Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
Kevin P. Casey  /  AP
Possible presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has picked up the support of Sen. John Warner, R-Va., for his experience and understanding of the military.
updated 2/26/2007 1:03:02 PM ET 2007-02-26T18:03:02

Republican Sen. John W. Warner, the former chairman of the Armed Services Committee, on Monday endorsed Sen. John McCain for the Republican presidential nomination.

The five-term Virginia senator cited McCain's service in the Navy and his familiarity with military issues in a statement backing his longtime friend, who is expected to formally announce his candidacy next month.

"America's next president will be challenged by a range of diplomatic and security issues of unprecedented complexity largely due to growing, worldwide terrorist threats," Warner said in the statement, released by McCain's presidential exploratory committee. "Senator McCain's long experience with, and understanding of, our military coupled with his proven, unquestioned courage and leadership, provide him with the essential qualifications for our next president."

Warner, a former Navy secretary and until last month the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has agreed with McCain on a number of national security and defense issues, but differs with him on President Bush's Iraq war policy.

McCain backs the president's plan to increase U.S. troops while Warner drafted a bipartisan resolution opposing the buildup.

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