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Huntsman ends presidential bid, backs Romney

world Updated: Jan 17, 2012 01:23 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman pulled out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination after failing to win traction with the party, and endorsed Mitt Romney.

"Our campaign for the presidency ends, but our campaign for a (better) American continues," Huntsman declared.

Huntsman was the last to join the race, but will not be the last to leave it. Some more expected to drop out after the crucial South Carolina primary on January 21.

With a glamours family -- straight out of Vogue, said one commentator, rich father, Huntsman was a favourite of the media. But he failed to connect with his party.

The former Utah governor was not conservative enough, had worked for the man the Republicans want so desperately to beat Barack Obama, who sent Huntsman as ambassador to China.

His performance at the debates was indifferent, and his popularity remained in single digits, keeping him last no matter who surged or plummeted at the top.

Huntsman skipped the Iowa caucuses, the first stage in the Republican primaries, to concentrate on New Hampshire, the next. He finished a poor third.

Huntsman, however, didn't think it was that bad and declared the third position as his "ticket to ride" to the next primary, South Carolina. But it's over for him now. For elections 2012 at least.