Bush Rallies Base for McCain...

...Without actually mentioning his former nemesis by name
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2008 9:38 AM CST
In this file photo from 2000, then Texas Gov. George W. Bush listens to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., during the Des Moines Register Republican presidential debate. (AP Photo/The Des Moines Register, Gary...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – George W. Bush never mentioned John McCain by name this morning, but he nonetheless sought to give the presumptive GOP nominee a boost among the party's conservative base, the Washington Post reports. "Soon, we will have a nominee who will carry a conservative banner into this election and beyond," he told the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Bush's approval ratings are at an all-time nadir, according to the latest AP poll, but his endorsement could still carry weight with the party's base, who are largely suspicious of the centrist McCain. It was these voters Bush addressed today, and they cheered lustily as he said he was "absolutely confident that with your help, we will elect a person who shares our principles."