Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) – Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge endorsed Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire Friday, calling him "the pragmatic leader that America needs now."
"I believe he has the judgment, the temperament and the vision to lead America," Ridge said as Huntsman stood beside him. "I believe he has that vision to make America a more secure and prosperous and competitive nation."
Ridge served as governor of Pennsylvania and was the first person to head the Department of Homeland Security. He said he chose to endorse Huntsman because of the presidential hopeful's experience internationally and in the public and private sectors.
Huntsman, who most recently served as ambassador to China, is a former Utah governor and has worked for his family's company, a large chemical corporation. Ridge believes that combination of experience has prepared the GOP contender to offer serious solutions for the nation's problems, he said. Ridge announced his endorsement at a press conference with Huntsman at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. The former Pennsylvania governor supported Sen. John McCain in the 2008 presidential cycle.
The endorsement was first reported in the New Hampshire Union Leader.
Since announcing his candidacy in late June, Huntsman has struggled to gain traction in national polls. He has set his sights on winning New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary, and has spent much of September campaigning in the state.
"I know we're going to win New Hampshire," Huntsman said Friday. "I can feel it already. I can feel the vibe."
He announced his jobs plan in Hudson, New Hampshire Aug. 31.
Good to know that there are still some sane Republicans out there.
Well there is hope for the GOP Huntsman the only normal rep. in the bunch of them
I consider this a good endorsement for Huntsman. Ridge knows what it is to be governor and security issues. After all, Ridge was the first secretary for homeland security. I may not agree with Ridge or Huntsman on some of the issues, but at least they sound sane compared to Perry and Bachmann who don't let facts and science persuade them from the ideologically driven ideas that have no basis in reality.
Ridge chose Huntsman because of international experience, while tea baggers think the world is flat, I think America's standing in the world has greatly increased under President Obama, and we should stay with his leadership. I feel that Obama has a better chance at getting reelected than Huntsman has of winning any state's primary.
Huntsman is probably the smartest man running on the Republican side.
And, he probably has the best chance of beating the President in a head-to-head election. However, thoughtful moderates have become almost extinct in the party of hate and party of no.
The best thing that could happen to the President would be for a tea partier like Perry or Bachman to get the nomination; then the President wins in a walk.
With help from a Bushie, Huntsman is sure to go over 1%. Even T-Paw was at 2% when he dropped out.
I have long been a moderate Democrat and have been disappointed in the way that our president has been able to get things done with this congress so if we are going to have a republican president please make it this guy. The rest are not for primetime. This guy has ideas that can work and not just for the wealthy !
In my opinion, Huntsman should be the leading candidate for the GOP. He is the only candidate that speaks with common sense, and to date, no dirt on him. Ridge is an honorable man, and would not take his endorsement lightly. I respect both men, and I'm a Dem. Obama is so likeable, but he's not tough enough. He is a good speaker, but not a good leader. And i really believe he's a good man. Perry is scary, Romney less so, but not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Bachman is horrible, and Santorum even worse than her. He couldn't even get re-elected in his own state. Yep, Huntsman should be the candidate.
More evidence that Huntsman is a RINO. Ridge is one too.
As long as "PROFIT" is the "MOTIVATOR", American citizens will lose & American businesses will win.
Wages are highest here and lower in China, India, Ireland, etc. Unless US citizens are willing to trade their standard of living for jobs AND move to live & work in China [as easily as they might move to another US town], they will forever be at a disadvantage in a "profit is king" world.
We are about water and environmental safety more. This makes materials / feedstocks cost more. In a profit-only motivated world, without US regulations REQUIRING a level of safety, production won`t occur here.
Think this through GOP leaners who claim to know so much about economic development. You guys are cutting your own necks.
He has International but (o) presidential experience., Bless.