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Update 9:15pm CNN: Schwarzenegger To Endorse McCain - Spirited GOP Debate in CA.
Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 3:39pm

MIAMI, FL (CNN & Tom Pace, Executive Editor, Talk of the Town) 1-30-08  Breaking News 9:15pm   California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will endorse Arizona Sen. John McCain, according to CNN.  That  news reported on the network, right about the time the Republican Debate telecast from California ended. 

As far as the debate goes, it seemed to be spirited, with John McCain and Mitt Romney, going toe-to-toe in verbal combat. While those two were taking potshots at one another, one political pundit seemed to think former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckaby was the real winner of the night.

The Florida Primaries on Tuesday seemed to be the breaking point for two candidates:  Democrat John Edwards called it quits, as did GOP hopeful Rudy Giuliani.  McCain seemed to be the big winner with endorsements, while Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are still waiting for Edwards to decide, if and who, he might endorse. 

As reported earlier this afternoon, Rudy Giuliani officially dropped out of the Presidential race, then, endorsing GOP front-runner John McCain. Giuliani is quoted by CNN as saying of his "old friend" John McCain:  "This is a man who is prepared to be president."

Following that revelation from Giuliani, two Republican sources told CNN that California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is in discussions about endorsing McCain.

One of the sources said, "you can safely describe the conversations as progressing and productive." The second source described the endorsement as "more than expected" and said the conversations were aimed at arranging a Thursday announcement by Schwarzenegger.

"I made it clear before I had to make this decision [to drop out] that had I not run, I'd be supporting John McCain," Giuliani told reporters on a flight to Burbank, California, for the debate.

The debate was sponsored by CNN, the Los Angeles Times and Politico, and began at 8 p.m. ET.

Giuliani, who had staked his presidential campaign on a Florida win, had a disappointing third-place finish in the state's Republican primary Tuesday night.


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