Huntsman bows out of Republican race

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Huntsman bows out of Republican race

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The race for the US Republican presidential nomination has narrowed with a third candidate pulling out.

Jon Huntsman has given his last campaign speech after finishing third in last week’s New Hampshire Primary and skipping the first nomination contest in Iowa.

John Huntsman told suporters: “Today I am suspending my campaign for the presidency. 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 of the issues, I believe that candidate is Governor Mitt Romney.”

Huntsman’s withdrawal also included a call on his party to stop what he described as the “onslaught of negative personal attacks”, reducing the nomination race to a slanging match.

The announcement came just hours before the first of two debates in the run up to Saturday’s South Carolina primary.

Between now and then, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum will focus on trying to derail Mitt Ronney’s growing momentum for the nomination.