Mitt Romney plans to endorse John McCain Thursday. (Photo Credit: AP)
(CNN) - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is expected to endorse U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who was Romney's rival in the Republican race for the White House, two sources familiar with the decision told CNN Thursday.
They said Romney wants the 286 delegates he won to go to McCain, who now has 827 delegates, and is the Republican front-runner.
To clinch the Republican nomination 1,191 are needed.
An announcement is expected at 3:30 p.m. ET in Boston.
Romney dropped out of the race Feb. 7, after a poor showing on Super Tuesday. He said he pulled the plug on his Republican presidential campaign "for our party and for our country."
Continuing his campaign would have delayed the Republicans from shifting attention to the general election campaign against whichever Democrat wins the nomination of their party, he said at the time.
Programming note: Watch Larry King’s exclusive interview with GOP front-runner John McCain tonight on Larry King Live at 9 P.M. Eastern.
– CNN's Dana Bash contributed to this report
This was expected and don't be surprised if McCain will select Romney as Vice President. Romney was a governor, a successful businessman, a conservative, and so he will definitely bringing votes from those McCain has troubles winning over.
Either way, the Democrat will win because too many are coming out this year to vote for change.
If all Romney's delegates go to McCain, McCain will be less than 80 delegates from clinching. At that point, I think it is time for Mike Huckabee to leave the race for the sake of strengthening the Republican Party going into November.
Well, that's the end for McCain. What could be worse than an endorsement from Mitt?
Speaking as a conservative, I'm extremely disappointed by this move. I definitely did not vote for John McCain to be the nomination and I see this as a way of telling me my vote does not matter. I will not be voting Democrat this fall, and I find it very unlikely that I will vote for Senator McCain. And from the looks of it, John McCain _needs_ votes from people like me if he expects to have a chance against the Democrats.
We're doom. Where do the hard core conservatives go? Huckabee?
That kind of makes it official wouldn't you agree? If you add in the delegates Romney won I believe it puts McCain over the top of the requisite number for the nomination. Time for Huckabee to step aside. He has run a good campaign and I think the former governor from Arkansas would be a good choice for the VP nod for McCain and would help shore up his position with conservatives. Run united and strong while the Dems continue to tear themselves apart. McCain is the only rational choice for President in this year's election.
Mitt really does not like Mike Huckabee. I think this is the nail in the coffin for Huckabee!
This is great news, Romney has really shown that the party is what is important to him, too bad some others don't get the idea.
I would have voted for Romney... I thought he had some level of integrity.
I was wrong....
I'm a Republican that back Obama because I don't believe in the war, therefore, will no vote for McCain. Barack has a vision, inspiration and better policies coupled with the best minds behind him... he is a leader. Hillary has solutions... she is a consultant not a leader. As Huck said, "Voters, ultimately, when they think about a leader, are not thinking about somebody who can fix the carburetor as much as it is they want someone who can drive the car and … describe the destination they want to go". If Hillary want to make solutions with out a vision, she need to keep her day job.
Romney has come to his senses and realized that his real chance will be in 2012, so it is time to be a team player.
McCain's real strength will be in attracting back the moderate Republicans who are disgusted with Bush and are leaning Democrat, and the conservative Democrats. He needs to forget about the wacko evangelical crowd and let them go back to the John Birch Society, the Libertarian Party, or whatever other fringe group they belonged to before they jumped on then hijacked the Reagan bandwagon.
The final flip for that flop.
I think it's a good sign that McCain is treating Huckabee like a red-headed Republican stepchild. It shows that Huckabee isn't part of the GOP kennel club of good-ole boys and NASCAR watching rednecks. Independence is key in 2008!!!
As much as mccain dogged romney, why on earth would you in endorse someone like that? romney=sell out. mccain=more wars and debt.
Kudos Mitt; the GOP non too-far-right salute you.
All you Romney fans, what do you think now?
Yeah I know, Mitt has always been a phony.
Good move Mitt, I supported you whole heartedly, and now that your out, we have to make the best decision now for the good of the party, and that is to vote for McCain. I really didn't want to, still don't, but I will.
well, well, well..... I guess that he hates Huckabee THAT much..... after all, if Huckabee had left before Super Tuesday, Mitt woudl have done a lot better and might still be in a competitive position agianst McCain.... hehehehe.....
This just shows that Mitt Romney is wanting the Vice President position in John McCain's cabinet.
The only way I could imagine this happening is if McCain made some conservative promises to Romney, and offered a position on his cabinet. We'll see?
Who cares? Romney is a joke.
Somebody, quick call the caymen islands and let that other guy know that it's over.
That's fantastic news! Score one for the Liberal wing of the GOP. Romney, decried as the "true conservative" is endorsing McCain. The same McCain that voted TWICE against Bush tax cuts and tried to seek the VP slot on the Kerry campaign in 2004 under the Democratic ticket. I'm sure that the GOP trying to "out Democrat" the Democrats this election will result in a landslide victory....just not for them.
Oh well, Dems & Repubs are all starting to resemble each other anyway.