Jon Huntsman was endorsed for president by The Boston Globe on Thursday.
The endorsement comes just five days before the New Hampshire caucus and is a well-received coup for a campaign that's struggled to win endorsements and backings of major national or regional newspapers or political icons.
But perhaps the bigger news is that the Boston paper opted not to support Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and the Republican primary race's front-runner.
"Huntsman governed Utah as a clear conservative who nonetheless put the interests of his state ahead of ideology," the Globe's editorial board wrote. "He delighted right-wing supporters by replacing a graduated state income tax with a flat tax."
The editorial did not ignore Romney — in fact it says Huntsman and Romney "have shown the breadth of spirit to lead the nation" — but it argues he's inferior to Huntsman.
"Among the candidates, only two stand out as truly presidential, Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman," the editorial reads. "But while Romney proceeds cautiously, strategically, trying to appease enough constituencies to get himself the nomination, Huntsman has been bold."
This is the second consecutive Republican primary where the Globe has passed over Romney for an endorsement. In 2008, the paper endorsed Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe Biden-Harris train wreck may have its savior: 2024 GOP nominee Donald Trump Kelly raises million in third quarter Legislative limbo — how low can they go? MORE (Ariz.), the eventual nominee. McCain endorsed Romney on Wednesday.
The Globe was complimentary of Romney's tenure as governor but knocked him from backing away from his record.
After giving Romney's economic plan a thumbs up, the Globe writes that his foreign policy ideas "show none of the same wisdom."
"Without personal experience to guide him, Romney is catering to the most vocal constituencies in the national-security wing of the GOP. As in other areas, such as his Robert Bork-led advisory panel on judicial policies, Romney’s ultimate intentions aren’t clear."
But the Globe also acknowledged that Romney, who is coming off the narrowest of wins in Iowa and is leading in the New Hampshire polls, still seems likely at this point to get the nomination. The Globe argued that even so, Huntsman's presence in the field moves Romney in the right direction.
"In New Hampshire, Republican and independent voters have a chance, through Huntsman, to show him a sturdier model," the editorial concluded. "Jon Huntsman would be a better president" the editorial concludes. "But if he fails, he could still make Romney a better candidate."