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Jeb Bush endorses Cruz after Trump scores key victory last night

But there were wins for Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders too.

Source: Associated Press

Updated at 12.57pm

FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR Jeb Bush endorsed Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz today for the Republican presidential nomination, following big wins for Donald Trump in last night’s votes.

“Ted is a consistent, principled conservative who has demonstrated the ability to appeal to voters and win primary contests, including yesterday’s Utah caucus,” Bush said, referring to one of three votes held yesterday.

Republicans can win back the White House and put our nation on a path to security and prosperity if we support a nominee who can unite our party and articulate how conservative policies will help people rise up and reach their full potential.

Bush said the Republican Party has to unite or face certain defeat in the election, probably to Hillary Clinton.

Victories

The endorsement comes as both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton traded wins with their chief rivals in the latest primary votes and attacked each other’s worldviews as the 2016 presidential contest turned into a clash of would-be commanders in chief.

While both front-runners scored victories in the night’s biggest prize of Arizona, Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders won caucuses in Utah and Idaho and Republican Ted Cruz claimed his party’s caucuses in Utah.

The victories kept Clinton and Trump from dominating another election night, but they both maintained a comfortable lead in the race for delegates that decide the presidential nominations.

Long lines and frenzied interest marked primary elections across the three Western states as the world grappled with a new wave of bloody attacks in Europe.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for blasts in Brussels that left dozens dead and many more wounded.

“This is about not only selecting a president, but also selecting a commander in chief,” Clinton said in Seattle as she condemned Trump by name and denounced his embrace of torture and hardline rhetoric aimed at Muslims.

The last thing we need is leaders who incite more fear.

Trump attacks 

Trump, in turn, branded Clinton as “Incompetent Hillary” as he discussed her tenure as secretary of state. “Incompetent Hillary doesn’t know what she’s talking about,” the billionaire businessman said in an interview with Fox News.

She doesn’t have a clue.

The back and forth between the front-runners came on a day when voters were eager to make their voices heard in the 2016 election.

In Utah, caucus-goers were dispatched by poll workers to local stores with orders to buy reams of paper and photocopy fresh ballots amid huge turnout. The state Democratic Party’s website crashed due to high traffic.

In Arizona, voters waited two hours or more in some places to cast primary ballots, while police were called to help control traffic.

As voters flooded to the polls, the presidential candidates lashed out at each other’s foreign policy prescriptions, showcasing sharp contrasts in confronting the threat of Islamic extremism.

Commander in chief

Clinton — and Trump’s Republican rivals — questioned the GOP front-runner’s temperament and readiness to serve as commander in chief, and condemned his calls to diminish US involvement with NATO.

Addressing cheering supporters in Seattle, Clinton said the attacks in Brussels were a pointed reminder of “how high the stakes are” in 2016.

“We don’t build walls or turn our back on our allies,” she said.

- With reporting from AFP

Read: Terror expert says Isis will use Donald Trump videos to recruit members

Read: Five things Donald Trump could learn about party conventions from House of Cards 

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Associated Press

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