Huntsman drops presidential bid
January 16th, 2012
11:26 AM ET
3 years ago

Huntsman drops presidential bid

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (CNN) – Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman officially ended his Republican presidential bid on Monday and threw his support behind Mitt Romney, the GOP frontrunner.

Flanked by his family and campaign advisers at a press conference in Myrtle Beach, just hours before a debate here, Huntsman thanked his supporters and rebuked his own party, calling on Republicans to unite in their fight against President Barack Obama.

He asked the GOP candidates to stop the "onslaught of negative and personal attacks" against each other, saying the negative tone of the race is hurting the party and the country.

"At its core, the Republican party is a party of ideas," Huntsman said. "But the current toxic form of our political discourse does not help our cause and is one the main reason the American people have lost trust in the elected leaders."

He also called Obama a "corrosive" leader and blamed him for dividing the country at a time of need.

Huntsman's endorsement of Romney comes after he spent months questioning the former Massachusetts governor's "core."

He has said that Romney's shifting positions on certain issues make him "completely unelectable" in an election against Obama.

Huntsman acknowledged "our differences and the space between us on some of the issues" but said Romney is best equipped to fix the troubled economy.

Romney did not appear at the event with Huntsman but issued a brief statement following the announcement.

"I salute Jon Huntsman and his wife Mary Kaye," Romney said. "Jon ran a spirited campaign based on unity not division, and love of country. I appreciate his friendship and support."


Filed under: 2012 • Jon Huntsman
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Tired of War

    Yes agree and the best candidate to beat Obama is Ron Paul. Romney is just Obama in a GOP tie.

    January 16, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  2. Bruce

    Too bad the voice of reason displayed throughout by Jon Huntsman made him unelectable. Would have been refreshing to have him continue. Maybe as Secretary of State?

    January 16, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  3. Drew

    Sorry John you were the best candidate to be President Obama but just the same I will still vote Obama as the remaining Repub Candidates are pinnoccios, the more the talk the longer their noses get.

    January 16, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  4. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Well his very short delusional run wasn't a total waste... At least his good looking daughters will give THEIR careers a boost. Now Jon can go back to Utah and rides his motorcycles. Enjoy life Jon!

    January 16, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  5. B

    Way to go America, the only Republican with a brain and is not corrupt loses out to MONEY again!

    You wonder why people are on the streets? This is why!

    Trust is gone and money and power of the top 2% again control everything..

    January 16, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  6. shoegazer

    Knew his campaign was futile,to bad because he could have been a voice of reason but now it justs looks like he's positioning himself for a possible future job.

    January 16, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The country will no longer be first among the Republican candidates. Science will be relegated to the industry that don't like to hear what they can't do based on real science and would rather go forward with their own science that is flawed because they are looking to get to a point rather than looking at the data to see where it goes.

    January 16, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  8. Colleen

    I believe Jon Huntsman was the most honest; well educated; conscientious; and truthful man in this race, and I'm sorry to see him go. Drew, I completely agree with you. And yes, I too will vote for Obama.

    January 16, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  9. dsw25

    Reason and rational are not very attractive attributes to the GOP at the moment. The republican party is going with "Now it's my turn to be the GOP Candidate". I cannot see any truly credible candidates on the GOP side now.

    January 16, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  10. Annie, Atlanta

    Obviously Republican voters aren't interested in honorable these days. Sad, what we've become.

    January 16, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I don't think that he should have endorsed anyone. He should have stated that these people don't know or care enough to put the country first.

    January 16, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  12. jkINC

    Once again the best and brightest are disregarded in favor of flash and polar ideology. There will be a day, and it may be today, when the best and brightest will no longer seek the office and we'll be left with nothing more than the lying, arrogant and fringe. Looks like today is that day. Very sad, nothing will stop Romney now.

    January 16, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. CJPA

    As an Obama supporter, I was encouraged by Gov. Huntsman's character, demeanor and moderate stances. I am very disappointed that he found it necessary to entirely switch positions on his opinion of President Obama and also Mitt Romney. He originally had good things to say about the former and bad about the latter. Now a complete switcheroo and an endorsement of Romney. Really?? I guess they're all alike after all . . . sad.

    January 16, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  14. Fair is Fair

    "Way to go America, the only Republican with a brain and is not corrupt loses out to MONEY again!"
    ------–
    Oh please. Daddy is a multi-billionaire. Huntsman has too much Obama baggage.

    January 16, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. Scales of Justice

    Folks, don't you know Huntsman, whom I like alot, is positioning himself to be the vice presidential nominee. If he were the top of the ticket, I might vote for him, but for the present I plan to vote Obama.

    January 16, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  16. Fair is Fair

    "Folks, don't you know Huntsman, whom I like alot, is positioning himself to be the vice presidential nominee."
    --------–
    If you really think Huntsman is going to be the VP nominee, might I interest you in a controlling interest in a bridge that connects Brooklyn to Manhattan?

    January 16, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. vic , nashville ,tn

    Win for GOP establishment not for America

    January 16, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  18. jkINC

    I don't believe Huntsman will be the VP choice, he's perceived as too liberal which is a problem the social conservatives have with Romney. I think Romney will need to pick a Christian/Evangelical conservative to bring in that voting block, someone like Santorum or Perry.

    January 16, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    jkINC wrote:

    I don't believe Huntsman will be the VP choice, he's perceived as too liberal which is a problem the social conservatives have with Romney. I think Romney will need to pick a Christian/Evangelical conservative to bring in that voting block, someone like Santorum or Perry.
    ------------
    Don't you think that Romney needs to win the nomination first?

    January 16, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  20. scottf

    He is the only Republican candidate that would pass a lie detector test and a complete Psychiatric exam. If you are not a whack job it is a bad time to be a Republican.

    January 16, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  21. mr deshon

    Why does the only guy in the Republican party with a functioning, working brain drop out of the race,& no one within his party cries"Stop!"? What happened to that party? Are they really that blood thirsty for a win they sacrifice every ounce of decency to gain it. Huntsman is a good person, not just a good candidate. Republicans should be ashamed of themselves. A true patriot has just left the room but you say "Good riddance!"? Republicans are truely the reason why the world hates America. You will never beat Obama! Hahaha Morons...

    January 16, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  22. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Scales of Justice - Folks, don't you know Huntsman, whom I like alot, is positioning himself to be the vice presidential nominee.
    =====================================================================================
    For the Democrats maybe!!

    January 16, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  23. willie floyd

    Sorry to see him go. A rarity in Rep. circles. Too smart, too moderate, too honest–just doesn't meet the Rep. requirements.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    January 16, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  24. Phil in KC

    No big surprise here. He was another Mitt – except that he actually had some international experience (sorry, Olympics don't count). He was also the Republican I could have most easily lived with as President. So, of course, he didn't stand a chance of getting nominated. He wasn't right-wing enough for the Republican party. Huntsman is actually a reasonable individual.

    January 16, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |