Bobby Jindal endorses Marco Rubio for 2016 presidential contest _lowres

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., adjusts his tie before a television interview moments before a campaign event, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016, at the town hall, in Exeter, N.H. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has endorsed U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida in the race for the GOP presidential nomination.

Jindal made the announcement during an appearance on “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” on Fox News Friday.

“Marco has been consistent about strengthening America’s foreign policy,” Jindal said.

He also stressed Rubio’s electability. Rubio came in third place in this week’s Iowa caucuses and has seen rising polling numbers in the days since.

“We’ve got to turn the page on the Obama administration,” said Jindal, who left office Jan. 11. “Marco can unify our party. He can win this election in November.”

Rubio responded to the endorsement on Fox News and called Jindal “one of the best governors in America.”

“Bobby Jindal is one of the smartest people in American politics,” Rubio said. “He has got great leadership ideas on all sorts of public policy.”

“I think this is going to be a big boost to our campaign,” he added.

Jindal suspended his own presidential campaign in November after failing to gain traction among the crowded field of Republican hopefuls.

Since this week’s Iowa caucuses, the race has been increasingly tightening. Several others who have dropped their campaigns have endorsed candidates, as well.

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and former New York Gov. George Pataki have also come out in support of Rubio.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who bowed out before Jindal, has endorsed Cruz. U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is backing former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Earlier this week, a close Jindal ally told The Advocate he wasn’t ready to make an endorsement in the race and might wait until after next week’s New Hampshire primary.

Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter @elizabethcrisp. For more coverage of Louisiana state government and politics, follow our Politics blog at http://blogs.theadvocate.com/politicsblog .