Gov. Rick Scott of Florida endorsed Donald J. Trump for president a day after the New York businessman won the state’s primary, and he urged fellow Republicans to rally behind him to focus on the general election.
“With his victories yesterday, I believe it is now time for Republicans to accept and respect the will of the voters and coalesce behind Donald Trump,” Mr. Scott said in a post on Facebook.
He made clear his rationale: that the party will rip itself to shreds trying to stop someone with a clear path to the nomination.
“If we spend another four months tearing each other apart, we will damage our ability to win in November. It’s time for an end to the Republican on Republican violence,” he wrote. “It’s time for us to begin coming together, we’ve had a vigorous primary, now let’s get serious about winning in November.”
He also seemed to warn party leaders against using delegate rules to try to stop Mr. Trump at the party’s convention in July. Florida is a crucial general election battleground, and a state that Hillary Clinton won decisively in the Democratic primary.
“The voters are speaking clearly – they want a businessman outsider who will dramatically shake up the status quo in Washington,” he wrote, invoking his own 2010 insurgent campaign as a businessman with no previous role in the party. “When I first ran for governor the political class and party leaders opposed me with great vigor, and some even said if I won the primary they would never vote for me. But the voters had other ideas, and they are the only ones who count.”
He added, “Here’s what really matters – we have to elect a Republican in the fall in order to grow jobs, rebuild our military, and put a person who respects the Constitution on the Supreme Court.”