Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is endorsing Sen. Ted Cruz for president, adding to a trend of establishment figures slowly coalescing around the constitutional conservative.
“Today, I am endorsing Ted Cruz for President,” Bush once the establishment-anointed favorite to face Hillary Clinton in November, said.
Bush is the son of former United States President George H. W. Bush and the brother of former President George W. Bush. Jeb Bush failed to gain the support necessary, losing the establishment crown to candidate Sen. Marco Rubio. In the end both candidates dropped from the race. Rubio has yet to endorse.
Bush’s endorsement of Cruz continued:
Ted is a consistent, principled conservative who has demonstrated the ability to appeal to voters and win primary contests. Washington is broken, and the only way Republicans can hope to win back the White House and put our nation on a better path is to support a nominee who can articulate how conservative policies will help people rise up and reach their full potential.
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. 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.
The Republican establishment has been running hard against GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, who is largely self-funding his campaign. Failed 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney announced he would vote for Cruz leading into the Utah primary. Cruz won Utah with an overwhelming almost 70 per cent on Tuesday.
Romney’s choice was not made for lack of trying to boost Rubio or Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Romney stumped for both Rubio and Kasich ahead of the March 15 Florida and Ohio primaries with robocalls for each and an in-person appearance for Kasich. Rubio suffered a crushing loss in his home state of Florida while Kasich secured his first and only win in his home state of Ohio. Despite Romney’s highly publicized speech urging American voters to support the candidate that “has the best chance to beat Mr. Trump in any given state” he backed Kasich and Rubio before Trump’s consistently closest competitor Cruz. Cruz did not appear to utilize the 2012 nominee in campaigning ahead of the March 15 pivotal primary contests. Romney said, “I think a lot of people were surprised by how well Ted Cruz did.”
Cruz welcomed the endorsement as he has those in the vein of 2012 Republican nominee Romney. “I’m truly honored to earn Governor Jeb Bush’s support.”
Governor Bush was 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.
Even Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has joked about killing Cruz on the floor of the United States Senate, held a fundraiser for Cruz on Monday in the midst of the annual AIPAC convention.
In the early stages of the Cruz campaign he made a point of graciously welcoming each new candidate as they announced. Bush was among those and at the time Cruz stated, “I’m glad to welcome Jeb Bush to the growing and diverse field of 2016 GOP candidates. Gov. Bush is a good man and was a strong governor in Florida. I look forward to a productive and thoughtful debate on the issues most important to Republican voters as the 2016 GOP primary season gets into full swing. Gov. Bush brings a lifetime of service to this field, and his candidacy ensures our eventual nominee will be all the stronger and equipped to face Hillary Clinton in the general election.”
In a Wednesday morning television interview Cruz cited a wide political range of endorsements from conservative heavyweights like syndicated radio host Mark Levin to Utah Rep. Mike Lee to endorsements like this new one from Bush.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana