2008′s Republican presidential nominee John McCain will be endorsing former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney to be 2012′s nominee, Buzzfeed reported last night. The move is especially notable as Governor Romney seeks a similar path to the nomination as Senator McCain pursued in 2008, a coalition of Republican establishment support, moderates, and voters prioritizing electability over ideological purity.
In 2008, it was Governor Romney who sought to outflank Senator McCain on his right flank, and he poured in millions of dollars of his own personal fortune into his fledgling campaign. The campaign ultimately sputtered, however, losing to Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee in Iowa and repeatedly to Senator McCain in critical states before Mr. Romney finally pulled the plug on his campaign.
At the time, Mr. Romney’s flooding the airwaves with his personal wealth won him few friends. Not only from Mr. McCain, whose campaign had an adversarial campaign relationship with Mr. Romney’s, but a good number of the other candidates as well. Some of those tensions have remained through to this day, with former Mayor Rudy Giuliani strongly criticizing the former Governor’s candidacy while boosting his then-biggest opponent, former Speaker Newt Gingrich.
In 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama was endorsed by 2004′s Democratic presidential nominee, John Kerry, just after New Hampshire’s primary. 2012′s endorsement from Mr. McCain comes just before next week’s New Hampshire vote that is seen to favor Mr. Romney.
The endorsement is a nice boost for Mr. Romney as he seeks to consolidate support after his extremely narrow win last night over former Senator Rick Santorum.