Jon Huntsman Drops out of Race; to Endorse Romney Tomorrow at 11AM in South Carolina

First, the expected . . . Jon Huntsman is dropping out of the race.  The writing has been on the wall for weeks on this part of the news.  Huntsman never had national polling over 3 or 4 % and the fact that he didn’t (couldn’t) “play” in Iowa or South Carolina and put all his proverbial eggs in the New Hampshire basket did not bode well for the former Utah Governor/Ambassador to China.  But finishing a distant third in New Hampshire earlier this week was really the nail in the Huntsman campaign’s coffin.  Story here:

CHARLESTON, S.C. — 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.

Now the “less-than-expected” part  which caught me totally off-guard, especially given the rocky history between the two (second and more detailed source here)   Geraldo and Carl Cameron on Fox News just mentioned that this even caught the Romney Campaign Staff off-gaurd as well:

Matt David, campaign manager to Mr. Huntsman, confirmed the decision in an interview Sunday evening. “The governor and his family, at this point in the race, decided it was time for Republicans to rally around a candidate who could beat Barack Obama and turn around the economy,” Mr. David said. “That candidate is Gov. Mitt Romney.”

This source says the Press Conference will be at 11AM tomorrow.

Team Romney will gladly accept and appreciate this gracious endorsement from Governor Huntsman.  This will also allow Huntsman Sr to be free to endorse Mitt (which he did in 2008) and I’m sure Mitt’s Super PAC will start to see some money flowing from the Huntsman’s way.  That sure can’t hurt, eh?  This will be an extra boost before tomorrow’s debate where I’m sure it will be mentioned.   The Romney Train is picking up steam . . . time to get on board folks!!

~Addendum from Ross
VIDEO for the announcement and endorsement

About :

Jeff has been blogging for Romney since living in Iowa in 2006, when, as a physician, he was drawn to study Romney’s MA healthcare reform plan. A native of California, Jeff now claims to be a proud southern transplant (he currently lives and practices as a vitreoretinal surgeon in Birmingham with his wife and six kids) having lived in Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana for nearly all of the last 15 years. His recent hobby is doing triathlons, having completed his first (and only) Ironman Triathlon this past May.

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11 Responses to Jon Huntsman Drops out of Race; to Endorse Romney Tomorrow at 11AM in South Carolina

  1. cj says:

    i sure hope though that mitt keeps a close eye on him and doesn’t allow him in on the inner workings of his campaign! remember what happened last election! he worked for mitt and then at the last minute ran to the mccain camp and told all of mitt’s stratigies to mccain!

  2. Graham says:

    @cj

    I doubt Mitt will give him anything of substance to do. A lot of endorsements are the result of him asking (i.e. Chris Christie) but others are not (i.e. Christine O’Donnell.) Not all endorsers end up with a job in the campaign.

  3. johnedeems says:

    The Huntsman Chemical Corp. has 22 companies abroad in China….I wonder if that was Jon’s motive for being Ambassador to China?

  4. Dan says:

    @cj
    I think you may be confusing Jon Huntsman Sr. vs Jon Huntsman Jr. Huntsman Jr. backed McCain early on. His dad endorsed Mitt Romney.

  5. A. Beckham says:

    I second this comment @Dan

  6. This is important news. Huntsman’s numbers weren’t much, but his decision to endorse and support GMR will be seen as an important event just in the message and the example it sets for the rest of the field. Huntsman’s message at the press conference is really important. If he comes out with a powerful statement as to why this was important to help save resources for the fight with Obama, etc., it could put a lot of pressure on Gingrich, Perry, and Santorum to follow suit.

  7. Stephen says:

    At last Jon Snr has been able to convince Jon Jnr to stop spending his inheritance and get behind the candidate that Jon Snr has always wanted, Mitt Romney. The timing of the endorsement is also interesting given the contrived evangelical pastors support for anyone but a mormon. Hopefully the additional numbers that now flow from Huntsman to Romney in SC will nullify any rise that Santorum may get as the annointed “pastor in chief”. While there has been some recent animosity between the 2, I think that deep down, Huntsman has a great deal of respect for Mitt.

  8. AfricansforRomney says:

    I admired Huntsman. He packed, left China to run for Prez b/s he thought that his boss is taking us in a wrong direction. That was a bold move in his part knowing that he worked for a lib Prez.
    I wish he stays a little longer to hear more Chinese and his other funny one line comments.
    Hope the other loosers will follow his step.

    Romney/Candi Rice 2012 ticket!!!

  9. Assumed Name says:

    In some ways it’s a bit of a shame that his campaign never went anywhere; I kinda like Huntsman, and would have liked for more attention to be paid to him, as I thought he had some important things to say. I don’t necessarily like him better than Romney though, and it’s good to see him throw his support to the guy in the race he agrees with the most (even though you can never admit that on the campaign trail). Criticism notwithstanding, there would probably be a place for Huntsman in a Romney administration, as he’d be a good addition.

  10. jon says:

    Jon Huntsman Sr. was one of my management professors in the MBA program at the UofUtah back in the ’70s. A fine person and excellent instructor I have always considered him to be one of the top academicians and business-persons in the U.S…. generous, genuine, and well-grounded as a business leader. Like father; like son. If a Romney endorsement is coming, it would only serve to show again, excellent judgment on Jr.’s part. Jr.’s participation in the Republican process may be of future value to the country. In the meantime, GO MITT!