This won't guarantee a Mitt victory in Florida. But it sure doesn't hurt his chances.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush plans to endorse former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney before the Jan. 31 Florida primary, a Florida GOP source close to Bush told BuzzFeed Thursday.
The endorsement from Bush, who despite prodding from members of his famous family and prominent Republicans decided to sit out the 2012 contest, is the latest sign that the Republican establishment is coalescing around Romney after months publicly griping about finding another candidate.
Bush is the brother of President George W. Bush, who has not endorsed anyone in the race, and the son of President George H. W. Bush who endorsed Romney last month. His son, Jeb, Jr., endorsed former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman in an overhyped event in August. He currently chairs the campaign's GenH young professionals arm.
The Florida Herald-Tribune reported yesterday that First Lady Laura Bush told a Sunshine State audience this week that her husband "and I wish he would [run for president.] We wanted him to this time."
Bush may be out of office but he has a formidable network of money men and professional politicos who can smooth the way for Romney in the Florida.
The real question is can Jeb help Romney with the Hispanic vote?
Hispanics are angry with Romney as he has tried to outdo the most extreme GOP candidate positions on immigration. His positions may have pleased the nativists but he has a lot of work to do to mend fences with the Latino voter. Jeb Bush, who speaks fluent Spanish and married an Hispanic woman, is still popular with Latinos and his endorsement might begin a healing process that would deny Obama the kind of Hispanic majorities he received in 2008.