Eric Cantor endorses Jeb Bush for president

Story highlights

  • Cantor, 52, was named a Virginia state co-chair of Bush's 2016 campaign
  • The former Virginia congressman left Congress more than a year ago after losing the primary to keep his seat

(CNN)Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor endorsed presidential candidate Jeb Bush on Thursday.

"Governor Bush is a true conservative leader with a long-term vision for this country and the practical know-how to implement it," Cantor said in a statement. "After eight years of anemic growth and declining international relevance, America needs a president that can re-energize our nation and recapture our greatness -- Jeb Bush is that man. I look forward to working closely with the governor and his team as they chart a course to the White House."
Cantor also tweeted his support, using the hashtag #AllInForJeb.
    Cantor, 52, was also named a Virginia state co-chair of Bush's 2016 campaign. The endorsement was first reported by Politico.
    The former Virginia congressman left Congress more than a year ago after losing the primary to keep his seat in a shocking upset to a little-known college professor, Dave Brat. He is now vice chairman of Moelis & Company, a global investment bank.
    But although he no longer holds office, Cantor is still considered a power player in the Republican Party.
    Bush, who many consider to be the establishment choice for the Republican nomination, has struggled in recent national and state polls, as outsider candidates like front-runner Trump and retired neurosugeon Ben Carson have captured much of the race's attention.
    The former Florida governor has managed to rack up several high profile endorsements from sitting and former lawmakers.
    Donald Trump, now frequently playing Bush's foil, mocked the Cantor endorsement in a tweet: "Who wants the endorsement of a guy (@EricCantor) who lost in perhaps the greatest upset in the history of Congress?"