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Breaking News: Schwarzenegger to endorse McCain on Thursday

January 30, 2008 |  4:08 pm

Schwarzenegger_jug6linc_2

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has decided to endorse his good friend Sen. John McCain for the Republican nomination for president.

The California governor just told CNN he had nothing to say on the subject "today." But The Times' Evan Halper and Mark Z. Barabak have learned that an event is planned tomorrow when the Arizona senator will be endorsed by the California governor. Only recently Schwarzenegger had said he would stay out of the endorsement business until after the GOP primary season. That was out of deference to friends in the race.

But McCain's victories in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida, and Rudy Giuliani's withdrawal today changed the circumstances, according to the governor.

"Both guys have been very close friends of mine," Schwarzennegger told The Times' Seema Mehta this afternoon.

Arriving at the Reagan Library near Simi Valley for tonight's (5 p.m. PST) Republican debate,  which will be streamed live on this website, the governor praised both Giuliani ("a great man") and McCain, but said he had nothing more to add about an endorsement "today."

He did, however, confirm to Mehta that he had something planned for Thursday with McCain, probably an environmental event in the Los Angeles area. "That's all I have to say," the governor said.

--Andrew Malcolm

Photo: Ken James / Bloomberg News

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