Howard Baker endorses John McCain

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker has endorsed John McCain for president.

Baker was influential in convincing fellow Tennessean Fred Thompson to run and was an honorary national chair on his campaign.

Baker, who ran unsuccessfully for president in 1980, was also Ronald Reagan's chief of staff and recently served as the U.S. ambassador to Japan.

In a statement released Saturday, McCain said Baker gave up his own political aspirations to join Reagan's staff and guided the president's tax cuts during the 1980s. McCain pledged to continue the Reagan tradition that Baker served.

A spokesman for Baker said the former Tennessee senator would make a statement later.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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