McCain gets support from former secretaries of state

Four former secretaries of state announced Tuesday they are endorsing Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for president, providing his campaign with a needed boost.

Henry Kissinger, retired Gen. Alexander Haig, Lawrence Eagleburger and George Shultz all said they would support McCain. The former heads of the State Department said the senator’s leadership skills, his record and his vision make him the right choice for president in difficult times.

The world’s challenges are radically changing and our country needs John McCain’s experience and optimism,” said Kissinger, who served as secretary of state from 1973 to 1977 and won a Nobel Prize for his efforts to end the Vietnam War.

“His record, character, and belief that America’s best days lie ahead make John McCain the right leader for these times,” added Kissinger.

The war in Iraq and the fight against terrorism are central issues in the election, and getting the backing of experienced foreign policy officials could help McCain’s struggling campaign. The senator finished only third in first-quarter fundraising and was also criticized for recent remarks he made in Iraq.

“John McCain has spent his life serving this country on the battlefield and in Congress,” said Eagleburger, who served as secretary of state under the current president’s father. “As our country adjusts to new challenges, John McCain’s experience and record as a common-sense conservative make him the best candidate for our country’s future.”

McCain said he was proud of the support, adding that he and the former secretaries of state “share optimism in America and dedication to winning the war on terror.”