Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman will drop out of the presidential race, and will instead endorse fellow candidate Mitt Romney, a senior campaign aide confirmed Sunday night.

The official said Mr Huntsman was ‘proud of the race he ran.’

Mr Huntsman’s rationale to back Mr Romney – a man he’s consistently criticised on the campaign trail and called an ‘establishment’ – comes because doesn’t want to block the best candidate to beat President Obama in the upcoming elections, reports say.

He was scheduled to participate in an evening debate in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Monday evening, but will instead endorse Mr Romney at an 11am press conference.

The former Utah governor placed third in last week’s New Hampshire primary despite devoting much of his campaign resources to the state.

He had already acknowledged that expectations for him in South Carolina’s primary this week will be ‘very low.’

Mr Huntsman was routinely at the bottom of national polls, barely registering at one or two per cent.

Funding his campaign also became a struggle, as he arrived in South Carolina with very little money, according to the Times.

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