NEWPORT, N.H. — Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman on Thursday won the endorsement of The Boston Globe, marking the second time Massachusetts’ largest newspaper has snubbed its former governor, Mitt Romney, ahead of the New Hampshire primary.
“There’s something happening in this state!” Mr. Huntsman said announcing the endorsement at a town hall meeting attended by about 250 people.
The former Utah governor, who skipped the Iowa caucuses to focus on New Hampshire, is counting on a strong finish in Tuesday’s primary to stay in the GOP race. He acknowledged earlier Thursday that the “tyranny of the clock” is working against him given his late entry into the race and his position far behind the front-running Mr. Romney, but said he’d be in first place if he had enough time to cover every corner of the state.
After criticizing Mr. Romney as the “status quo” candidate every day for the last week, Mr. Huntsman added a new jab Thursday night, noting that Mr. Romney was campaigning in South Carolina instead of New Hampshire on Thursday and Friday.
“The people of New Hampshire will not be told for whom to vote,” he said. “They want people to earn their vote, as opposed to sitting down in South Carolina, so certain of victory.”
The Boston Globe, which has subscribers in southern New Hampshire, endorsed Sen. John McCain over Romney for the 2008 election. On Thursday, it said both Mr. Romney and Mr. Huntsman stand out as presidential, but where Mr. Romney has been cautious, Huntsman has been bold.
“Rather than merely sketch out policies, he articulates goals and ideals. The priorities he would set for the country, from leading the world in renewable energy to retooling education and immigration policies to help American high-tech industries, are farsighted,” the Globe said.
The paper acknowledged that Mr. Romney may well win the nomination, but it said he is being pushed in “unwanted directions” along the way.