(Photo: REUTERS/Jim Young)
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush endorsed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Wednesday.
Bush argued in his media statement that after Romney's victory in the Illinois primary Tuesday, it is time for the party to unite behind Romney and focus on defeating President Barack Obama in November.
"Primary elections have been held in thirty-four states, and now is the time for Republicans to unite behind Governor Romney and take our message of fiscal conservatism and job creation to all voters this fall," Bush writes.
Bush is the brother of former President George W. Bush and son of former President George H. W. Bush. He is popular among the Republican base and was himself courted by several Republican leaders to be the Republican nominee.
Bush, whose wife is Mexican-American, is also helping to lead an effort among some Republicans to reach out to more Latino voters, and has criticized the party for being insensitive to the concerns of Latinos.
According to RealClearPolitics.com estimates, Romney has over twice as many delegates as Rick Santorum, his nearest competitor (560-246). He needs 1,144 delegates to win the nomination.
Romney's business experience was also cited in Bush's endorsement.
"We face huge challenges, and we need a leader who understands the economy, recognizes more government regulation is not the answer, believes in entrepreneurial capitalism and works to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to succeed," Bush writes.