South Carolina: Then There Were Five … (UPDATED)

UPDATE:

As expected, Former Gov. Jon M. Huntsman Jr. of Utah formally announced that he is ending his Republican presidential run “with a call for party unity, asking the five candidates he leaves on the field to end their negative ads and chastising President Obama for engaging in ‘class warfare.’”

More from the New York Times:

“This race has degenerated into an onslaught of negative and personal attacks not worthy of the American people and not worthy of this critical time in our nation’s history,” he said in an address before a packed room of television cameras and reporters at the Convention Center here.

“I call on each campaign to cease attacking each other and instead talk directly to the American people about how our conservative ideas will create jobs, reduce our nation’s debt, stabilize energy prices and provide a brighter future for our children and our grandchildren.’’

Read more here

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The New York Times reports that Jon M. Huntsman has informed his advisers that “he intends to drop out of the Republican presidential race, ending his candidacy a week before he had hoped to revive his campaign in the South Carolina primary.”

Huntsman plans to make an announcement as early as tomorrow, Monday.

The Times:

The impact of Mr. Huntsman’s departure is not clear. Polls have indicated that he has little support in South Carolina and his lack of money means that he had been unable to affect a campaign conversation that is dominated by television commercials now that it has moved out of the first two early primary states.

But his decision to leave at the start of the week means that the two debates this week — one on Monday and another on Thursday — will be less crowded.

Read More Here:

Personal Note: I am sorry to hear this development. Jon Hunstman was perhaps the only GOP presidential candidate who might have gotten my vote.

Image: http://jon2012.com/

Author: DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist