WASHINGTON, January 15, 2011―He came in strong in New Hampshire, and The State, the largest paper in South Carolina, endorsed him, yet reports are that Jon Huntsman has dropped out of the presidential race and will endorse Mitt Romney as the best person to get America out of its financial mess.
Reports are that Huntsman is pleased with his showing in New Hampshire, but felt that his continued presence in the race would only get in the way of Romney securing a win in Saturday’s primary election in South Carolina.
Huntsman aides said that “He decided to drop out to clear the way for the person who is clearly the best suited to beat Barack Obama.”
The former Utah-Governor served in the Obama administration as ambassador to China, leading other candidates to criticize him as an “Obama supporter.” His 2009 letter praising the President as a “brilliant leader”bolstered their case.
Huntsman’s announcement, planned for Monday, narrows the field further since Michele Bachmann dropped out following the Iowa caucus. Rick Perry, who summoned 30,000 faithful to a Texas stadium before he entered the race but can now scarcely fill a Volkswagen, is said to be waiting until after Thursday’s South Carolina primary to make a decision.
And Rick Santorum of the sleeveless vests? He seems determined to stay in the race.
Newt Gingrich continues to pave ahead in his bilious Newt-like manner, but he has as little chance of winning the nomination as does the New Hampshire second-place finisher, Ron Paul. Paul’s foreign policy, or lack thereof, will keep him from the dance regardless of how loudly his fervent supporters yell.
At this time the Republican candidates continue to blast each other via Super PAC ads hitting the airwaves, leaving the worry that all that negative campaigning will be turned against the Republican nominee by the Obama re-election team.
Huntsman and Bachmann were right to drop out. It would be refreshing if the remaining candidates could refrain from negative adds, which do nothing but give the DNC the ammunition they need to shoot at Mitt Romney once he gets the final nod from the GOP.
In a bit of irony, Obama’s senior advisor, David Axelrod, said on CNN that he was concerned about negative ads against Obama that are on the horizon, adding that they would not have the financial wherewithall to combat them.
An ironic statement, because the 2008 campaign cemented Obama in the record books as the champion political fund-raiser. He raised over $750,000,000, bringing him very close to being the first billion dollar president, and with no primary opposition, he has raised more this year than the combined Republican field.
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