(CNN) - Not long after President Bush called John McCain a “true conservative” on Fox News Sunday, House Minority Leader John Boehner also defended McCain’s conservative credentials on CNN’s Late Edition.
“When you look at his record on fiscal responsibility, when you look at his record on getting rid of wasteful Washington spending, look at his record on a strong national defense, and leading forward in the fight on terrorism, he’s a solid conservative,” Boehner told Wolf Blitzer earlier today.
The Ohio congressman said he did not agree with many conservative radio hosts, including Rush Limbaugh, who earlier this week said “McCain will kill conservatism as a dominant force in the Republican Party.”
Boehner has not endorsed McCain, and acknowledged that the Arizona senator has taken some positions that have “angered some conservatives.” But - like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who made similar comments to a conservative audience Saturday - he seemed willing to accept those differences to avoid a Democratic alternative.
“Look at the Republican candidates that are running for President, as compared with all of the Democrat candidates, and you see a very distinct picture,” said Boehner.
John McCain only won one of the three Republican presidential contests held on Saturday, but it may be too little, too late for Mike Huckabee, who won the remainder. Most analysts agree that it is nearly statistically impossible for Huckabee to take the delegate lead away from McCain.
–CNN's Peter Lanier