Bush meeting with Rubio, Kasich and Cruz before debate: report

Greg Nash

Jeb Bush is meeting with the three Republican presidential candidates seeking to take down front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump's courtship of union members complicated by Pence Trump: Clinton's VP pick 'VERY disrespectful' to Sanders, supporters Protesters prepare to flood Philadelphia for convention MORE before Thursday's GOP debate, according to a new report.

Bush is huddling with Sens. Ted CruzTed CruzWalker jabs at Kasich for snubbing GOP convention Trump: Cruz is 'lucky' that I walked in on his speech Kasich leaves door open to Trump endorsement MORE (R-Texas) and Marco RubioMarco RubioBudowsky: Why Warren masters Trump Meghan McCain: ‘I no longer recognize my party’ Five ways Trump’s convention was a success MORE (R-Fla.) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich before the Miami debate, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

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The former Florida governor repeatedly clashed with Trump during his own GOP presidential campaign, which ended late last month after disappointing results in early-voting states.

Bush is meeting Rubio on Wednesday and speaking with Cruz and Kasich on Thursday before the debate.

It's unclear whether Bush will endorse a candidate before March 15, when both Ohio and Florida vote in winner-take-all primaries, the Times said. 

Thursday’s debate is the twelfth and final contest of the Republican presidential primary, airing from Miami that evening on CNN.

It marks a pivotal last-minute chance for the GOP contenders to sell themselves to Floridians before they cast votes on March 15, awarding 99 delegates to their state’s primary winner.

Trump leads the Republican presidential field by nearly 16 points in the Sunshine State, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of polls.

Bush, meanwhile, suspended his own Oval Office bid late last month after struggling for voter support despite his campaign’s vast fundraising and his personal name value.

He exited the White House race on Feb. 20 after a disappointing fourth place finish in South Carolina’s GOP presidential primary.

Reports emerged on late Tuesday that former President George W. Bush, Jeb Bush’s brother, has no plans of issuing a presidential endorsement following his sibling’s departure from the race.

Trump commands a roughly 14-point edge over his Republican presidential rivals nationwide, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of polls.

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