McCain To Endorse Romney At New Hampshire Event

With the Iowa battle over, the Romney campaign is bringing out its big guns in New Hampshire, and that includes the guy who beat Romney in the Granite State four years ago:

DES MOINES — Senator John McCain of Arizona is expected to endorse Mitt Romney Wednesday in New Hampshire, giving the former Massachusetts governor a boost from one of the state’s favorite sons at a critical moment in the campaign.

Mr. McCain will travel with Mr. Romney on the candidate’s bus in the Granite State and will endorse his one-time rival, according to a person familiar with the campaign’s plans.

One of the stops for Mr. Romney on the New Hampshire tour Wednesday is at the Peterborough Town House, one of Mr. McCain’s favorite places to hold town hall meetings when he was a candidate for president.

A endorsement by Mr. McCain would essentially return a political favor. Mr. Romney endorsed Mr. McCain in 2008 after dropping out of the race when it became clear that Mr. McCain would win.

But Mr. McCain’s support may prove especially crucial.

New Hampshire fell in love with Mr. McCain twice — once in 2000, when it gave him an upset win over George W. Bush, and again in 2008, when he dashed Mr. Romney’s hopes of winning the nomination.

Mr. McCain is just as fond of New Hampshire as its voters are of him, and one Republican strategist said the timing of the endorsement — at the beginning of the race for the state — was a logical choice for the campaign.

But in other ways, the endorsement could be considered a surprise. The two men — Mr. McCain and Mr. Romney — clashed repeatedly during the 2008 campaign and were not thought to like each other very much.

Surprising or not, it does make sense. McCain would seem unlikely to back Gingrich, and he’s never been comfortable with the social conservatives that congregate around Santorum. At the very least, this endorsement could help solidify Romney’s position in New Hampshire against a possible Santorum surge. However, it could also help him in states like South Carolina where McCain’s military ties served him well in 2008.

I would suspect this is only the beginning of the big endorsements that the Romney campaign will be rolling out in the near future.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. superdestroyer says:

    Who cares? Just one loser endorsing another loser. The next real endorsement that matters is whoever David Axelrod decides to support for the Democratic nomination in 2016. Given that the Democratic nominee is a lock to win in 2016 and given that whoever gets Axelrod as his campaign adviser in 2015 will win the nomination, then the most important political figure for the next four years will be David Axelrod.

    Axelrod has more influence on policy and the government than all of the Republicans candidates for president in 2012 and 2016 combined.

  2. Hey Norm says:

    Hey you kids…get off my lawn!!!
    Build the dang fence!!!
    Vote for Willard!!!

  3. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    Looks as though it’s South Carolina or bust for the not-Romney crowd. Even still, given that Santorum isn’t equipped for a large-state much less a national campaign, and obviously Perry is finished, Romney would have to suffer a monumental collapse not to be the nominee.

    Romney would be a much better general election candidate than a GOP primary candidate. He would place three blue states from ’08 seriously at risk. New Hampshire due to proximity, Michigan due to the legacy factor and Nevada due to the Mormon angle. Of course Obama would remain the clear favorite in November.

    Ultimately I suspect that Obama will win the Electoral College by virtue of Romney falling just short with the white vote in places like Florida, Virginia and Ohio. In that event you could make a legitimate case that the GOP will for a decade or more be lost in the wilderness.

    The Palin miasma isn’t going away any time soon. The schism on illegal immigration isn’t going away. The split between extreme Protestants and the secular factions won’t ever go away. After Ron Paul is put out to pasture there will be Son of Paul, literally. There remains the albatross of the abortion issue. Barring another Carter-style fiasco we could be looking at Democrat presidents all the way through the 2020’s.

  4. Is there anyone who would be influenced by McCain’s endorsement who isn’t already backing Romney?

  5. John Rice says:

    How did John McCain ever become a Presidential nominee in 2008? What a sad commentary on our political choices, then and now.