George H.W. Bush is formally supporting Mitt Romney's bid for the Republican nomination for president.

The nation's 41st president says Romney is a good man who would make a "great president." And he says it's time for Republicans to unite behind Romney.

The pair, joined by former first lady Barbara Bush, briefly faced reporters Thursday evening in Bush's Houston office to make the endorsement official. The 87-year-old Bush had informally endorsed Romney on multiple occasions in recent months.

 

One of Bush's sons, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, endorsed Romney last week. Another son, former President George W. Bush, has stayed out of the GOP nomination race.

Romney says he didn't meet with George W. Bush during his two-day Texas visit but speaks to him from "time to time."

Romney says he meets with Gingrich now and then

Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney is acknowledging that he meets from time to time with rival Newt Gingrich. He calls their interactions part of an ongoing, friendly discourse and not secret strategy sessions.

Romney told radio host Sean Hannity on Thursday that his campaign and Gingrich's have been in regular communication and that he and his wife, Ann, have met with Gingrich and his wife, Callista. Romney offered no details about what they've discussed.

Romney has a commanding lead in convention delegates and is on track to win the nomination.

Pressure is growing on Gingrich to abandon his bid and support Romney. Gingrich has curtailed his cash-strapped campaign but has vowed to take his fight for the nomination to the national convention if Romney hasn't won enough delegates before then.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)