Republican White House hopeful John McCain has picked his running mate to stand with him against the Democrats in the November election, his campaign said Thursday.

Asked to confirm reports that McCain had made his choice, spokesman Brian Rogers replied "Yep" by email.

Reports said the McCain campaign intended to leak out the news in the coming hours ahead of an official announcement, in a bid to divert attention away from Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

Obama was due to give an acceptance speech later Thursday before 75,000 people packed into a Denver football stadium in a spectacular climax to the Democrats’ four-day convention.

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