04/03/2012 11:14 am ET | Updated Apr 03, 2012

Jon Huntsman: John McCain Endorsement Of Mitt Romney Was A 'Petty Betrayal'

In 2008, then-Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman backed John McCain for president, taking a risk in snubbing his fellow Mormon and Salt Lake City Olympic chairman Mitt Romney. But this year, McCain stunned Huntsman with a "petty betrayal," coming out for Romney just three days before the New Hampshire primary on which Huntsman had staked his campaign.

In the new e-book "Inside The Circus," released Tuesday, Huntsman and his wife said that McCain's actions were "a bitter disappointment" that prompted Huntsman to personally email the Arizona senator.

"I wrote John a note [by email] after that and I said, 'You know, for a guy who paid a huge price in my state to support you, the least you could have done-I don't care if you support Romney, that's great-but just to have given me the dignity of waiting until after the New Hampshire primary,'" Huntsman said in the book.

McCain's response, according to Huntsman, was brief: "I didn't mean to offend. I hope your family is well."

Despite declaring that his New Hampshire showing was a "ticket to ride," Huntsman left the race only days after a distant third-place finish in the state. The exit capped a difficult campaign for Huntsman, and the book shows that he was never comfortable with the demands of consultants he described as "the demise of good politics."


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