GOP Campaign

Monday, January 16, 2012 - 9:15am

Huntsman is out, while Romney seeks definitive victory.

We don't always see an endorsement this soon and ironically, this comes just one day after Huntsman got a big newspaper endorsement. "Anytime you get the largest paper in the state to come out and endorse you that's a big deal," said Jon Huntsman, (R) Presidential Candidate.

But Jon Huntsman will drop out this morning and endorse Mitt Romney. A spokesperson says he doesn't want to "stand in the way of the candidate best prepared to beat Barack Obama."

Romney has a seven point lead in South Carolina, on average. That primary is Saturday and he's being pummeled with negative ads. His name comes up at nearly every campaign event. "I'm doing as well if not better than Governor Romney against Barack Obama," said Rick Santorum, (R) Presidential Candidate.

"I am the one person who has a realistic chance of defeating him here," said Newt Gingrich, (R) Presidential Candidate.

"You don't have to let the popular media tell you who's best prepared to beat Barack Obama," said Rick Perry, (R) Presidential Candidate.

In fact, Ron Paul's the only candidate focusing solely on his own success. "Did well in Iowa, did well in New Hampshire, and we're going to do well next Saturday, right?, said Ron Paul, (R) Presidential Candidate.

Candidates admit, if Romney wins conservative South Carolina, it'll be hard to stop him from winning the nomination.

As of today, Romney gets one more vote -- from Huntsman.

Tracie Potts, NBC News, Washington.

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