Romney accepts McCain's endorsement in GOP race

January 4, 2012

Kasie Hunt and Holly Ramer, The Associated Press

Romney and McCain in June 2010 (AP/Ross D. Franklin)

Mitt Romney is accepting an endorsement from Arizona Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee.

Romney flew to New Hampshire Wednesday after his narrow Iowa caucus win to begin campaigning for next week's primary in the New England state.

He was joined on stage by McCain. Romney said McCain, a Vietnam veteran, is one of America's heroes and a great friend.

Romney was governor of neighboring Massachusetts and holds a strong lead in polls in New Hampshire. McCain remains popular in the state, having won the primary in 2000 and again in 2008.

But Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman says "nobody cares" about Sen. John McCain's decision to back rival Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential race.

Huntsman had campaigned for McCain in New Hampshire in 2007 but now says McCain's endorsement of Romney is just another example of the establishment piling on. Huntsman says none of Romney's endorsements has meant anything. Yet Huntsman touts his own endorsement by former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge.

Ridge and Huntsman toured a New Hampshire company that makes firefighting suits on Wednesday as the GOP candidates head to the state to campaign for the state's Jan. 10 primary.

Huntsman skipped Tuesday's Iowa caucuses and says the close vote there bodes well for other candidates still in the race.

Earlier today, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann announced that she's "decided to stand aside," a day after her distant sixth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.

She said she has no regrets about running, and that she will continue to fight for the causes she emphasized during the campaign. The Minnesota congresswoman repeated referred to President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, and said Republicans can't miss a "once in a lifetime opportunity" to repeal it, along with the financial regulatory overhaul known as Dodd-Frank.

Bachmann, who was born in Iowa, enjoyed a high point in her campaign when she won a Republican straw poll in Ames, Iowa in August. But her campaign steadily lost support since then.