Senator John McCain on Thursday fought for the backing of his foes in the Republican Party's conservative base, hours after rival Mitt Romney quit the race, clearing his path to the White House.
Addressing the annual gathering of fervent Republican activists, McCain sought to shore up his conservative credentials and allay fears over his stand on some key issues, as he seeks the party's presidential nomination.
"It is my sincere hope that even if you believe I have occasionally erred in my reasoning as a fellow conservative, you will still allow that I have, in many ways important to all of us, maintained the record of a conservative."
With former Massachusetts governor Romney dropping out of the race on Thursday after a slew of poor Super Tuesday showings, McCain's path to the Republican ticket is suddenly a lot clearer.
But recognizing the crucial support he needs from the party's conservative base to win the nomination for the November elections, the Vietnam war veteran called for its backing in defeating the Democrats.
"I am acutely aware that I cannot succeed in that endeavor, nor can our party prevail over the challenge we will face ... without the support of dedicated conservatives." Source...