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Huntsman bows out, urges GOP to rally behind Romney

Politics » Former Utah governor says it’s time for Republicans to team up against Obama.



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In addition, Huntsman didn’t want to placate a certain base of the party or make outrageous statements just to cull headlines, the aide said. "The governor wasn’t willing to light his hair on fire or do the soundbite that I guess gets you the attention."

As of October, Huntsman, a multimillionaire, had sunk $2.25 million of his own money into his presidential bid, mainly as loans through Zions Bank. His father, chemical magnate and billionaire Jon Huntsman Sr., reportedly also forked over more than a million for a political action committee that backed Huntsman’s bid and aired ads in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

At a glance

Highs and lows of Huntsman 2012

Highs

» Playing “Johnny B. Goode” on the keyboard on “The Late Show With David Letterman.”

» Grabbing newspaper endorsements from The Boston Globe in Massachusetts and The State in South Carolina.

» Seeing a packed-beyond-capacity rally the night before the New Hampshire primary with the hope of a surge in the making.

» Being joined on stage in New Hampshire by his parents, Karen and Jon Sr., and most of his children.

» Seeing signs sprouting from roadsides with his name on them.

Lows

» Having his first name misspelled — “John” instead of “Jon” — on press passes at his June campaign kickoff overlooking the Statue of Liberty.

» Seeing private emails sent to a friend and campaign worker go public when the staffer is fired.

» Finishing third in New Hampshire after betting his entire campaign on the Granite State.

» Remaining in single digits in national polls while other rivals got their time in the spotlight.

» Sinking more than $2 million of his own money into a failed campaign

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While details of how much money the Huntsmans spent won’t be clear until month’s end, the latest filing with the Federal Election Commission showed the campaign more than $500,000 in debt.

Still, Weaver said, no discussion took place in the past few days of the Huntsman family feeling that its time and money were wasted.

"He and the family are thrilled with the experience and what they learned and what they saw," Weaver said, "and he learned a great deal from the American people."

Huntsman aides said no discussions took place about making another presidential run in 2016 — if Obama prevails — but that buzz remains in political circles.

tburr@sltrib.com




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