WISCONSINREPORT.COM (02/18/08) - Former President George H.W. Bush has endorsed John McCain for president at a press conference in Houston. George W's father says he is happy to help McCain, who H.W. calls "a remarkable patriot". The elder Bush is hoping that his endorsement will bring the party together behind Senator McCain in his quest to be the Republican Party national party candidate in the November 2008 election. The Former President suggested that America and the Republican Party might "falter" if someone other than John McCain is elected the president to replace his son.
President Bush made the following statement upon officially proclaiming John McCain to be the primary candidate the factions of the Republican Party should support.
"Today we are living in a time of war, a new and vastly more complex time of war. We also have more important challenges at home, chief among them, we clearly need to address those parts of our economy that demand attention," former U.S. President George H.W. Bush said.
"At this critical time in history, the key point I want to make is the United States of America cannot be permitted to falter," Bush pointed out. "Part of our Republican creed is a prevailing sense of duty."
In the coming election, we do not have the luxury of taking a pass on our unique role and responsibilities in the world. And the indisputable fact that unites the greatest number of Republicans, most independents and many good Democrats is the fact that no one is better prepared to lead our nation at these trying times than Senator John McCain," stated George W's father.
"As someone who also helped lead our great Party at the RNC and later as President, I believe now is the right time for me to help John in his effort to start building the broad-based coalition it will take for our conservative values to carry the White House this fall," the former president said.
"His character was forged in the crucible of war," George H.W. Bush said about John McCain. "His commitment to America is beyond any doubt. Most importantly, he has the right values and experience to guide our nation forward at this historic moment."
"So I am very proud to endorse John McCain for the presidency for the United States of America. Few men walking among us have sacrificed so much in the cause of human freedom, and I am happy to help this remarkable patriot carry our Party's banner forward," the former president announced in his endorsement of McCain.
John McCain made the following statement thanking President Bush for his endorsement:
"Thank you very much, Mr. President. I am deeply honored by your support and your friendship."
"I am deeply appreciative of the enormous service that President Bush and Barbara and the entire family have rendered to this country. President Bush's service to this country goes back to World War II. That is where President Bush and I have something in common -- actually two things in common," McCain added.
"One is that we were both naval aviators. The other is that we were both shot down. I will not pursue that line of conversation any further except to say that I am very proud to be in the presence of President and Barbara Bush anywhere at any time -- two people who have devoted their lives to the service of this country," the leading Republican primary candidate said.
"I believe that his endorsement and sign of support honors me. I also think it is very helpful in continuing our effort to unite our Party," McCain indicated.
In the conversations I had with President Bush, he made it very clear that we, as a Party, must unite and move forward and attract, not only members of our own party, but independents and the so-called Reagan Democrats," McCain explained.
"I have had the pleasure of knowing and watching President Bush for many, many years. He served this country as head of the CIA, as the Chairman of our Party, as Vice President, and as President," McCain poined out.
"There are very few Americans I know who have served with more honor and dignity, and I am honored to have his support," McCain went on.
"President Bush and Barbara, I can assure you that Cindy and I will do everything we can to make sure that you are proud and that your support of our candidacy will be something that you can look back on as having been the right thing to do," McCain said.