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Jeb Bush Endorses Ted Cruz For President

Republican presidential candidate Texas Sen. Ted Cruz waves as he arrives to speak at the 2016 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference on Monday, March 21, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

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Evan Vucci/AP

Republican presidential candidate Texas Sen. Ted Cruz waves as he arrives to speak at the 2016 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference on Monday, March 21, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Evan Vucci/AP

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has endorsed Texas Senator Ted Cruz for president. The news is the latest indication that the Republican Party establishment might finally view Cruz as a viable alternative to Donald Trump

In a statement, Bush called Cruz "a consistent, principled conservative who has demonstrated the ability to appeal to voters and win primary contests, including yesterday's Utah caucus." (Cruz won more than 69% of the vote in Utah's Republican caucuses.)

Bush, who dropped out of the presidential race last month, went on to say, "For the sake of our party and country, we must 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, most likely Hillary Clinton, this fall."

The endorsement comes after two prominent Republican voices threw their support behind Cruz. Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says he voted for Cruz in Utah's GOP caucuses to help prevent Trump from winning the Republican nomination (though he did not offer a full endorsement of Cruz). And former presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham recently headlined a fundraiser for Cruz.

In a statement, Cruz said he is honored to earn 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," said Cruz. "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."

I wanted you all to be the first to know that today I am endorsing Ted Cruz for President. Ted is a consistent,...

Posted by Jeb Bush on Wednesday, March 23, 2016