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

Jeb Bush early Wednesday endorsed Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Health Care: Trump eases rules on insurance outside ObamaCare | HHS office on religious rights gets 300 complaints in a month | GOP chair eyes opioid bill vote by Memorial Day HHS official put on leave amid probe into social media posts Trump, Pence to address CPAC this week 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 TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA 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.