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Bush endorses Cruz in effort to stop Trump

bush endorses sen. ted cruz in bid to stop trump

Jeb Bush on Wednesday endorsed Ted Cruz, calling on Republicans to coalesce around the Texas senator and "overcome the divisiveness and vulgarity Donald Trump has brought into the political arena."

Bush, who declined to endorse Marco Rubio before the March 15 Florida primary, called Cruz "a consistent, principled conservative who has demonstrated the ability to appeal to voters and win primary contests."

As as presidential candidate, Bush was the earliest target of Trump and also Trump's most vocal adversary as others, including Cruz and Rubio, took a hands-off approach before joining the fight (too late, some Republicans contend).

"For the sake of our party and country, we must move to overcome the divisiveness and vulgarity Donald Trump has brought into the political arena, or we will certainly lose our chance to defeat the Democratic nominee and reverse President Obama's failed policies," Bush said. "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."

Alex Leary, Times Washington bureau chief

PHOENIX

Clinton edges closer to needed delegates

Hillary Clinton is closing in on collecting three-quarters of the delegates needed to clinch the Democratic presidential nomination. Bernie Sanders netted more than a dozen delegates after splitting Tuesday's contests with Clinton. But he still trails significantly. Three states held Democratic contests with a total of 131 delegates at stake. Sanders picked up at least 67, having won big in Idaho and Utah. Clinton will gain at least 51 after a victory in Arizona.

Donald Trump took the top prize in the latest Republican presidential races: all 58 delegates in Arizona's primary. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz won big in Utah, and he'll get all 40 of the state's delegates to the Republican National Convention. The third contender still fighting for the nomination, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, was shut out for the night.

Washington

GOP Sen. Toomey to meet court nominee

Sen. Pat Toomey on Wednesday became the latest Republican senator to say he'll meet with President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, but said he'll tell him the Senate won't fill the vacancy until a new president is elected. Toomey, R-Pa., is at least the ninth GOP senator to say they will meet with Merrick Garland or have indicated an openness to it. Six of them face re-election in November, including Toomey.

Led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, most Republicans say the late Justice Antonin Scalia won't be replaced until the next president picks a nominee.

Times wires

Bush endorses Cruz in effort to stop Trump 03/23/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 6:46pm]
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