South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham endorses Jeb Bush

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican president candidate Jeb Bush has scored the endorsement of South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Graham made the announcement at a press conference Friday.

Graham has been a coveted endorsement for candidates running for the Republican nomination since he holds major clout in South Carolina, one of the critical early voting primary states.

Bush was initially considered a heavy contender for the Republican nomination for president, but his campaign eventually lagged behind candidates like businessman Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz who have positioned themselves as anti-establishment alternatives.

Graham launched his own presidential campaign last summer, but dropped out of the race last month having mustered little support in the polls.