SIMI VALLEY, Calif. -- Rudy Giuliani has endorsed GOP front-runner and long time friend John McCain after withdrawing from the race himself.
Giuliani praised McCain as an "American hero" and the "most-qualified candidate" to be the next commander in chief.
Giuliani recalled he had said in an earlier debate that McCain would be his choice for president if he were not running himself. He said if he-endorsed anyone else he'd be accused of "flip-flopping" which has been a frequent criticism of Mitt Romney.
McCain, standing at Giuliani's side, said the former New York mayor was himself a "national hero" and his "strong right arm" and his "partner."
Giuliani announced his exit from the race and backing of McCain at the Ronald Reagan Library, site of Wednesday's GOP debate.