By Liz Sidoti
Associated Press Writer
Posted: February 14, 2008
Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.,and his wife Cindy McCain, acknowledge supporters at a Super Tuesday presidential primary elections night party Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2008, in Phoenix.
(AP Photo/Matt York)
PROVIDENCE, R.I. Republican campaign dropout Mitt Romney agreed Thursday to endorse Sen. John McCain and asked his national convention delegates to swing behind the party front-runner, according to officials familiar with the decision.
Romney collected 280 delegates during his run through the early primaries and caucuses. If enough of them switch, McCain could quickly reach the total of 1,191 needed to clinch the nomination.
The officials who disclosed Romney's plans did so on condition of anonymity. A formal announcement was expected later in the day.
The former Massachusetts governor dropped out of the race last week after it became apparent that toppling McCain would be near impossible given his lead in the hunt for convention delegates.
Romney made his decision on Thursday, one official said. The endorsement came together quickly.
Romney's campaign notified McCain's camp after Romney made the decision, and McCain's campaign adjusted its campaign schedule to fly to Boston to accept the endorsement because the senator was campaigning in nearby Rhode Island.