Boston Globe plays up Huntsman’s moderate stances in endorsement

Paul Conner | Executive Editor

Jon Huntsman nabbed the endorsement of a top newspaper in former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney‘s back yard Thursday evening.

The Boston Globe endorsed the former Utah governor and ambassador to China, praising him as “the best candidate to seize this moment in GOP history, and the best-prepared to be president.”

But some of the reasons the Globe cites in its endorsement may not thrill the Huntsman campaign, which is playing up his conservative credentials.

The editorial praises Huntsman for accomplishments like instituting a state flat tax and offering a school choice plan. But it also lauds the former governor for endorsing and accepting federal stimulus money for Utah, joining the Western Climate Initiative, having “wisdom” in immigration policy and agreeing to work for a Democratic president.

“Huntsman governed Utah as a clear conservative who nonetheless put the interests of his state ahead of ideology,” the Globe’s editorial board wrote.

The newspaper contrasted Huntsman’s substance with Romney’s bluster on the campaign trail, saying that Romney has strayed from the governing principles of his Massachusetts administration by adopting language that caters to more conservative Republicans.

“While Romney proceeds cautiously, strategically, trying to appease enough constituencies to get himself the nomination, Huntsman has been bold,” the editorial read. “Rather than merely sketch out policies, he articulates goals and ideals.” (RELATED: Full coverage of Jon Huntsman)

Huntsman has campaigned almost entirely in nearby New Hampshire, conducting over 130 events in the Granite State, which votes in its first-in-the-nation primary on Tuesday.

The Boston Globe also snubbed Romney in 2008, endorsing Sen. John McCain.

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