From NBC's Ali Weinberg:
Endorsing Jon Huntsman for president today, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson stressed what he said would be the former Utah governor’s ability to connect with voters in a general election.
While he said “there are a lot of wonderful people running for president,” Wilson, the son of Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., said that Huntsman can “take that conservative message to the folks in the general election to your independent voters, to your moderate, formerly known as Reagan Democrats.”
“It’s no good to be a conservative if you can’t sell a conservative message in a general election. I believe Governor Huntsman has the ability to do that,” he said, speaking at the South Carolina statehouse.
Huntsman said that Wilson’s endorsement made him the state’s first constitutional officer to endorse a candidate, which gave him reason for optimism in the nation’s first-in-the-south primary.
“This puts us in a position in South Carolina I begin to like our odds, I begin to like our chances in this state,” he said, adding that he would be seeing more of the South Carolina press corps as he continues to come through the state for “retail politics.”
He said that he believed the South Carolina primary would come down to “who has what it takes, the old shoe leather, walking the streets, the person-to-person interaction capability to go the distance.”
Huntsman was also joined by state Sen. John Courson, who has endorsed every eventual Republican nominee since Ronald Reagan in 1980 and endorsed Huntsman back in April.
Courson said with this endorsement he was going “six for six.”
“We’re not going to let you down, buddy” Huntsman responded.
Before the announcement at the statehouse, Gov. Huntsman met with the editorial board of The State newspaper, according to a tweet from State reporter Adam Beam.