Jeb Bush endorses Ted Cruz in Republican presidential race

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Former Florida Gov.  Jeb Bush, who abandoned last month his bid for the White House, announced Wednesday that he’s endorsing Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

“As I said from the moment I launched my presidential campaign, the stakes in 2016 couldn’t be higher,” Bush wrote in a Facebook posting.

Bush, the son of one former president and the brother of another, was an early favorite to win the nomination after announcing his candidacy last summer. However, he struggled to break through in the early Republican contests and quit the race after last month's South Carolina primary.

In a statement to Fox News, Bush said Cruz was "a consistent, principled conservative who has demonstrated the ability to appeal to voters and win primary contests."

Bush also warned Republicans against nominating Donald Trump, who picked up 58 more delegates Tuesday with a convincing win in Arizona's winner-take-all primary.

"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.

Bush also took aim at the political gridlock in the nation’s capital.

“Washington is broken, too many families are stuck in poverty and Western civilization is under attack from radical Islamic terrorists, as evidenced by the horrific attack in Brussels, which was preceded by attacks in Paris and California,” he said on Facebook.

Cruz, who defeated Trump in Utah's Republican caucuses Tuesday, said he was "truly honored" to have Bush's endorsement, calling it "further evidence that Republicans are continuing to unite behind our campaign to nominate a proven conservative to defeat Hillary Clinton in November."