January 19th, 2008
09:42 PM ET
14 years ago

Hunter mum on endorsement plans

(CNN) - Former Republican presidential candidate Duncan Hunter said Saturday he would not throw his weight behind another White House hopeful at this point, and would not reveal whether he would back any of his former opponents before the GOP convention this summer.

“I want to see who’s going to be strongest on maintaining a strong national defense, a secure border including a border fence, and meeting the challenges of an emerging China. I haven’t put a lot of thought into an endorsement,” he said.

The conservative California congressman, who plans a press conference later this evening, said Saturday that he is abandoning his bid for his party’s presidential nomination because results in Nevada suggested to him that “there’s not daylight in the campaign.”

Shortly before the New Hampshire primary, the underdog presidential candidate lashed out at "knucklehead media executives" who did not include him in the New Hampshire primary debates, telling reporters he was staying in the race despite widespread expectations he would announce his withdrawal at that point.

"So here's my answer: I'm not going to quit. I'm staying in," he said then.

On Saturday, he seemed satisfied with his decision to withdraw, saying that his campaign had been a “great, worthwhile experience… a campaign that drove the issues.”

–CNN Political Producer Alan Isenberg

Filed under: Duncan Hunter
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Huck is McCains HELPER

    HUNTER could borrow the speach Huckabee wrote to endorse McCain

    Huck will be giving the I support McCain speach later.

    Huck needs to come clean and admitt he is going to McCain later
    and his campaign is a fake.

    Economy Romney has the momentum

    Look at all the old retired white folks at McCains rallies.

    Hillary hates Cats

    January 19, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  2. Valerie

    I supported Congressman Hunter's candidacy, and I am sorry to see that he has dropped out of the race. However, I'm sure he made the decision he thought was best. In the press release he issued concerning the end of the campaign, he mentioned a lot of work to be done in Congress on the issues he holds dear. If another candidate were to pick up Congressman Hunter as a running mate, I'd support that ticket. Outside of that, I don't plan to actively support any of the other candidates.

    January 19, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  3. Twigster

    Has an Obama supporter that was in the room come forward to confirm this story?

    January 19, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Ummm, Duncan who?

    January 19, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  5. Rexus

    Duncan Hunter FINALLY decided to call it quits! Good riddance!

    To everyone who thinks that he is "an honorable man" I submit the following:


    Interestingly, he is looking for a candidate who is "strongest on maintaining a strong national defense, a secure border including a border fence,"

    Only one candidate: Ron Paul. The guy who is against illegal immigration, in favor of border security, and commited to defending the United States, not policing the rest of the planet whilst angering the beast.

    But then I expect him to pull a Tancredo and opportunistically endorse Romney. The only other option for him is McCain, war hawk extraordinaire and greatest ally to the Zionist agenda. Too bad McCain is pro-amnesty.

    How will the 0.5% vote and the single freed delegate play out?

    January 19, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  6. Conservative Voter

    I am truly saddened to see Congressman Hunter leave. He was the true conservative in this race and the man that I supported wholeheartedly. I met him several times and never saw anything about him I disagreed with. I heard so many people say they liked him but would not vote for him because he was ignored by the media. I do not regret my vote. I voted my conscience and my heart. I hope the best for this truly great man!

    I hope he is picked up as VP...trouble is, I think he is TOO good for them all so will be overlooked.

    God Bless!

    January 19, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  7. Frank B

    Throw his weight?!

    January 19, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  8. Matt, Richmond, VA

    Best of luck to you Duncan Hunter and thanks for an honorable race!

    January 19, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  9. Ben Elliott

    Duncan Hunter was the Right candidate going against a Left media!

    I was hoping he would stick it out until after the Super Tuesday results.

    Worlddailynet states he may run for governor of Ca.
    I think he would be a good VP candidate for John McCain because they both believe in securing the border.
    The amnesty issue is a divide. Many Legal immigrants waited 5 years and did the right things to gain their citizenship I don't think a free lunch was included for them so why do that for others that are unknown and most likely criminal intent?!

    Good Luck to Duncan Hunter!

    Very dissappointed in the media for not doing the right thing for a equal platform in the debtes, but doing the easy cowards way out by blacking out Duncan Hunter and not allowing him to be heard in the spotlight of Iowa and New Hampshire.

    Mediacrity! gag! choke! barf!

    January 20, 2008 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  10. Tim, Minnesota

    "In light of the corruption I've seen in the republican party and the terrible treatment of military veteran Ron Paul, I, also a veteran plan on standing with the only honest, intelligent, trustworthy cnadidate on the stage. Any man who can stand up to a army of manipulators and warmongers who ridicule and disrespect has my backing"

    "I, Duncan Hunter, would be honored to join my fellow Veteran, Dr Ron Paul, The bravest man I know"

    January 20, 2008 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  11. Sean R

    Strong bprder? Ron Paul
    Anti-illegal immigration? Ron Paul
    Strong U.S. economy? Ron Paul
    Strong national defense? Ron Paul.

    Sounds like the U.S should be supporting Ron Paul

    January 20, 2008 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  12. Mike VE

    I am voting for MITT ROMNEY!!!!!

    Mitt has not been in Washington for years like John McLaim, Clinton and Obama.

    Mitt has held executive positions as a Govenor and in private business, Obama, Clinton and John McLaim have only worked in Washington they do not have a clue about private business or the American economy.

    Mitt is a conservative that’s why the media hates him; John McLaim is a liberal just look who he associates with Kennedy, Feingold, the gang of 14, ect. and that’s why the media loves John McLaim.

    Mitt is against amnesty for illegal aliens; Obama, Clinton and John McLaim are for amnesty for illegal aliens.

    Mitt is for tax cuts, Obama, Clinton and John McLaim are against tax cuts and want to raise our taxes.

    Mitt is for conservative judges, Obama, Clinton and John McLaim are for liberal judges.

    Mitt wants to free Americans and American business from the federal government Obama, Clinton and John McLaim want big government and are responsible for big government we have.

    Mitt will fight to protect this country and build a strong military; Obama, Clinton and John McLaim stood by when al-Qaeda attacked our interests in the 1990 and the 1980s.

    Mitt Romney is the right change for America

    Vote for Mitt!!!

    January 20, 2008 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  13. Anon

    Who's Duncan Hunter?

    January 20, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  14. Lola

    Uh - who cares who Hunter endorses? The same 0.5% of the limited-intelligence people who voted for him?

    January 20, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  15. Justin Gilardi

    Too bad for Hunter, he fell victim to the same "knucklehead media" thats been censoring Ron Paul these past few months. If you'll member, before Iowa, John McCain, at that time far out of the race, had an uptick of a point of two in his Iowa polls, pretty insignificant. However the MSM started covering McCain more heavily then the front-runner for the ensuing month, repeatedly talking about his "surge" in the polls, and wa-lah! McCain is back from the dead!
    Now you've got Ron Paul with a second place finish in Nevada, 3-4 places higher then the polls and MSM were predicting, and there's NO talk of a Ron Paul surge. I quite positive if Ron Paul got the same "surge" coverage now, for his very REAL surge, that John McCain got for his one or two uptick "surge", by the time super Tuesday rolled around we'd have an entirely different situation in the Republican race come the national convention.
    At the very least we can thank the entire MSM for being transparent about their biased, its painfully honest whats going on here, and hopefully someone can do something about it before its too late.

    January 20, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  16. LQ, Rochester MN


    January 20, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  17. Young Voter

    Being a religous man myself, I am looking at Huckabee. As anyone noticed how much money they are using for their stupid campaign? It is ridiculous! Here I am barely making it, meanwhile they have 60 and 90 million dollars just to throw away. Meanwhile Huckabee onky has 2 million or so...a modest and reasonable amount. Mitt Romney does seem to me the best, Huckabee is an unknown and is needed. We need someone of fresh blood in the White House. NOT ANOTHER CLINTON! BUT, if I were to choose a demacratic canidate it would be Obama.

    January 20, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  18. Chelsea

    Cummon, Hunter. Endorse Mitt! You know you want to. . .

    January 20, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  19. TPM Media Fan

    The question on everyone's mind has to be...

    ...who is going to court that one delegate Duncan Hunter is so proud of that he decided to crash the set of Morning Joe on MSNBC to proselytize because of?

    Like about half of the candidates, Hunter is a no-chance distraction candidate keeping a very small cluster of loyal one-issue people listening, and helps frame the argument if nothing else.

    The real question on the GOP's mind at this point has to be how they can prevent a brokered convention with the options in the field right now.. and if they can resist the temptation to draft Jeb if such a scenario arises.

    That's a disgustingly War of the Roses notion, isn't it? The election of 2008 being between Bush and Clinton...

    January 20, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  20. wayne, kentucky

    Everyone needs support in America, so does Huck.

    January 20, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. Brad D. San Diego, CA

    Hunter Sr. may be out for the presidency, but he's still trying to bequeath his seat in the house to his son. Please, somebody, anybody jump in that race. Hunter Sr. has run unopposed (or nearly so) for too long. Granted, no democrat has much chance in this district... How about a nice moderate republican if there is such a thing these days. We have a right and left wing, but what happened to the fuselage???

    January 20, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  22. Tom Masters

    Thank goodness all of these single digit people are going away so we can get to it.

    Mike VE, you are a sheep, baa-a-a-a-a.

    Wake up, Mitt is an 'empty suit', what an apt description.

    Anyone can bullet point a candidates apparent 'strengths'.

    Mitt is a windbag and would be ineffective in Washington.

    January 20, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  23. Jason

    If Mitt Romney became president, he would sell out the American people to terrorists, just like hes selling out the people of Massachusetts to the psycho conservative christians.

    And Mike VE, I hope Romney isn't relying on your arguments as a campaign tool. I'm assuming that since you call McCain "McLaim," you're like twelve years old.

    January 20, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  24. David, Oregon City

    Clearly, Fred Thompson split the ticket and allowed McCain to win as Ross Perot split the ticket on H Bush allowing Billy C. to win in South Carolina.

    Due to what I now call the “Fred Thompson chicken block” on Huckabee, Thompson allowed McCain to win S.C. with an otherwise 2nd place vote count. McCain’s win placed Huckabee supporters with greater national responsibility than before to also correct the Fred Thompson “Vote Block” mayhem of South Carolina and go forward to win Florida. Now that the GOP has started eating their own for sport and the most electable candidates are defending themselves from the “no plan” “no accomplishment” competitors the last one standing may be the weakest GOP candidates.

    Remember, Bob Dole and George H. Bush got hamburger because the young voters would not or can not associate with them and the same goes for McCain, not to mention the other bones in his closet. That means the democrats will win!

    Not only does Huckabee need your strong support now, America needs your support of Huckabee more than ever! Don’t let the elite media get you down, that is their job. Be strong for Mike Huckabee, he needs to see our support and know we are behind him through good time and bad.

    GO Huckabee! Take the fight to the “chicken blockers”!

    January 20, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Does anyone here not like Hunter? Truth is he's a war hawk, John McCain replica. The only good thing he would do for this country is let more soldiers die in Iraq. I would never support Hunter or any other Republican. Hunter mattered about as much as the average blogger in this race.

    January 20, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
1 2