Arizona Sen. John McCain, the GOP presidential nominee in 2008, is moving toward endorsing a candidate for 2012.

Republican sources familiar with his thinking say he will probably endorse his onetime political enemy, Mitt Romney.

There is virtually no chance, sources say, that he will pick former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), who has surged into the lead in polls, stoking consternation among his ex-colleagues on Capitol Hill.


Asked Tuesday if he might back a candidate in the GOP primary, McCain told The Hill, “Yeah, I think it would be several months later on.”

This is a change from the senator’s stance earlier this year, when said he would not endorse during the primary.

His statements come as angst among Republicans in Washington is intensifying. Publicly and privately, GOP kingmakers have said they are dreading the possibility that Gingrich will capture the Republican nomination.

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