Just one day after Mitt Romney scored a victory in Illinois' GOP primary election, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announced this morning his support for Romney's presidential bid -- one of the biggest names to sign onto the Romney ticket thus far.
“Congratulations to Governor Mitt Romney on his win last night and to all the candidates for a hard fought, thoughtful debate and primary season,” Bush said in a statement Wednesday morning. “Primary elections have been held in thirty-four states, and now is the time for Republicans to unite behind Governor Romney and take our message of fiscal conservatism and job creation to all voters this fall. I am endorsing Mitt Romney for our Party’s nomination.”
Romney now holds a 300-delegate lead over Rick Santorum and Bush's endorsement underscores the need for the Republican Party to unite behind one candidate as the general election draws nearer.
In endorsing Romney, Bush adds his name to a growing list of elected Republicans throwing their support behind Romney, including Tim Pawlenty and Chris Christie.
Hot Air's Ed Morrissey speculates that Bush's endorsement might start a "wave of declarations" for Romney and pretty much rules out the brokered convention scenario. "Expect Romney to push the Bush endorsement hard in the next three days and look for a quick exit by both of his competitors."
Political guru Larry Sabato adds: "Now that Jeb Bush has finally endorsed Romney, could this be the surprise ticket? If not Rubio, a popular ex-FL GOV w/Latina wife?"
Update: Michelle Malkin's Twitchy has been tracking the reaction of the Twittersphere to Bush's endorsement. So far, the response has been... underwhelming: