Jon Huntsman drops out

Jon Huntsman ended his presidential campaign Monday and immediately endorsed Mitt Romney.

“I believe it is now time for our party to unite around the candidate best equipped to defeat Barack Obama. Despite our differences and the space between us on some issues, I believe that candidate is Gov. Mitt Romney,” Huntsman told supporters at the convention center here Monday.

Huntsman ended his campaign calling on the other candidates to end negative campaigning ahead of Saturday’s primary.

“This race has degenerated into an onslaught of negative attacks not worthy of the American people and not worthy of this critical time,” Huntsman said. “At its core, the Republican Party is a party of ideas, but the current toxic form of our political discourse does not help our cause.”

Huntsman also criticized Obama for what he called “class warfare for political gain,” and said he was exiting the race to help stop that.

He said his former rivals should rise above the fray and instead “advance that common goal by speaking directly to voters.”

And he cast his own decision to exit in the terms of combating negativity.

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