Jon Huntsman is dropping out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination, according to campaign officials.
An aide to Huntsman confirmed the news to The Huffington Post and said the former governor of Utah would endorse Mitt Romney on Monday. The aide added that Huntsman “didn’t want to stand in the way of the candidate most prepared to beat Obama and turn around the economy.”
Huntsman will deliver a speech on his decision on Monday at 11 a.m. ET in Myrtle Beach, S.C., according to the aide. Romney will not stand alongside the Utah Republican as he delivers his remarks.
Huntsman placed third in New Hampshire’s primary election last week after investing significant time and resources in the Granite State. Following the contest, he said, “Third place is a ticket to ride, ladies and gentlemen.”
Huntsman would have faced an uphill battle to deliver a strong performance in South Carolina’s primary election, which will take place next Saturday. Recent polls have shown Huntsman trailing rival contenders competing for the GOP nomination by a wide margin in the conservative state.
Once discussed as the candidate that the Obama reelection team found most challenging to face, Huntsman stumbled under the Klieg lights of the presidential campaign. One close adviser acknowledged, during the final days of the New Hampshire primary, that he found the transition from the world of international diplomacy to electoral politics “difficult to execute.” Complicating matters was fundraising, which failed to pick up after Huntsman’s initial entrance into the race.