Jon Huntsman quits presidential race

Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, Former Governor of Utah, speaks at the CBS News/National Journal foreign policy debate at the Benjamin Johnson Arena, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011, in Spartanburg, S.C. The debate covered foreign policy, which has gotten little attention from the GOP candidates in recent weeks. When they have touched on it, they've criticized Obama's handling of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, his support for NATO's intervention in Libya and his treatment of China's currency, among other issues. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, Former Governor of Utah, speaks at the CBS News/National Journal foreign policy debate at the Benjamin Johnson Arena, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011, in Spartanburg, S.C. The debate covered foreign policy, which has gotten little attention from the GOP candidates in recent weeks. When they have touched on it, they've criticized Obama's handling of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, his support for NATO's intervention in Libya and his treatment of China's currency, among other issues. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) -- Republican Jon Huntsman has dropped out of the GOP presidential race and has endorsed Mitt Romney.

Huntsman said the former Massachusetts governor gives the Republican Party its best shot at defeating President Barack Obama in the November general election.

After staking his candidacy on New Hampshire, Huntsman finished third in the primary there last week. He faced a likely defeat in South Carolina's primary on Saturday.

Huntsman's resume had suggested he could be a major contender for the GOP presidential nomination. But the former Utah governor and diplomat found a poor reception for his brand of moderate civility, which he had hoped would draw support from independents as well as Republican moderates.

Huntsman announced his decision Monday in Myrtle Beach, S.C.


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