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Wednesday, November 15, 2006
McCain to form exploratory committee Thursday
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, will file papers Thursday to form a presidential exploratory committee, a McCain spokesman told CNN Wednesday.

McCain has also established a website,, to drum up support for a possible White House bid.

McCain, who assumed an active campaign role in the 2006 midterm election cycle, said he will use his exploratory committee to "continue my conversation with the American people."

"Over the past year, I have traveled the country campaigning with candidates running for local, state, and federal office and I've been constantly proud to stand with Republican candidates in supporting a secure homeland, fiscal responsibility, ethics in government, and common sense conservative principles," McCain said in an email to supporters. "With the formation of John McCain 2008 - The Exploratory Committee, I will continue my conversation with the American people over the direction of the Republican Party and the future of our country."

The Arizona senator has said previously he would make a final decision on whether to run for president early next year after consulting with his family over the holidays.

McCain plans to lay out his vision of the Republican Party in two speeches Thursday to conservative groups in Washington.

-- CNN's Candy Crowley and Mark Preston
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