John McCain is giving former Republican presidential primary rival George W. Bush six of the Michigan delegates he won and has similar deals or is close to agreement in several New England states the Arizona senator won before suspending his campaign.
The deal reached Thursday in Michigan allows Gov. John Engler to attend the National Republican Convention as a Bush delegate and is the latest move toward Republican reconciliation after the divisive primary contest.
McCain agreed to give Bush six delegates to add to the six the Texas governor won in the Feb. 22 Michigan primary, leaving the Arizona senator with 46 of the state's 58. McCain has suspended his campaign, and Bush has won enough delegates to clinch the nomination.
The McCain camp said delegate agreements also had been reached or were close in New England states where the senator won primaries, including Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont and Massachusetts. A McCain aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, had no details.
In Michigan, McCain won 51 percent of the vote to 43 for Bush, largely on the strength of independent and Democratic voters who supported him in the open primary. But he couldn't sustain his momentum two weeks later in the March 7 Super Tuesday primaries and suspended his campaign.