MYRTLE BEACH, SC (RNN) - Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman told reporters and supporters gathered in
Myrtle Beach, that he has decided to withdraw from the 2012
Republican presidential race following a disappointing performance in
"Today, I am suspending my campaign for the presidency," Huntsman said.
Upon resigning, the one-time White House hopeful endorsed GOP front-runner Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.
"I believe it is now time for our party to unite against the candidate best equipped to beat Barack Obama," Huntsman said.
Without naming names, Huntsman lashed out at
fellow Republicans for attacking each other on the campaign trail
instead of Obama's policies. The former governor said the current "toxic
form" of political discourse is not helping the Republican Party's
"The race has degenerated into an onslaught
of negative and personal attacks not worthy of the American people,"
Huntsman said. "Let's invest our time and resources into building trust
in the American people and bring them together around a common cause."
The moderate Republican hinged his
presidential campaign on a strong showing in New Hampshire's first in
the nation primary but finished in a disappointing third place,
garnering less than half of Romney's 97,532 votes.
"Today, our campaign for the presidency ends,
but our campaign to build a better and more trustworthy America
continues," he said.
Huntsman, 51, is the son of multi-billionaire
and philanthropist Jon Huntsman Sr., who is credited with developing
the modern egg carton.
A classic pianist, Huntsman dropped out of high school to pursue a music career with the band Wizard, according to Time magazine.
He went on to graduate from an Ivy League school, the University of
Pennsylvania, and amassed six more honorary degrees.
Huntsman's first major foray into politics
came in his role as a White House staff assistant under former President
He was elected to his first term as governor
of Utah in 2004. The popular governor was re-elected four years later,
with 78 percent of the vote - a record feat - carrying all 29 of the
Huntsman assumed his role as Obama's top
diplomat to China on Aug. 11, 2009 - the day he resigned as governor of
Utah. Huntsman, who was nominated three months prior, was unanimously
confirmed by the U.S. senate.
This role, according to an interview Huntsman's father conducted with Time, was a lifelong dream. Asia had long touched Huntsman's identity, as he lived on the continent on three previous occasions.
Huntsman also served the State Department as
ambassador to Singapore under former President George H. W. Bush,
deputy assistant secretary of commerce for Asia and deputy U.S. trade
representative under former President George W. Bush.
Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.
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