Cruz is Republicans' best bet: Jeb Bush

Mr Bush (top) says his fellow Republican Ted Cruz (above) is a consistent, principled conservative who has shown an ability to appeal to voters and win primary contests.
Mr Bush (left) says his fellow Republican Ted Cruz (right) is a consistent, principled conservative who has shown an ability to appeal to voters and win primary contests.

WASHINGTON • Former presidential hopeful Jeb Bush yesterday endorsed Texas senator Ted Cruz for the Republican Party's nomination, saying he represents their best chance of winning the White House.

In a statement, the former Florida governor called Mr Cruz a consistent, principled conservative who has demonstrated an 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," said Mr Bush, who dropped out of the nomination fight after losing badly in South Carolina on Feb 20.

His father and brother served as president.

Mr Bush's endorsement comes as establishment Republicans scramble to stop front runner Donald Trump winning the nomination because of his divisive proposals such as a plan to deport 11 million illegal immigrants. Mr Cruz has run in second place and could conceivably win enough Republican delegates to take the nomination.

Ohio Governor John Kasich's lone path to the nomination is to extend the race until the party's national convention in July. The idea is to deny Mr Trump the required 1,237 delegates needed and force party leaders to consider someone else.

In his statement, Mr Bush resumed his sharp criticism of Mr Trump, saying Republican voters must move to overcome "the divisiveness and vulgarity" that the tycoon has brought into the political arena or "we will certainly lose our chance to defeat the Democratic nominee and reverse President (Barack) Obama's failed policies".

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 24, 2016, with the headline 'Cruz is Republicans' best bet: Jeb Bush'. Print Edition | Subscribe