Jon Huntsman Will Drop Out, Back Mitt Romney

Posted January 15, 2012 at 8:40pm

Updated: 11:27 p.m.

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman will drop out of the Republican presidential primary and support Mitt Romney, according to multiple news reports.

Huntsman failed to gain traction in the first two states of the 2012 cycle, skipping Iowa’s caucuses and placing third in New Hampshire despite months spent campaigning around the state.

Still, he gave a speech following New Hampshire in which he asserted he had earned a “ticket to ride” and would continue to the South Carolina primary on Saturday. He also won an endorsement from Columbia, S.C.-based newspaper the State.

According to stories by the New York Times and Associated Press this evening, Huntsman will drop out as early as Monday and back Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.

R.C. Hammond, a spokesman for former Speaker Newt Gingrich, responded positively to the news on Twitter.

“With Governor Huntsman dropping out, we are one step closer to a bold Reagan conservative winning the GOP nomination,” he wrote.

Before Huntsman, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain and Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) also dropped out of the Republican primary.