By Jesse Byrnes
Jeb Bush expressed disappointment that South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is backing presidential rival Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioBreitbart, liberal activist cooperated on GOP primary disruptions: report Obama seeks down-ballot gains after being midterm loser Chamber endorses bill to block proposed estate tax rules MORE (R-Fla.).
The campaign praised Haley in a statement and predicted she'd rally behind Bush when he wins the GOP nomination.
"That said, this race is about Jeb Bush being the only candidate in the field with a proven conservative record, detailed plans and the ability to defeat Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonObama reads mean tweet from Trump on ‘Kimmel’ 5 takeaways from the Pa. Senate debate Report: Clinton ordered operative to troll Trump with duck MORE, which is what this party and country needs."
Haley's endorsement comes as Rubio looks to pull away from Bush ahead of Saturday's primary. Polls show Rubio hanging around third place, with Donald TrumpDonald TrumpObama reads mean tweet from Trump on ‘Kimmel’ 5 takeaways from the Pa. Senate debate Report: Clinton ordered operative to troll Trump with duck MORE in the lead, followed by Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzBreitbart, liberal activist cooperated on GOP primary disruptions: report Juan Williams: When WikiLeaks leaked my cell number 56 memorable moments from a wild presidential race MORE (Texas) in second.
Rubio and Bush are battling to be the establishment standard-bearer and the Florida senator has touted the backing of several key South Carolina lawmakers.
Haley, a potential GOP vice presidential pick, is a rising star in the Republican Party.
She was tapped by party leaders in Congress to deliver the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address in January, where she criticized Trump.