Jon Huntsman Jr. ends candidacy bid for Republican presidential nomination despite 'big endorsement' in S.C.
Matt Rourke, Associated Press
Jon Huntsman Jr. told his inner circle Sunday night that he is ending his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination.
The New York Times' The Caucus blog reported, "Jon M. Huntsman Jr. informed his advisers on Sunday that he intends to drop out of the Republican presidential race, ending his candidacy a week before he had hoped to revive his campaign in the South Carolina primary. Mr. Huntsman, who had struggled to live up to the soaring expectations of his candidacy, made plans to make an announcement as early as Monday. He had been set to participate in an evening debate in Myrtle Beach."
In the latest Real Clear Politics poll average for the South Carolina primary on Jan. 21, Huntsman was tied for fifth place with Rick Perry at 5.7 percent.
The announcement came on the same day Huntsman appeared to be gaining momentum after harvesting an endorsement from The State, the largest newspaper in South Carolina, six days ahead of that state's Republican presidential primary.
Beneath the headline "Huntsman picks up big endorsement," CNN.com reported, "The paper's editorial board stated that while frontrunner Mitt Romney is 'more appealing' than the rest of the GOP field, Huntsman is 'more principled, has a far more impressive resume and offers a significantly more important message.'"
"Huntsman could bring us back together" is the headline of the staff editorial The State published Sunday in conjunction with announcing it is endorsing Huntsman. An extended snippet of that editorial:
"We need a president who can work within our poisonous political environment to solve our nation's problems, not simply score partisan points. Someone who understands that negotiation is essential in a representative democracy, and that there are good ideas across the political spectrum. Someone who has a well-defined set of core values but is not so rigid that he ignores new information and new conditions. Someone who has shown himself to be honest and trustworthy. And competent. Someone whose positions are well-reasoned and based on the world as it is rather than as he pretends it to be. … We think Mr. Romney could demonstrate those characteristics. Mr. Huntsman already does. And we are proud to endorse him for the Republican nomination for president of the United States."
The Washington Post reports that front-runner Romney also picked up his own newspaper endorsements Sunday involving the Palmetto State — with the caveat being that this new support for Romney comes from two newspapers with less influence in South Carolina than The State's sway.
"The Greenville (S.C.) News, which has endorsed Romney, writes that the former Massachusetts governor represents the best choice to take on President Obama in the fall. … In addition, the Charlotte Observer, a North Carolina newspaper, also weighed in on the South Carolina race, writing that Romney 'is best qualified to mount a serious campaign this fall.'"
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