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Arnold officially endorses McCain

From NBC/NJ's Adam Aigner-Treworgy
LOS ANGELES, Ca. -- Just six days before much of the nation votes in a presidential primary, John McCain received yet another major endorsement that could help him in a delegate rich state. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made good on his hints from yesterday and threw his weight behind McCain this afternoon after taking a tour of Solar Integrated, a green technology company that builds solar roofing panels.

"[Green technology] will create a great, great future for California and for the United States and the world. Now talking about a great future, this is the very reason why I am endorsing Senator McCain to be the next president of the United States, because I'm interested in a great future and I think that Senator McCain has proven over and over again that he is reaching across the aisle in order to get things done," Schwarzenegger said.

McCain has been criticized for reaching across the aisle a little too far during his long senate career, damaging his conservative credentials and making it hard for him to find success with conservative voters in a virtual national presidential primary. Endorsements from moderate Republicans like Schwarzenegger and Rudy Giuliani don't help him combat this reputation, but at today's press conference he didn't seem concerned.

"I could never, never, ever be anything but honored by the presence of these two great American heroes," McCain said, when asked about his two most recent endorsers – both of who stood by his side. "Today Governor Rick Perry, the governor of Texas will be endorsing me. You will see a flood of endorsements across this country from both liberal and conservative."

So far his most prominent endorsements of late have been on the more liberal side, but as McCain expands his stake on the frontrunner mantle the conservative establishment is sure to coalesce behind their party's most likely nominee. Today he talked about the need to unite the party -- both conservative and liberal -- around the eventual nominee, and McCain implied that these endorsement show he is already succeeding.

"I'm prepared to lead our party in the nation and I am prepared and am succeeding in uniting it," McCain said. "We need all parts of our party together if we're going to win in November. I believe our party is beginning to realize that."

Tonight McCain will appear on the Tonight Show for a little national media exposure before taking off for the Midwest tomorrow to begin the last big push towards Feb. 5th.