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Jeb Bush endorses Romney

Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor who many eyed as a possible contender himself for the Republican presidential ticket, has thrown his support to Mitt Romney after Romney's convincing win in the Illinois GOP primary Tuesday night.

Bush, who now joins his parents, former President George H.W. Bush and first lady Barbara Bush, in expressing support for the front-runner, said it's time for the GOP to focus on the November election.

"Congratulations to Governor Mitt Romney on his win last night and to all the candidates for a hard fought, thoughtful debate and primary season. 

"Primary elections have been held in 34 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. 

"I am endorsing Mitt Romney for our party’s nomination.  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."

After the announcement, Romney tweeted: "March 21st is turning into a pretty big day. Anniversary, (son Tagg's) birthday, and now an endorsement from @JebBush."

Asked about the endorsement, Newt Gingrich spokesman called it "the closing of the establishment trifecta," referencing former Senate Republican leader and presidential candidate Bob Dole's endorsement.