[Image: Screen capture of Jon Huntsman Jr, with his wife Mary Kaye Huntsman, announcing the end of his presidential campaign on Jan. 16, 2011.]
Coming off his third-place "ticket to ride" finish in New Hampshire, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. announced today that he has ended his campaign for president and endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination.
Criticizing the negative tone of the Republican primary, The Washington Post reports he said, "This race has degenerated into an onslaught of negative and personal attacks not worthy of the American people and not worthy off this critical time in American history." After news of his pending plans broke online on Sunday night, many people, including Daniel Strauss at The Hill, noted that Huntsman's attacks on Romney were scrubbed from his various online outlets.
"Despite our differences and the space between us on some of the issues," Huntsman said, Romney is the candidate to unite behind to defeat President Obama in November.
Huntsman, who had been polling at no higher than 5 percent in surveys in advance of the Jan. 21 primary in South Carolina, endorsed his former foe in South Carolina just one day after South Carolina's largest newspaper, The State, endorsed Huntsman over Romney.
Hunstman, as governor and then in the presidential race, had been a supporter of civil unions for same-sex couples, saying in a debate on Jan. 7, "I think there's such a thing as equality under the law."