Schwarzenegger endorses McCain

In an event in Los Angeles Thursday, California's governor throws his support behind Sen. John McCain, the newly crowned GOP front-runner.

Published January 31, 2008 8:15PM (EST)

LOS ANGELES -- There was only one reason California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's stop at Solar Integrated Technologies this morning drew a huge swarm of media, and Randy MacEwan's speech was not it.

MacEwan, the president of the solar panel manufacturing firm, didn't seem to realize that. He spoke for nearly seven minutes about his company, its products, its customers, their roofs. "We've now completed projects in Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, and we have Greece and South Korea on the way," MacEwan said.

It was a measure of how badly Sen. John McCain wanted Schwarzenegger's endorsement that he stood patiently behind MacEwan through the whole spiel. Schwarzenegger appeared to realize how silly the event was getting.

"Of course I think it is very important that you all know that there will be a quiz afterwards, where you will be asked all the detailed questions that he has just given you to make sure that you remember all this stuff," Schwarzenegger told the press.

The endorsement gives McCain another boost in a key Super Tuesday state; Rudy Giuliani, who endorsed him Wednesday, swung by the press conference and factory tour as well. Schwarzenegger had said only weeks ago he wouldn't back anyone before California's Feb. 5 election, but he revealed Thursday that that was only so he could avoid picking between Giuliani and McCain.

"It's all Rudy's fault," he said.

By Mike Madden

Mike Madden is Salon's Washington correspondent. A complete listing of his articles is here. Follow him on Twitter here.

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2008 Elections Arnold Schwarzenegger John Mccain R-ariz.