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
Now you start to realize the GOP campaign is pretty successful huh! Howard, Howard.... you messed up this whole deal, trying to create an energy for Obama that is not sustainable, because you eliminate Florida and Michigan. Nice plan initially, but you all didn't realize that GOP candidates are all extremely experienced! Even Ron Paul has so much more experiences! Does that ring a bell in most of you?
Two things seem self-evident from this: first, Romney wants to run as VP and has done a deal to help secure McCain end the race now, as should McCain lose in NOvember, he will then be in poll position for 2012; second, Huckabee shot himself in the foot by attacking Romney so vigorously and wrapping the conservative mantle about himself – this is calculated revenge.
What a bunch of hippocrates.
McCaine: "the only thing governor Romney has been consistent on has been flip flopping on every issue!"
Oh, but sure I'll accept his edorsement.
This is dirty politics at its best! and precisely the reason the Republicans just can't be trusted!
Maybe, I am being too cynical here, but Romneys " I am doing this -supporting McCain, for party unity rings hollow to me. Given how nasty the campaign went, I see this as a method to not only force McCain to put him on the VP LIST BUT ALSO send a IN YOUR FACE MESSAGE TO the HUCKSTER, thereby not only making his delegate count USELESS, BUT ALSO SPEEDING HIS EXIT FROM THE RACE. I guess I have been around Bill Sneider (sp?) too long and am always looking at the story behind the story.
Oh for the love of Pete...
What a man of convictions. Couldn't stand McCain for being to liberal but now he endorses him. Typical politican. Probably getting the VP. I hope your delegates ignore you and go to Huckabee instead of the liberal McCain.
Wonder how much the GOP pressured him to.
Is this sour grapes on Romney's part? Little ole' Huckabee ran Romney off and now Mitt wants the delegates to go to McCain. Hmmm.....
This changes nothing.
McCain still has to win himself the delegates he need to reach 1191.
The Romney delegates will be important at the Republican Convention, if case.
My reaction to this news was much the same as the one McCain shows in the picture.
I'll like to see McCain, win the General Election Nominee. "However", he dose not have the power to win over Obama. If Karl Rove, or Ralph Nader, dose not step in and support McCain, Obama, will have a field day.
It is very important to note that Romney's 286 delegates are not bound to McCain. If they, like so many Republicans, don't like McCain, they can vote for whomever they want to at the convention. Because of this, it is foolish to include them in McCain's delegate total.
Somebody looking for a cabinet postion? With his business experience maybe the dept of Commerce? Wouldn't be a bad move!
Ron Paul’s military contributions are greater than those of all other current candidates – John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama –combined.
His message of a strong national defense, and only going to war with a declaration of war – as mandated by the Constitution – resonates with those who risk their lives to defend that Constitution.
Maybe the next secretary of Commerce? Put that business experience to use for the benefit of the country!
Now it has become clear that Romney and his gang of radio talkshow supporters ran a campaign of deception. These guys are traitors saying a vote for Huckabee was a vote for McCain. Now we ssee cearly where Romney stands with the principles. When you bring ant infested fargots into your house, donot complain when you are visited by lizards! Huckabee is the right person he has connected so well with the base I know he won't win this thing because a cockroach can not win a case in a court of fowls. If McCain is the guy, I am switching to Obama.
If you can't beat em, join them!!! Maybe Romney just wants to wipe out Huckabee now than later!!! Romney is a joke.
Romney smelled the coffee...Obama/Clinton fans – Change your diapers, its going to be a bumpy ride!!
It's sad and terribly unfair that the states remaining which have not had their primaries are so limited in their choices. I agree with Rep. Murtha of PA that ALL primaries should be held on the same day. Right now, since both Clinton and Obama supported the Bush-Kenedy amnesty bill for illegals (which McCain co-authored), there's no choice at all. All concerned citizens will have to continue to speak out against the amnesty (in any version) for at least another 4 years. Can't the Republican and Democratic Parties recruit the best of the best for this office?? One would think that after 8 years with a moron in office, everyone would be selecting someone better than the current field of candidates.
Why? Does he realize how stupid this is? The best thing the Republican Party has going for it right now is Mike Huckabee.
We were outvoted 2 to 1 on Super Tuesday yet the best we are going to put forth is a 70 year old, geriatric old man to do combat against either a woman or a young black man?
I get the impression that if Mitt throws his support behind McCain its because he expects McCain to lose and lose big to either Hillary or Obama, and then he, Romney, can be the candidate in 2012 after the Democrats make a mess.
Why do folks keep saying Mitt in 2012?
If McCain wins – I doubt he is a one term President.
Luckily Huckabee is in the Caribbean so we won't have to hear him complain about this endorsement.
So, how do we feel about a McCain-Romney ticket? Romney is young enough to use a VP term to get ready to run for the presidency in '12. McCain is over 70, and he might not live out his first or second term. Or might not feel like running for a second term.
How can Romney endorse McCain after McCain ripped him a part during the campaign. What are we all stupid and don't remember. That tells you about what Romney is all about. Thank god he did not get the nomination. I have lost all respect for him as a politican.
How about you guys rename the headline.
TEXAN REPUBLICANS CAN NOW VOTE AGAINST CLINTON
This is what this really about.