Jeb Bush endorses Cruz as a 'consistent, principled conservative'
© Greg Nash

Jeb Bush early Wednesday endorsed Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzMellman: Two worlds — Online and off GOP pollster: Trump dominates political rivals vying for media attention Cruz challenger O'Rourke launching .27M TV ad buy focusing on 'positive' message MORE’s Republican presidential bid, calling the Texas senator a “consistent, principled conservative.”

Bush, who ended his own campaign last month, said Cruz has “has demonstrated the ability to appeal to voters and win primary contests.”

“Washington is broken, and the only way Republicans can hope to win back the White House and put our nation on a better path is to support a nominee who can articulate how conservative policies will help people rise up and reach their full potential," the former Florida governor said.

Bush called on Republicans to “overcome the divisiveness and vulgarity [Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDems make history, and other takeaways from Tuesday's primaries Pawlenty loses comeback bid in Minnesota Establishment-backed Vukmir wins Wisconsin GOP Senate primary MORE] has brought to the political arena” or risk losing the White House.

“To win, Republicans need to make this election about proposing solutions to the many challenges we face, and I believe that we should vote for Ted as he will do just that,” Bush added.

Cruz described the endorsement as "tremendously important" during an interview with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo. 

"Gov. Bush is a good man, and I'm very grateful for his endorsement," the Texas senator said.

Cruz argued on several morning shows that the endorsement was the latest indication that Republicans are "unifying" around his campaign against Trump, the party's controversial front-runner.

Bush’s endorsement follows Cruz’s win in Tuesday’s Utah caucuses, where he won all 40 of the state’s delegates.

Jesse Byrnes contributed.

Updated at 8:43 a.m.