Breaking: Huntsman to withdraw tomorrow

posted at 9:49 pm on January 15, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

According to National Journal, the often strange campaign of Jon Huntsman will come to an end tomorrow in a formal withdrawal from the Republican presidential nomination race.  Huntsman plans to endorse Mitt Romney on his way out:

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman will announce on Monday that he is dropping his bid for the Republican presidential nomination after a disappointing finish in last week’s New Hampshire primary, a source confirmed to National Journal. …

Huntsman will endorse Republican front-runner Mitt Romney, squashing any potential rumors that he will seek to run as an independent candidate.

The New York Times also hears the same thing:

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.

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.”

A third-place finish in the New Hampshire primary last week failed to jump start his flagging candidacy, aides said, and his campaign limped into South Carolina with little money. Mr. Huntsman has spent days pondering his future in the race, but aides said that he concluded he was unlikely to topple Mitt Romney or match the momentum of his Republican rivals in the conservative Southern primary.

That was the obvious conclusion after Tuesday’s third-place finish, far back of Romney in the state Huntsman made his stand.  Earlier this week, I asked where Huntsman thought his path to victory lay, because it certainly wasn’t going to be South Carolina, Florida, or Michigan.  It took Huntsman a few more days than everyone else, but eventually recognized reality.

I used the usual joke in the subhead, but does this really help Mitt Romney?  Huntsman’s core of voters in New Hampshire were Democrats, people who didn’t like the Tea Party, and people who generally approve of Barack Obama’s job performance.  Where would these voters have gone in this primary without Huntsman anyway?  Perhaps a few might have migrated to Ron Paul, but that’s hard to imagine.  Romney will graciously accept the endorsement, but it’s not going to change his position much in the next few states anyway.  Romney’s better off with more people in the race, not fewer.

Update: Normally National Journal’s Reid Wilson is a good analyst, but he’s way off with this:

Huntsman had sought to portray himself as an electable, pragmatic alternative to the Republican field. He made a point to support teaching the theory of evolution and to acknoweldge the science behind climate change, and he cast himself more recently as the only candidate who has put service to the nation before his own political party, by serving as President Obama’s ambassador to China.

But his message was out of step with a Republican base driven by Tea Party populism and anger with the political status quo almost from the moment he began running. If Huntsman didn’t represent that status quo, voters certainly didn’t see their anger reflected in his calm demeanor. …

He was, in essence, the answer to a call for a pragmatic centrist who could reach out to Democrats that no one in the Republican Party ever made.

As I responded on Twitter, Jon Huntsman wasn’t a “pragmatic centrist who could reach out to Democrats.”  He governed in Utah as a conservative in a state controlled by the GOP, but talked like a centrist who despised conservatives.  Huntsman’s expensive and embarrassing flop really isn’t much more complicated than that.


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Something very strange going on.Huntsman withdrawing not to mention the fact that Romney has never run a negative spot on Paul and likewise Paul has never run one on Romney.Also after New Hampshire Perry was ready to withdraw until some people say he got a call from Romney.Promising him something if he would stay in threw S.C..People say McCain played down and dirty.Nothing compared to Romney.I think it,s time for Newt and Santorum to go in a room and flip a coin to see who withdraws now. Yes indeed something very very strange going on.

logman1 on January 16, 2012 at 5:53 AM

No way Perry would make a deal with Romney.

http://www.newschannel10.com/story/16523096/rick-perry-gets-his-own-action-figure

Gig Em’
Perry 2012

workingclass artist on January 16, 2012 at 7:35 AM

About time this turncoat got out, hilarious that he is said to endorse Romney, Romney needs all the kisses of death gracing his cheek!

Bwuuuhaaahaaaaa!!!!

insidiator on January 16, 2012 at 7:42 AM

this is it? romney better than obama because of a few policy tweaks? what about real change?

nathor on January 16, 2012 at 7:15 AM

Let me help you with your reading comprehension since it seems to hold you back. I said that he would do much more. The list I provided is simply a few important items that any of them would deliver on. You can cry liar, liar all you want, he will repeal ObamaCare. He has repeated it every chance he gets and has put it in no uncertain terms in his plan. Even one as malignant in his attitude towards Mitt cannot escape the practical matter that he could not possibly get away with failing to deliver on that promise. Your cynicism is nothing more than emotional flailing for reasons not to like the man.

MJBrutus on January 16, 2012 at 7:52 AM

It’s only nonsense to those intellectually disinterested individuals who have refused, and continue to refuse to look into the issue for themselves.

Flotsam Jetsome on January 16, 2012 at 1:14 AM

I’ve done quite a lot of investigation into the issue. And I’m not saying there aren’t serious questions about Obama’s eligibility, and Nancy Pelosi’s role in covering them up, however; in my opinion, there are far more important issues for us to deal with than getting caught up in the “Romney birther issue”, which would give the Democrats and the Obama campaign exactly what they want – anything to distract voter’s attention from Obama’s disastrous policies.

Flora Duh on January 16, 2012 at 7:55 AM

Wait a second, The State newspaper, the largest newspaper in South Carolina, editorial department just endorsed Huntsman. The State slips into further insignificance.

SC.Charlie on January 16, 2012 at 8:06 AM

Flotsam Jetsome on January 16, 2012 at 1:14 AM

And I might add, IF Governor Romney is ineligible for the office because of his father being born in Mexico, I’d sure as hell rather have him in office for the next 4 yrs, than an ineligible Obama.

Flora Duh on January 16, 2012 at 8:08 AM

What a sad tale… The Huntsman campaign has to go down as the most mismanaged campaign in recent memory. He could have very easily come out as the Not Romney if he had emphasized his conservative credentials and not been openly hostile to various segments of the base. What a waste… I sure hope Mitt has grown a pair, or I wish Perry had a decent debate prep team. I’m going to go all AP Eeyore now. Sweet.

HTnFBCoachnTX1980 on January 16, 2012 at 8:08 AM

Wait a second, The State newspaper, the largest newspaper in South Carolina, editorial department just endorsed Huntsman. The State slips into further insignificance.

SC.Charlie on January 16, 2012 at 8:06 AM

Yep!

workingclass artist on January 16, 2012 at 8:08 AM

Glove Huntsman to endorse cousin Mitt Romney in shocking turn of events…

/

Fallon on January 16, 2012 at 8:09 AM

What a sad tale… The Huntsman campaign has to go down as the most mismanaged campaign in recent memory. He could have very easily come out as the Not Romney if he had emphasized his conservative credentials and not been openly hostile to various segments of the base. What a waste… I sure hope Mitt has grown a pair, or I wish Perry had a decent debate prep team. I’m going to go all AP Eeyore now. Sweet.

HTnFBCoachnTX1980 on January 16, 2012 at 8:08 AM

Huntsman couldn’t decide if he was an Anti-Mitt or a different Mitt.

Glad he’s out.

workingclass artist on January 16, 2012 at 8:12 AM

No more Jon’s girls songs – bummer!

gophergirl on January 16, 2012 at 8:13 AM

The State slips into further insignificance.

SC.Charlie on January 16, 2012 at 8:06 AM

I am right now drinking my coffee out of mug my daughter brought to me last year that lists all of the larger cities in SC. I find that quite significant.

Serously, just because Huntsman left The State newspaper with egg on their face, doesn’t reflect on the significance of the SC electorate.

Flora Duh on January 16, 2012 at 8:14 AM

The debate will be interesting sine Romney has added Santorum to his Newt carpet bombing of negative ads in SC.

“”If we unify behind Santorum, it will force Romney to pick him as his running mate – for he’ll know that’s the only way to get our support in the general (election in November).”

That’s the slimy deal behind this. They’ll go for Romney if he goes for Santorum on his ticket. Should we call them Judas Conservatives?

We suspected this all along: Santorum is a stalking horse for Romney. A vote for Santorum is a vote for Romney. Folks in South Carolina need to know this…” – Dr. Jack Wheeler

http://www.tothepointnews.com/

workingclass artist on January 16, 2012 at 8:16 AM

Let me help you with your reading comprehension since it seems to hold you back. I said that he would do much more. The list I provided is simply a few important items that any of them would deliver on. You can cry liar, liar all you want, he will repeal ObamaCare. He has repeated it every chance he gets and has put it in no uncertain terms in his plan. Even one as malignant in his attitude towards Mitt cannot escape the practical matter that he could not possibly get away with failing to deliver on that promise. Your cynicism is nothing more than emotional flailing for reasons not to like the man.

MJBrutus on January 16, 2012 at 7:52 AM

i really see romney as a flipflop politician. says one thing when he was battling dems in Massachusetts, says another thing in republican primaries. some of the flip flops are so clear that the only conclusion to take is that its pandering. his loyalty to the program depends only of a strong united republican congress to force him into it.
i dont see that congress happening and romney will excuse himself out of the job of repealing obamacare at first oportunity.

romney advantages are other. i really believe he is an efficient executive that would make the goverment work better.

nathor on January 16, 2012 at 8:20 AM

The R elites aren’t conservative is why Huntsman didn’t want to appear as one. He is another middle of the roader, trying to reach as many voters as he could which is the same as Mitt. Just too many used car salesmen in this race trying to sell the same red car.

Kissmygrits on January 16, 2012 at 8:21 AM

The R elites aren’t conservative is why Huntsman didn’t want to appear as one. He is another middle of the roader, trying to reach as many voters as he could which is the same as Mitt. Just too many used car salesmen in this race trying to sell the same red car.

Kissmygrits on January 16, 2012 at 8:21 AM

and paul? used car salesmen?

nathor on January 16, 2012 at 8:32 AM

Your cynicism is nothing more than emotional flailing for reasons not to like the man.

MJBrutus on January 16, 2012 at 7:52 AM

…and the fact that historically Romney has done nothing to support his claims of all of his changes. And yes, he will make an “appeal” to repeal ObamaCare, just like he brought conservatism to Mass, and just like he said he he supported TARP but would have done TARP differently, and just like he said he didn’t support abortion (but placed a Planned Parenthood onto his board)…he says, he says, he says, exactly what you want to hear, but he does what the liberals want him to do.
Cynicism is born out of listening to him promise and not deliver…but you are taken in, so I guess it works…it worked for Obama, why not of Romney?

right2bright on January 16, 2012 at 8:42 AM

“My record is pretty hard to argue with,” he said.

Perry indicated he plans to stay in the race after South Carolina. He told Crowley that he plans to campaign in the Jan. 31 Florida primary, even if he finishes last in South Carolina. “That’s our intention” he said.

Asked by Stephanopoulos if South Carolina has become his “Alamo,” Perry responded: “Oh, I don’t think so …We’re the most consistent fiscal conservative and social conservative in the race and that’s our message both on the airwaves and out on the campaign trail.”

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/01/15/3661346/perry-vows-a-fight-for-social.html#storylink=cpy

workingclass artist on January 16, 2012 at 8:47 AM

I’m so late to this thread, but I wanted to post if only to say I’m glad Ernie Huntsman is out of the race!

Darksean on January 16, 2012 at 8:50 AM

I’m so late to this thread, but I wanted to post if only to say I’m glad Ernie Huntsman is out of the race!

Darksean on January 16, 2012 at 8:50 AM

同上

(Ditto)

workingclass artist on January 16, 2012 at 8:56 AM

吹罗姆尼 Suckas! – Huntsman’s Pending Endorsement of Mitt Romney

workingclass artist on January 16, 2012 at 9:01 AM

Haven’t read the thread yet, so I may be repeating others here….The only thing I’m curious about is what was Huntsman promised in return for helping out Romney? According to
http://m.ibtimes.com/super-pac-fec-gingrich-romney-south-carolina-281943.html Gingrich is the last remaining candidate that can hang in the race financially, and the Romney campaign knows this. So a win in SC by Gingrich is the only real threat to them. Will this lead to a Gingrich/Santorum deal?

lynncgb on January 16, 2012 at 9:04 AM

Aw, thanks for providing me with my first, major Internet meme, Zephania Woodall Huntsman. It was a blast.

carbon_footprint on January 16, 2012 at 9:12 AM

No need to withdraw… he’s been gone for a long time.

Please, not another Manchurian speech about how he’s lived overseas’s four times…was that some liberal arts thing?

HopeHeFails on January 16, 2012 at 9:18 AM

I liked Huntsman.

JoseQuinones on January 16, 2012 at 9:26 AM

LOL
Is anyone shocked that he would endorse his fellow cult traveler?
Huntsman should go back to daddy worship. He and Glenn Beck, Inc. can have some fun – not much mind you, maybe a “family night” sometime.
Send the girly-man back home.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on January 16, 2012 at 9:33 AM

I liked Huntsman.

JoseQuinones on January 16, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Then you might like this!

DarkCurrent on January 16, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Just in time to announce that he is taking Biden’s spot on the Democrat ticket. Obama/Huntsman the unity party.

batterup on January 16, 2012 at 9:38 AM

I guaranttee you that the MeadinCA doesn’t like Santorum b/c of the gay issue. Why be scared to say it? WHy give all these bogus reason for not likikng him when that is the core reason?
Dr. Tesla on January 16, 2012 at 12:43 AM

Fool, I already told you why I don’t support him. The “gay issues” is not at the top of the list. Did you even respond to the point about subsidies for children?

MeatHeadinCA on January 16, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Wow, five pages for whats his name Huntsman,………… okay?

Bmore on January 16, 2012 at 10:03 AM

He dropped out on MLK day. Does that mean anything?

Citizen-003528 on January 16, 2012 at 10:05 AM

He dropped out on MLK day. Does that mean anything?

Citizen-003528 on January 16, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Nope (did his candidacy or his endorsement of Romney mean anything either)? Nope again

Pragmatic on January 16, 2012 at 10:11 AM

I guaranttee you that the MeadinCA doesn’t like Santorum b/c of the gay issue. Why be scared to say it? WHy give all these bogus reason for not likikng him when that is the core reason?
Dr. Tesla on January 16, 2012 at 12:43 AM

Fool, I already told you why I don’t support him. The “gay issues” is not at the top of the list. Did you even respond to the point about subsidies for children?

MeatHeadinCA on January 16, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Santorum is a candidate for an ideology that at most would get about 20% of the vote in the general election. there is simply no real market for a social conservative and economic liberal. Someone who wants to grow the state for social conservative ideals. Santorum is Huckabee on steroids. He is not a conservative. He is a social conservative only. He is not a conservative in regards to size and scope of gov’t or in terms of gov’t spending.

Social conservatives may be o.k. with that. The rest of us are not. Just like I would not vote for a fiscally conservative socially liberal candidate, I will not vote for a socially conservative fiscally liberal candidate.

Monkeytoe on January 16, 2012 at 10:11 AM

This just proves that the GOP is full of violently anti-Mormon bigoted Evangelical Christians!/

mankai on January 16, 2012 at 10:15 AM

He dropped out on MLK day. Does that mean anything?

Citizen-003528 on January 16, 2012

Naaaaaaaa
According to what Huntsman and Romney believe, Blacks are “mud people”.
Don’t believe me, read their “book”. It makes Scientology appear sane.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on January 16, 2012 at 10:22 AM

. It makes Scientology appear sane.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on January 16, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Things are looking good. We have a real chance at replacing a racist, angry socialist tool with a RINO cult leader.

How did it come to this? All I remember was cousin Pookie getting off the couch and putting the truck into reverse into a ditch?

CorporatePiggy on January 16, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Oh and there were mops involved, and lots of skin stolen by someone called The Game – who may or may not have been an ‘angry black woman’.

I need to call Jay-Z to get the skinny on this cluster-f.

CorporatePiggy on January 16, 2012 at 11:08 AM

The smarmy one is giving us a lecture on civility. You don’t know who I’m talking about — Huntsman or Obama –– right? That pretty much illustrates Huntsman’s problem.

Rational Thought on January 16, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Irony, how ‘sweet’ thou art

Huntsman, who just preached about “unity and trust”, threw his support to the passive-aggressive narcissist who started the big turdfest in Iowa!!!

Congratulations! Hypocrites, unite!!!

Schadenfreude on January 16, 2012 at 11:25 AM

A Marxist, a Narcissist, and an African-American walk into a bar. The bartender says, “What will it be Mr. President?”

Roy Rogers on January 16, 2012 at 11:41 AM

It would be ironic if this thread were to end on 444 comments

DarkCurrent on January 16, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Day 3 of Dr.Tessla trying to tell us something.

The people obsessed with gay issues…

I don’t rule out candidates based on their views on gay marriage…

…ruling out Santorum b/c of his views on the gays,

… some comments Santy made about the gays?

I think they are divas in general and I don’t see why a gay couple

government perks for simply being gay.

“Obama’s not going to go after him on the gays.”

If gay issues were a winner,

I didn’t bring up gays

I hate gay people which is so f— stupid

I so tired of hearing about the plight of the gays

just want to talk about f—- gay marriage.

don’t care about gay issues

My impression of most gay people is that they are these self centered divas who think the world revolves around their little grievances

it’s gay rights people like you

because of his views on gays

I have a hard time taking gays seriously

whining about to me about your gay rights

about gays in his book

do you know about Santy outside of the gay issue

go after him as anti-gay too

if it’s true they are going to go after him too on gay issues?

makes it seem like msot Americans are pro-gay

Santy a whiner (cuz he don’t like them there gays).

he hates gay people

guy who you think hates gay people.

I guaranttee you that the MeadinCA doesn’t like Santorum b/c of the gay issue

rather than looking for the word gay

you accused me calling everybody gay

mattshu, gay, after he wigged out on me

about not preferring to have a gay roommate in college.

Tesla, you are so deep in the closet you are finding next years Christmas presents.

V7_Sport on January 16, 2012 at 11:57 AM

V7_Sport on January 16, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Dude, you ruined it.

DarkCurrent on January 16, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Dude, you ruined it.

DarkCurrent on January 16, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Sorry, but this was heading into Vote for Rick Santorum, move to Fire Island and listen to Cher territory.

V7_Sport on January 16, 2012 at 12:07 PM

I think Huntsman wants to be UN Ambassador for President Romney, and this is a pretty good fit.

matthew8787 on January 16, 2012 at 12:29 PM

“Jon Huntsman finished third … and he said he’s happy with the momentum he gained this week. You know it’s got to be fun being a politician. You can spin everything. … Your plane is crashing and you’re saying, ‘We’re happy to be landing ahead of schedule.’” — Jay Leno

Schadenfreude on January 16, 2012 at 2:26 PM

His daddy said:
‘Son, you’re embarrassing the family. I put up with that China crap, but this has gone far enough; I’m revoking your allowance’

blogFog on January 16, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Tesla, you are so deep in the closet you are finding next years Christmas presents.

V7_Sport on January 16, 2012 at 11:57 AM

You are one of these insecure types that is afraid to talk about gay issues. That’s your problem, not mine. You like to call people homophobes, gay obssessed after you and your social libs brothers bomb throw on the issue and somebody simply responds.

You are kind of gay if bothers you if I use the word gay when talking about gay issues? It’s like telling me I can’t use the word abortion in a disccusion about abortion. The word “gay” is in the dictionary and I can use it as much as want. I’ve probably said Romney 5000 times more than gay on here but that doesn’t seem to bother you, no accusation that I’m “obsessed” with Romney. I use the word “the” a lot, by our logic I’m obsessed with the word “the”.

Dr. Tesla on January 16, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Santorum is a candidate for an ideology that at most would get about 20% of the vote in the general election. there is simply no real market for a social conservative and economic liberal. Someone who wants to grow the state for social conservative ideals. Santorum is Huckabee on steroids. He is not a conservative. He is a social conservative only. He is not a conservative in regards to size and scope of gov’t or in terms of gov’t spending.

Social conservatives may be o.k. with that. The rest of us are not. Just like I would not vote for a fiscally conservative socially liberal candidate, I will not vote for a socially conservative fiscally liberal candidate.

Monkeytoe on January 16, 2012 at 10:11 AM

This is such a lie. Santorum has been the man on taxes, welfare reform, social security reform, he supports free market solutions to healthcare, and you are calling him a fiscal liberal? He’s way to the right of the RomneyCare guy on fiscal issues and that who you support b/c all you care about is gay issues. You are such an idiot. There’s absolutely nothing fiscally cosnervative about Romney’s record in Mass and you want to tell us you are a fiscal conservative.

Dr. Tesla on January 16, 2012 at 4:21 PM

On the national scene, Huntsman was and remains a tool, begging to be used, even if only abused. FDR Socialist-Democrat and huge fan of Putin, Webster Tarpley reported that Huntsman was a very unpopular diplomat in China. So he wouldn’t even have “good relations in China” backing his future political aspirations. Gotta wonder, wtf, caving and backtracking his entire campaign effort. Was it supposed to enamor voters to re-elect him as Utah Governor? Or did he need “national experience” exposure before trying to unseat Sen.Hatch or another?

After all is said and done, Huntsman has no meaning — less, not more, than before.

maverick muse on January 16, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Dude, you ruined it.
DarkCurrent on January 16, 2012 at 12:01 PM

You are kind of gay if bothers you if I use the word gay when talking about gay issues..
Dr. Tesla on January 16, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Apparently it didn’t change anything, DarkCurrent. Your heaping dose of finger snapping Ironic drama for Santorum and hissing at Romney looks like it’s good for another day.

V7_Sport on January 16, 2012 at 5:01 PM

V7_Sport on January 16, 2012 at 11:57 AM

I had to come back to this thread just to say: Hat Tip to you V7_Sport!!!!! Awesome. Well worth the drive back over here! We have a thread winner!

Bmore on January 16, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Apparently it didn’t change anything, DarkCurrent. Your heaping dose of finger snapping Ironic drama for Santorum and hissing at Romney looks like it’s good for another day.

V7_Sport on January 16, 2012 at 5:01 PM

You never make a positive case for Romney, you just want to demonize Romney critics.

You aren’t a conservative, I get that. But nobody is hissing at Romney…you need to toughen up a bit…it’s not personal, I don’t support healthcare statists in general. Apparently you want the governemetn involvedi n your medical decisions. Others disagree.

You are the guy who keeps bringing up the gays, b/c you think soomehow it discredits me if I don’t spit out the politically correct line that you subscribe to on them.

Dr. Tesla on January 16, 2012 at 7:17 PM

you think soomehow it discredits me if I don’t spit out the politically correct line that you subscribe to on them.

Dr. Tesla on January 16, 2012 at 7:17 PM

I heard the politically correct line isn’t all that you spit out.

V7_Sport on January 16, 2012 at 8:26 PM

I heard the politically correct line isn’t all that you spit out.

V7_Sport on January 16, 2012 at 8:26 PM

a

You are callow. You don’t know how to debate if this is all you got for me. You got worked up about the gays and holier than thou on the gays and then you say something like this. :)

Dr. Tesla on January 16, 2012 at 11:14 PM

re. Tesla

You are callow.

Because I’m not invoking homosexuality every 3 sentences?

You don’t know how to debate if this is all you got for me.

Debate? LOL, is that what you call what you have been doing?

V7_Sport on January 16, 2012 at 11:40 PM

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