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Huntsman to end campaign, endorse Romney

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman will quit his campaign and endorse Mitt Romney for president.

The former Utah governor on Monday will make the announcement that he is ending his presidential bid in South Carolina, the Washington Post reported, five days ahead of the Republican primary in the state.

Huntsman and Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, are both moderate Republicans and both have attracted realists who favor a lower U.S. profile overseas as foreign policy advisers, although Romney has balanced these with neoconservatives who favor a more robust profile.

Republican Jews had expressed reservations about some of Huntsman’s advisers, who in the past have been sharply critical of Israel. But Huntsman, like Romney, insisted that a central plank of his foreign policy would be the centrality of the U.S.-Israel alliance.

Huntsman pegged his hopes on the New Hampshire primary last week, but finished third behind Romney and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).

Huntsman and Romney seemed to have little love lost between them; both are Mormons and had split the community’s loyalties.

Additionally, Romney targeted Huntsman for serving as U.S. ambassador to China under President Obama, a decision Huntsman said was motivated by patriotism.

Huntsman had yet to make his announcement by midmorning Monday, but his daughters — who often have been the public face of his campaign — thanked followers on Twitter for "an incredible journey."

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