Schwarzenegger to endorse McCain

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will endorse John McCain today, giving a certain boost to the Republican presidential front-runner six days before California’s high-prize primary.

The two will appear at a news conference after touring a Los Angeles-based solar energy company and the governor will make his endorsement official, his senior aides confirmed Wednesday.

Schwarzenegger’s endorsement is yet another setback for Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who saw Florida slip from his grasp Tuesday after McCain rolled up the support of that state’s two top elected Republicans, Gov. Charlie Crist and Sen. Mel Martinez.

His strategy in tatters, Romney plans to offer himself as the conservative alternative to McCain as he pushes ahead in hopes of winning enough delegates to topple the Arizona senator when 21 states vote in the Republican contest Tuesday.

Schwarzenegger’s move comes as McCain plows ahead toward the nomination, the only Republican candidate to have won three hotly contested primaries since voting began earlier this month.

The four-term senator is running strongly ahead of his competitors in California, which offers a whopping 170 delegates to the Republican nominating convention.