of the Past.
The Bush McCain Policies of the Past

Posted by: thebobbob | February 13, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Well, ain't that real nice? All of the current utterly corrupt Republicrats just love one of their own pushing out all of the other legitimate candidates - especially Ron Paul. All I can say is that if InsaneMcCain is the Republicats' selection for President, they have just guaranteed themselves a huge and highly embarassing defeat when the election comes around in November...

Posted by: AmericanCitizen | February 13, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Awesome! Send that old guy out there! He can attack democrat, accusing them all of being dangerous islamofascist lovers who want to hand over America to Bin Laden. Besides being patently offensive and absurd, he's fully subscribing to the destructive politics of the past. The every politics that the enthusiastic Obama supporters are voting against. That's great John, tell us how you will work with the islamofascist loving surrender monkeys to solve America's problems? Peppering your speeches with 'my friends' and then calling THEM traitors ain't going to cut it this time around. Bring it on John, lead the Republican Party in the Political Wilderness. After you happily supported and defended the disastrous Bush Administration, why bother.

Posted by: thebobbob | February 13, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

The good news for McCain is that these guys need him more than he needs them at this point. One thing that McCain is not attacked on his his credibility, and the Republican congress ran on a platform of fiscal probity but delivered the opposite. If McCain can convince the Republicans and independent voters that he intends to work to bring the budget back into balance, he may be able to shore up the base and win in November, especially if the Democrats put up an avowed liberal like Obama.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | February 13, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

If I were a House Republican I would be a little cautious about endorsing McCain for three reasons.
First, he reminds one of Barry Goldwater,another honest Arizonan who could seldom be corrupted by a pat on the back.
Second,if he follows normal behavior he will open his mouth and take down several possible party loyalists.
Lastly, if he loses by a larger margin than anticipated,he will remain a log around the neck of those who endorsed him.And further,many districts voted for Huckabee.

Posted by: TarheelChief | February 13, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

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