John McCain Endorses Mitt Romney

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The GOP is coalescing around its perceived frontrunner in the presidential race.

John McCain, who battled bitterly with Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination four years ago, is endorsing him in advance of the 2012 New Hampshire primary.

Romney flew to New Hampshire Wednesday after his narrow Iowa caucus win to begin campaigning in the New England state, where he holds sizable leads in polls.

McCain and Romney

He was joined on stage today by McCain, who he called one of America's heroes and a great friend. McCain won the N.H. primary in 2000 and again in 2008.

Will McCain's endorsement help him lock up the nomination early?

Can the two-time candidate help Mitt fend off challengers Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum in the coming days and beyond? Does he even need it?

It can't hurt in New Hampshire, where he's clearly the man to beat, for better or worse. Here's Romney's speech to supporters last night in Iowa:

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