The Washington Times - September 16, 2011, 11:25AM

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge endorsed Jon Huntsman for president Friday, saying the former Utah governor has a proven record on creating jobs, strengthening America’s competitiveness and advancing the nation’s interests in a global economy.

Mr. Ridge, who served as the nation’s first secretary of the Department of Homeland Security under President Bush, endorsed Mr. Huntsman at St. Anselm College’s Institute of Politics in New Hampshire. Mr. Huntsman, a former ambassador to China under President Obama, is still lagging in the polls, though he’s holding out hope that his moderate message will eventually catch fire with Granite State voters before the state’s first-in-the-nation primary early next year.

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“His significant experience and statesmanship already signal ten times over that he is ready to take on the complex challenges facing the country and meet the demands of America’s leadership with the rest of the world,” Mr. Ridge said. “I am proud to endorse Governor Jon Huntsman to be the next president of the United States.”