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Jeb Bush praised Ted Cruz's decision to name Carly Fiorina as his VP

"I'm impressed with her," Bush told CNN's Jamie Gangel.

Watch more of Jamie Gangel’s interview with Jeb Bush on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” and “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” on Thursday.

Washington CNN —  

Jeb Bush praised Thursday the unusual decision by Ted Cruz to name Carly Fiorina as his running mate – despite not yet securing his party’s presidential nomination – as a “smart move,” weighing into the presidential race for one of the first times publicly since exiting the race.

Bush, who has endorsed Cruz, told CNN’s Jamie Gangel that Fiorina – who also ran for the GOP nomination but dropped out in February – would prove a useful foil to both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Cruz, seeking to shake the narrative of Trump’s political invincibility in the race’s closing stages, chose Fiorina as his running mate even though he significantly trails Trump in the GOP delegate count. Typically running mates are announced by candidates who have secured their party’s nomination.

“I’m impressed with her,” Bush said of his former opponent. “Picking a candidate that is talented, tough – she takes on Trump really well, I think, and she takes on Hillary Clinton very well, as well. (She’s) someone who’s got a proven record, who’s been vetted by a candidate, I thought it was a smart move.”