Bush endorses McCain off the starting blocks

Other News Materials 6 March 2008 01:20 (UTC +04:00)

US President George W Bush Wednesday gave a spirited endorsement to the Republican presidential candidate John McCain, citing his commitment to keeping the country safe. ( dpa )

"He's going to be a president to bring determination to defeat the enemy," Bush told reporters at the White House after the two men had lunch with their wives.

Senator McCain, 71, sealed his hold on the Republican Party nomination Tuesday night in party primary voting in Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont.

The approval gave him a head start in campaigning for the November 4 presidential elections, while Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama continue their tense tug-of-war over the Democratic nomination.

McCain understands "this is a dangerous world" and the country needs "someone in the Oval Office who understands the stakes," Bush said.

Bush laughed at questions about whether his declining popularity over the war in Iraq could have a back-lash effect on his endorsement of McCain.

"If he wants me to show up, I will. If he wants me to say I'm not for him, I will," Bush retorted.