Huffpost Politics

Huntsman scores big corporate backers for 2012

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman, struggling to gain traction in the polls, on Wednesday scored some big corporate allies, including Morgan Stanley's John Mack and Nike's Phil Knight.

Huntsman's campaign named Mack, executive chairman of the Morgan Stanley board; Nike Inc chairman Knight; Gary Loveman, chief executive of Caesars Entertainment Corp; and Tom Bell, a former U.S. Chamber of Commerce chairman as advisers.

Mack, due to retire as Morgan Stanley's chairman at the end of the year, will serve as chairman of Huntsman's Business Advisory Council.

Mack was an early backer of Hillary Clinton when she ran for the Democratic nomination in 2008 but has been a supporter of Republicans in the past.

Huntsman, a former Utah governor and ambassador to China for President Barack Obama, is seen as the most moderate of the Republican contenders in a race largely dominated by the conservative wing of the party.

Huntsman comes in last in an average of polls of the top Republican contenders, with 1.4 percent backing, according to Real Clear Politics.

(Reporting by Kim Dixon; Editing by Mary Milliken)