Jeb Bush endorsed Ted Cruz on Wednesday morning, calling his former rival for the Republican presidential nomination a “principled conservative” and urging fellow Republicans to reject Donald Trump as the next GOP nominee.
“Ted is a consistent, principled conservative who has demonstrated the ability to appeal to voters and win primary contests,” Bush said in a statement provided to CNN. “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.”
Bush’s endorsement of the Texas senator comes one month after he ended his own bid for the GOP presidential nomination — a campaign that failed to gain support in the shadow of Trump’s oversized personality and a fractured field that, at one time, had 17 Republican candidates actively pursuing the White House. During the campaign, Bush did not cloak his contempt for Trump, who he described as a “bully” and “not a conservative.”
On Wednesday, Bush again emphasized his disapproval of Trump, the GOP front-runner, and warned that if the New York businessman secures the Republican nomination, Democrats will win the White House in November.
“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 in the statement.
The former Florida governor’s endorsement follows that of his brother, Neil,who joined Cruz’s finance team earlier this month.
“We need a candidate that can unify the party, work with (House Speaker) Paul Ryan, move a reform-minded agenda forward,” Neil Bush said in a March 16 interview on CNN’s “New Day.” “And Ted Cruz is the only guy in the race to do that.”