Jeb Bush on Wednesday endorsed Ted Cruz, calling on Republicans to coalesce around the Texas senator and “overcome the divisiveness and vulgarity Donald Trump has brought into the political arena.”
Bush, who declined to endorse Marco Rubio before the March 15 Florida primary, called Cruz “a consistent, principled conservative who has demonstrated the ability to appeal to voters and win primary contests.”
And Cruz did pick up Utah on Tuesday, though Trump won Arizona.
As as presidential candidate, Bush was the earliest target of Trump and also Trump's most vocal adversary as others — including Cruz and Rubio — took a hands off approach before joining the fight (too late, some Republicans contend).
“For the sake of our party and country, we must move to overcome the divisiveness and vulgarity Donald Trump has brought into the political arena, or we will certainly lose our chance to defeat the Democratic nominee and reverse President Obama’s failed policies,” Bush said. “To win, Republicans need to make this election about proposing solutions to the many challenges we face, and I believe that we should vote for Ted as he will do just that.”
Bush had criticized the first term senators in the field, arguing governors were more ready. But by passing over John Kasich, Bush appears to be doing simple delegate math.
In a statement, Cruz called Bush “an extraordinary governor of Florida, and his record of job creation and education innovation left a lasting legacy for millions of Floridians. His endorsement today is further evidence that Republicans are continuing to unite behind our campaign to nominate a proven conservative to defeat Hillary Clinton in November, take back the White House, and ensure a freer and more prosperous America for future generations."
- Alex Leary, Tampa Bay Times