Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., says he will not be vice president “under any circumstances,” as he tries to put to rest any speculation he might switch parties to become Democrat John Kerry’s running mate this year.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

“No, no and no. I will not leave the Republican Party. I cherish the ideals and principles of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan,” McCain said on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”

“I will not be vice president of the United States under any circumstances. I feel that I can be far more effective in helping shape policy in the future of this country as a United States senator.”

As WorldNetDaily previously reported, McCain raised eyebrows when he said “Obviously, I would entertain it” if he were approached by Kerry, who is a personal friend.

“When you say, ‘I’ll entertain it,’ that means something,” talk-show host Rush Limbaugh explained last month. “How many denials do we hear before people accept things?”

It was Limbaugh himself who first floated the name of McCain as a humorous suggestion, to depict what he says is the Democrats’ need to go outside of their party in order to find any national support.

The 67-year-old McCain, who is running for another term in the U.S. Senate, said yesterday Bush “deserves re-election.”

“Have we agreed on every issue? Of course not. We didn’t agree on every issue when we ran against each other in a primary,” he said.

“I am not embarrassed to say that John Kerry is a friend of mine, but I want George Bush to be re-elected president of the United States.”

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