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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Romney: 'Jeb's counsel and support will be critical'



Mitt Romney on today's endorsement:

“Jeb Bush is synonymous with good government and with conservative policies that yield results. He has long demonstrated an outstanding ability to bring people together. I therefore take tremendous pride in having earned his endorsement. This is a key moment in the presidential contest and Jeb’s counsel and support will be critical in the coming months in my effort to defeat Barack Obama and turn around our country.”

Bush's endorsement raised the question whether another big Florida Republican will endorse. But Sen. Marco Rubio has no plans to endorse at this time, his office said.

Bush has expressed concerned with the GOP positions on immigration and Romney had adopted a harder line. Immigrant rights advocates bemoaned the endorsement. “Say it ain’t so, Jeb.  It’s bad enough that Florida Republicans who have fought bravely for immigration reform, such as Mel Martinez, Carlos Gutierrez, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Mario Diaz-Balart, embraced and endorsed Romney.  Now you, too?" said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice.

"Don’t look past your disagreement with Romney’s immigration stance," Sharry continued. "You know in your heart that Mitt has cemented the Republican Party’s anti-Latino brand and you are one of the few people in the party who has the standing and guts to publicly challenge him on it.  But instead you endorse him.  It’s a sad day for those of us who once looked up to Jeb Bush for leadership on an issue that no longer seems to have any leaders in the Republican Party.”

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 1:39pm]


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