Welcoming "an old friend back to
"Few men walking among us have sacrificed so much in the cause of human freedom," the former president said, adding that McCain has "the right values and experience to guide our nation forward at this historic moment."
Asked about conservative unease with McCain, the 41st president read from the diaries of former President
For his part, McCain, who has parted company from conservatives on immigration, taxes and campaign finance, said he welcomed the Bush endorsement and hoped it would help him rally the party behind him to begin waging a battle against Democrats.
"We as a party must unite and move forward and attract not only members of our own party but independents and so-called Reagan Democrats," McCain said, adding that Democrats had been wrong when they said the surge in Iraq would not work and should be held accountable for their position.
As McCain worked to tighten his hold on the Republican nomination, Democrats