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
Well, as an initial Mitt supporter, I am not unhappy about this move if the madman makes Mitt his v-p candidate. I confess I'm perplexed about how forgiving Mitt is given that McCain lied so blatantly about him to take Florida.
Go, go, go, McCain/Romney 2008!
thats what im talking about!... A Message to all Republicans... this is a sign... its now the time to unite together and cast a vote for McCain... we need to unite to beat the dems... if Mitt Romney is willing to give McCain his support (and hes got more of a reason to be bitter towards him than most) then there is no reason any other true conservative shouldn't be willing to do the same... McCain in 08!! and for all you democrats and moderates who will cast a vote for McCain will also be the best thing for this country... VOTE JOHN MCCAIN IN 2008
If you'll remember when he was talking about how McCain needed to choose a VP who understood the economy since McCain stupidly but honestly said he doesn't understand the economy. Clearly Romney is looking for a VP slot since he portrayed himself as an economic master. What will be interesting is what McCain decides he needs more: the support of the fiscal conservatives (Romney) or social conservatives (Huckabee).
WHAT A TRUE POLITICIAN! It would only be right to endorse the person you've talked most negatively about, and tried SO hard to discredit.
I think I am seriously looking at the movement that's for moving the conservatives out of the republican party, this primary has been a JOKE!
That would put McCain at 1113 by CNN's count, almost locking it up.
I guess this is Romney's way of returning the favor to Huckabee.
Romney will always do the right thing for our Country. Huckabee needs to just fade away. Romney was right when he said, "it's not about me, it's about my country." when he gave up on his campaign.
McCain will prevail in November, because Americans don't want promises they want results. Hope is fine and Miracles do happen, but reality is that we are at war with an enemy that wants to destroy not only us, but western civilization. Neither Clinton nor Obama have the intestinal fortitude to confront this enemy. As a Republican I would have preferred Romney, but Mcain is fine with me too.
McCain is the best candidate: He's independent, has a strong record of accmomplishment, has military experience, and is willing to work with people on both sides to get things done.
Clinton has too much baggage, too many shady fund raising dealings, and not much of a record.
Obama has NO record of accomplishment in the senate and his
voting record shows he's far too partisan to be independent, unite the country, or work with Republicans.
Huckabee is too busy sucking up to the religious right.
So the truth comes forth, Romney stayed in the race long enough to take votes from Huckabee and let McCain get a good lead, then drops out and gives his delegates to McCain. Despicable!
Although I can't help but wish it was the other way around I am happy at Mitt's decision. This will help finish everything up while the Democrats still have to keep going. And I have to admit it will help get Huckabee out of the way. I guess what goes around comes around...but at least Romney did it for everyone to see unlike in West Virginia.
well they're all on one side anyway, i just can't believe they're being as blatant as they are about dropping out of the election saying vote for this guy, and also stopping the vote counts like they did the other day? just disregarding votes like that? i was told EVERY vote counts..
Well now. That proves what we thought all along.
Mitt Romney is no conservative.
Sad – so very sad.
A great move for Romney. A person Mccain needs on board. Now to get Huckabee to follow suit.. He wouldn't be a quitter if he did that. He would be solidifying the party in time for the convention
Good old Romney. You can always count on that guy to pay lip service to whatever he thinks is popular.
**McCain – Romney 08**!!!!!
Birds of a feather......FLIP FLOP ........ together
Smart move Mitt! Are you vying for vice president, or you own run in 20012/16 or both? :)
Hillary the HOPE of 08
What else can Romney do if he wants a shot in the future? But doesn't it stick in McCain's craw to have to accept the endorsement after all the nasty comments from Romney just a few days ago?
Wonder if when Hilary has to concede if she can endorse Obama?
Mitt wants to be a player on a winning team... now what will all the "conservatives" do? Change their tune? Sit out the election and pout? Vote for Obama? When McCain wins the GOP nomination, let the games begin for Dobson, Rush and Blondie Ann... well worth the price of a ticket!
Wow well I guess that is nice of Romney, I wish he would of been the Republican nominee! I just can't support McCain!
Wonders never cease in the GOP
A marriage made in hell!
I gotta say, it should be over soon for the Huck! It looks like Mitt is going to endorse McCain and see how it goes from there. But I do believe that the Republican Party is trying to get back on its heels before everything gets settled. Plus, they still got a lot of time left so they probably got a plan or some sort.
You know, I gotta say it must be cool when you endorse someone. I wonder if I can have a Senator, Congressman, Governor, or Representative endorse me. Can you imagine the power??? Ohhh yeah, that must be cool! LOL!!!
Romney to endorse McCain???? Romney is no hero. He's an opportunist. Throughout history, REAL heros have been defined by people who stand by their convictions...even to the point of death. It's true....what's inside always comes out when the squeeze is on.