Huntsman Bows Out of GOP Race, Endorses Romney

World | January 16, 2012, Monday // 18:45|  views

Jon Huntsman has backed out of the GOD presidential nomination race. File photo

Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman has abandoned his quest for the US Presidency Monday morning with an endorsement of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

Huntsman's move comes less than a week after he placed a weak third in the New Hampshire primary. He had staked his entire candidacy on a strong finish there, The Washington Post reminds. Despite the outcome, he had vowed to take his campaign to South Carolina, calling his finish a "ticket to ride" in the upcoming contest, despite the long odds.

By Sunday, however, he had concluded that the better course was to bow out of the race, the officials said. Huntsman will make his announcement in Myrtle Beach, and, according to one campaign official, will urge Republicans to rally behind Romney as the GOP's best hope of defeating President Obama in November.

"There was no sense standing in the way of Romney," one Huntsman adviser said. "Every vote we took in South Carolina and Florida was from him."

Huntsman has further made an unexpectedly sharp condemnation of the "toxic" tone that the Republican primary battle has taken, as cited by The Washington Post.

"This race has degenerated into an onslaught of negative and personal attacks not worthy of the American people and not worthy off this critical time in American history," Huntsman said in a news conference in which he was flanked by his wife, children, father and South Carolina supporters.

Gingrich, others try to stop RomneyRomney sharpens his brandOn Mormonism, a loosening of the Bible BeltIn Va., an endorsement dearth

Huntsman did not name names in aiming criticism at his rivals, but he did take a shot at President Obama for engaging in what Huntsman called "class warfare" and said it contributed to divisiveness in American politics.

But Huntsman, who often talked on the campaign trail about rebuilding trust in the political process, made clear that he thinks the GOP race has taken an ugly turn.

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Tags: Mitt Romney, Republican Party, GOP, US President, Barack Obama, Jon Huntsman, New Hampshire, North Carolina


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