Morning after Illinois win, Jeb Bush backs Romney

March 21, 2012 - 10:46 AM
Romney Endorsement Jeb Bush

FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2012 file photo, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks in Miami. Bush is endorsing Mitt Romney to become the Republican Party's presidential nominee. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is endorsing Mitt Romney for the GOP presidential nomination.

Bush said the nation faces huge challenges and needs a leader who understands the economy, favors less government regulation, believes in "entrepreneurial capitalism" and wants to help all Americans have a chance to succeed.

In a statement the morning after Romney's big win in Tuesday's Illinois primary, Bush also called on Republicans to pull together. He says primary elections have been held in 34 states and that it's now time for the GOP to unite behind the former Massachusetts governor.

Suggesting the race was all but over, Bush congratulated the other Republican candidates for what he said was a "hard-fought, thoughtful debate and primary season."