Jeb Bush Endorses Mitt Romney

by InvestorPlace Staff | March 21, 2012 6:54 pm

[1]Fresh off of a decisive win in Illinois yesterday[2], Mitt Romney added another endorsement to his list of Republican supporters. This one, however, may make a difference.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announced his support for Romney today[3], gaining crucial support from a popular politician in an important fall swing state. In his statement, Bush said that it was time to unite behind the candidate.

““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. “

Rick Santorum has dismissed the endorsement, saying it was a typical move by the Republican establishment. While past Romney endorsements have been dismissible, since they haven’t always led to primary wins, this one is important for two reasons.

One, it signals that Bush is definitely not interested in a brokered convention or a late entry into the presidential campaign. Two, it nudges the GOP that much further into throwing their full weight behind Romney, like it or not. The narrative going forward seems increasingly likely to pit Romney, the inevitable Republican presidential candidate, against Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, who have vowed to continue until the convention. The pressure on Gingrich and Santorum to drop out and let Romney focus fully on Obama is only going to grow from here.

–Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPlace Money & Politics Editor

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.

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