Washington, March 30 (IANS) Front-runner Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has picked up two more big endorsements, but apparently with little impact on his party's unending race to pick a challenger to US President Barack Obama.
Tea party favourite Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, often touted as a top possibility to be the party's vice presidential choice, endorsed Romney Wednesday pointing to the near inevitability of the former Massachusetts governor clinching the nomination.
"It's evidently and increasingly clear that Mitt Romney is going to become the Republican nominee. We have to come together behind who I think has earned the nomination, and that's Mitt Romney," he told Fox News.
Romney also travelled to Houston Thursday afternoon to pick up the endorsement of former president George H.W. Bush, who advised his competitors to give up after waging "a very good fight".
"It's time when to hold 'em and time when to fold 'em," Bush said, quoting Texas crooner Kenny Rogers. "I think it's time for people to all get behind this good man."
The former president's son, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, younger brother to previous president George W. Bush, endorsed Romney last week and endorsed Rubio as a good vice presidential pick.
A CNN/ORC International Poll released Tuesday showed most Republicans would like to see former House speaker Newt Gingrich and House member Ron Paul end their White House bids, but favour former senator Rick Santorum staying in to present a conservative challenge to Romney.
Gingrich is determined to stay in the race for the Republican nomination, his communications director said Wednesday, even though he has laid off one-third of his staff and faces increasing calls to cede the contest to Romney.
According to CNN's latest estimate, Romney has secured 569 delegates and needs 575 more to reach the 1,144 required to clinch the nomination. Santorum has 262 delegates, with Gingrich at 136 and Paul at 71.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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