Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman ended his presidential campaign and endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at a Monday press conference in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Decrying the “current toxic forum of our political discourse” and emphasizing his campaign theme about the need for trust in politics, Huntsman declared that it was “time for our party to unite around the candidate best equipped to defeat Barack Obama.”
“Despite our differences and the space between us on some of the issues,” he said. “I believe that candidate is Gov. Mitt Romney.”
Early in his candidacy, Huntsman decided to pin his electoral hopes on New Hampshire. After essentially moving to the Granite State to campaign, Huntsman was only able to come in a distant third place to Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul in the first in the nation primary on Jan. 10.
Huntsman vowed to move on to compete in South Carolina’s Jan. 21 primary, but he did not seem to be gaining any traction in the Palmetto State despite the endorsement Sunday of South Carolina’s largest newspaper, The State. The Huntsman campaign blasted that news out via email Sunday afternoon.
“Once again with this major endorsement of Governor Huntsman our momentum is building,” the email read.
The latest RealClearPolitics polling average had Huntsman tied with Texas Gov. Rick Perry for fifth place with 5.7 percent of the vote in South Carolina.
Before entering the presidential fray, Huntsman served as President Obama’s ambassador to China.
Huntsman campaign spokesman Tim Miller did not respond to The Daily Caller’s request for comment.