Huntsman picks up big endorsement from S.C. newspaper
January 15th, 2012
04:35 PM ET
2 years ago

Huntsman picks up big endorsement from S.C. newspaper

(CNN) - South Carolina's largest newspaper, The State, endorsed former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Sunday, just six days before the state's Republican presidential primary.

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."

Tune in Thursday at 8 p.m. ET for the CNN/Southern Republican Presidential Debate hosted by John King and follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate. For real-time coverage of the South Carolina primary, go to CNNPolitics.com and on the CNN apps for iPhone, iPad, Android or other phones.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

The paper also hit Romney as a politician too willing to change his views in order to win votes but praised Huntsman as a "a true conservative, with a record and platform of bold economic reform straight out of the free-market bible."

After attending church in Charleston on Sunday, Huntsman reacted to the endorsement.

"I think it's a big deal any time you get the largest paper in the state to come out and endorse you,” Huntsman said. “I thought it was well-written and well-argued."

Citing his job-creating tenure as governor and foreign policy experience, the paper's editorial board - known for its moderate leanings - also lauded Huntsman as having a strong appeal to centrists.

"Don’t expect him to engage in meaningless hyperbole or apologize for his occasional moderate positions," the editorial read.

While the editorial board disagreed with Huntsman's efforts to push private school voucher programs, the board praised what it called the "essential values that drive his candidacy: honor and old-fashioned decency and pragmatism."

But Huntsman wasn’t the only candidate getting support from South Carolina ink on Sunday. Two other newspapers - The Greenville News and The Charlotte (North Carolina) Observer, which has substantial readership in neighboring South Carolina - made Romney their top pick.

After taking third in New Hampshire's primary last week, Huntsman made headlines when he decided to take his campaign south to compete in the Palmetto State's contest.

A recent American Research Group survey showed only 1% of likely South Carolina primary voters would support Huntsman, while 29% said they would back Romney.

The endorsement follows another big newspaper nod for Huntsman this month. Just days before the New Hampshire primary, The Boston Globe in the largely-Democratic state of Massachusetts threw its support behind Huntsman.

– CNN’s Adam Aigner-Treworgy and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Also see:

Group backing Gingrich hits Romney for health care law and Bain record

Romney gives cash to struggling supporter at rally

Romney super PAC pummels Santorum and Gingrich by mail

Tim Scott, the ultimate undecided voter


Filed under: 2012 • Jon Huntsman • South Carolina
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Scot

    But the fringe elements and the big money do not want this guy. He should be the republican's pick becuase he makes more sence than the rest. If he was nominated I would vote for this guy and I am an independant ! I will not vote for any of the rest of these clowns !

    January 15, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. vic , nashville ,tn

    Jon Huntsman did a good job last night forum, conservative and smart candidate GOP have,

    January 15, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  3. jparker77

    The GOP isn't ready for someone like Hunstman. After they loose this year they might think twice about going with someone who panders to crazy. Better luck in 2016.

    January 15, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    He's too sane to be a republican.

    Watch out for him in 2016 - he's not going to stop at "just running". Good Guy. The ONLY republican I'd ever consider voting for. No more Bushes, that's for sure, and no more Texas Governors.

    January 15, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  5. Gemini Girl

    Jon Huntsmann has the most experience, the most education, and the most sensible economic plan, so of course the SC ppl would rather shoot themselves in the foot than support him! If Jon Huntsmann had higher polls, then the Obama team would be more afraid of him than Romney, who has far more weaknesses. But of course, Romney has been running officially for six year, and unofficially for 15 years. So, South Carolina, and other states that will stupidly go for Romney, Obama will win again. Thank you!
    Obama/Biden 2012, Huntsmann 2016.

    January 15, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  6. matrix09

    What do you know, a sane Newspaper in North Carolina, In the Republican field Huintsman is the only remotly rational candidate they have. As an Independate there is no way I would vote for a man who has spent his working life raiding other businesses. That is exactly what he would do with Social Security, and every other aspect of government, chop it up and turn it over to his fulture capitolist bro's. Belive me those birds truly represent Mitt and his boy's. Ever watch a vuture eat?

    January 15, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  7. marieee

    He is best one from all of the other clowns, I would probably vote for him and I am a democrat

    January 15, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  8. willie floyd

    The only one with a brain and the good ole State waits until now to endorse. Shows the largest isn't always the best. Of course we in SC aren't known for our excellent newspapers. The Greenville News is even worse.

    OBAMA/BIDEN2012

    January 15, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  9. Cumulonimbus

    Huntsman is a conservative with common sense, a broad base of knowledge, real experience in government, and ideas for real change that would have some potential of getting through congress and actually becoming law. He actually knows something about the world in which we live.

    January 15, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  10. peggy

    I've been saying that from day one.

    January 15, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  11. ARTRaveler

    The paper did the obvious thing and supported the only sane person in the clown car. Unfortunately, he is too intelligent and experienced to be accepted by the current GOP TP crowd. They want a red-meat loser to be sacrificed. Hopefully, this crowd of Americabn Taliban will insure President Obama four more years to clean up the mess from the last GOP president.

    January 15, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  12. fred ca

    What a 'stunner'. Just another dem and lsm play...obama will drop crazy joe at the covention and huntsman will emerge from behind one of those styrofoam columns as a sign of 'bi-partisanship'. That has been the whole point of the huntsman 'campaign'. And it has been planned and is being coordinated.

    January 15, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  13. clarke

    well the people at the newpaper have a brain. I am so tired of Mitt. He is just not the one folks.

    January 15, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Only candidate with a brain!

    January 15, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  15. lps

    II think Jon Huntsman would be an excellent candidate.

    January 15, 2012 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  16. Reggie from LA

    I'm trying to figure out why people find ROMNEY appealing. I watch him as closely as the next person and I don't get the attraction. Are folks blind or just ignorant? ROMNEY'S "I believe in capitalism" persona. Is that it? Oh he's a capitalist alright, but also a profiteer who has been able to calculate losses and prepared to accept them. He's learned to do that well, apparently. It's part of the "equation" for how he would do business in the White House. Your future losses will be calculated and acceptable and he will feel badly for you. You're welcome. (only because it came up in the Huntsman article)

    January 15, 2012 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  17. MaryM

    Jon Huntsman is the only one of the candidates that is NOT a clown.

    January 15, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  18. Larry L

    Hunstman is a closet Democrat. He is the only candidate who hasn't been thumping his Bible to get votes. He is the only Republican with a true understanding of world affairs. Most importantly, he is the only Republican who has actual compassion for those of our citizens who aren't wealthy – a Barry Goldwater-type "compassionate conservative". He depends on that slim percentage of the Republican Party who considers conservatism a cautious and measured approach to government. Most modern conservatives are simply products of hate media with an ideology based upon xenophobia, homophibia, bigotry and greed.

    January 15, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  19. yogi

    The fact that Huntsman is at the bottom of the field if GOP candidates, is in fact telling how dumb the party is.
    Obama 2012.

    January 15, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  20. Dan, TX

    Yes but Huntsman is to intelligent to be supported by rank and file republicans. They want someone who will turn control of economic policy to the richest people (after all they are not losers like the non-rich).

    January 15, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  21. Tom

    It's too funny seeing all of these hardline, fundamentalist, virulent, militant, leftist political advocacy/lobbying groups like CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, NPR, A-Mess-NBC, HBO, Showtime, the New York Times-Democrat, the Washington Post-Democrat, the execrable Associated (with terrorists) Press, et al., eat up their identically-minded, hardline, fundamentalist, virulent, militant leftist political advocacy/lobbying groups like the Boston Globe and something called The State endorsing a loser like Huntsman! Nothing (NOTHING!) could be further from "news". Try: snnnnnooooooozzzzzzzzzzze!

    January 15, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  22. Tired of republican lies

    Too bad..So sad...Obama/Biden 2012!!!

    January 15, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  23. Larry in Houston

    To be perfectly honest-The newspapers and whomever is going to "endorse" anyone, should have done this a week ago, or so, not wait til the last minute. With the internet, twitter / facebook / social media / & etc – everything is in real time, this isn't like the elections of Any Previous Election cycle – all of these people that are waiting, and waiting to "endorse" will figure out that they waited too long to do this. There is 2 or 3 news channels that are on for 24 /7
    and with the internet age – this election cycle will be the most bombastic in history, as far as the mudslinging goes. In addition to the fact that it will be downright ugly and nasty. The Endorsements are coming way too late , in Iowa / N.H. & S.C. – (now because the Democrats have so much ammo for the Fall, that they can use) but when you get behind somebody real quick, you don't have to spend so much money in negative ads, and this will give them the ammo.

    Larry in Houston

    January 15, 2012 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  24. T'sah From Virginia

    ►"Don’t expect him to engage in meaningless hyperbole or apologize for his occasional moderate positions," the editorial read.◄

    That so true – it is known mow that Huntsman has dropped out of the race and will endorse Romney!! One "moderate" to another!!

    Obama 2012

    January 15, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  25. tannim

    With him dropping the next day, The State now looks pretty foolish. Typical of Old Media, getting it wrong. Again.

    January 15, 2012 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
1 2