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Story highlights

Mike Huckabee called for the GOP to unify behind Donald Trump in a message Wednesday

The former Arkansas governor said 'I withheld an endorsement during the heat of the primary'

(CNN) —  

In the latest sign of the Republican Party closing ranks around presumptive nominee Donald Trump, former rival Mike Huckabee said Wednesday he was “all in” for the mogul.

The former Arkansas governor announced on his website and social media that he would endorse Trump and called on Republicans to unite behind him.

“I am all in for @realDonaldTrump and urge all the GOP to unite and win back the White House,” Huckabee tweeted, linking to a statement that called Trump better than Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

Huckabee called on the anti-Trump forces within the GOP to give up on “the hapless ‘Never Trump’ nonsense.”

Though Huckabee acknowledged he did not agree with Trump on some of his positions, he said the voters had spoken in Indiana on Tuesday – and with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz out of the race, the path was clear.

“Much to my chagrin, the voters didn’t accept my message, but his. I withheld an endorsement during the heat of the primary because it was the job of the voters to select the person they wanted more than me,” Huckabee said. “Ted Cruz ended his campaign and it’s time to end the strife in the party. That can start today with our unifying around the people’s choice, Donald Trump.”

Huckabee had not endorsed Trump, but did appear at an event organized by the Trump campaign in Iowa, and his daughter, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, joined the Trump campaign as a senior adviser after her father exited the race.