American Conservative Union head: 'Time for conservatives to unite' behind Romney

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Cardenas worked for Romney's campaign in 2008 and introduced him at this February's Conservative Political Action Conference, but as head of the ACU had remained neutral in the race — until now.

He joins House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), a Tea Party favorite, in recent Romney endorsements.

There is a push by some in the GOP to rally around Romney and end the primary soon so as to avoid additional intra-party bloodletting. Other conservative Republicans who've praised Romney in recent days include Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.).

This post was updated at 11:30 a.m.