In a rebuke to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, The Boston Globe on Thursday endorsed Jon Huntsman for the Republican presidential nomination, marking the former Utah governor's sixth -- and by far largest -- newspaper endorsement in or near the state where he has chosen to put all of his campaign chips.
Huntsman announced the endorsement shortly after taking the stage for a town hall at the Newport Recreation Department in Newport, N.H. on Tuesday night, touting it as "the largest newspaper in the entire region." Shortly afterward, the newspaper's website posted the editorial, which described Huntsman as "the best-prepared to be president," crediting his gubernatorial record and credential as a former U.S. ambassador to China.
But The Globe, while almost doubling the circulation of front-runner Romney's Boston Herald endorsement, may not reach much of the GOP electorate: It's a traditionally liberal newspaper that annually endorses the Democratic candidate in the general election, as it did with then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008.
The newspaper said Romney was the only other GOP candidate who could be regarded as truly presidential. "But while Romney proceeds cautiously, strategically, trying to appease enough constituencies to get himself the nomination, Huntsman has been bold," it said.
It added: "But even if Romney emerges as the nominee, it matters how he gets there. Already, the religious right, represented by Rick Santorum, and Tea Party activists, represented by Ron Paul, have pushed Romney in unwanted directions. In New Hampshire, Republican and independent voters have a chance, through Huntsman, to show him a sturdier model. Jon Huntsman would be a better president. But if he fails, he could still make Romney a better candidate."