The news that Jon Huntsman would be dropping out of the GOP race for president came just as Huntsman was about to take the stage in a GOP forum in South Carolina, which was taped Saturday. Fox News added a lower third graphic with the news at 9:32pm — as Rick Perry was taking part in the Mike Huckabee-hosted forum — and it remained up through Huntsman’s portion a few minutes later.
Huntsman’s withdrawal, to be announced at 11am in Myrtle Beach, means there will be one less participant in FNC’s GOP debate tonight also in Myrtle Beach.
MSNBC reported the withdrawal at 9:32pmET and CNN at 9:34pm Sunday night, with the news having originated on Twitter 20 minutes earlier.
This should mean more time for the remaining five qualifying candidate during the 2-hour Fox News debate. On Friday the network announced it was also increasing candidate speaking time by 30 seconds. Fox News will also be using Twitter to measure viewer reaction to each of the candidates’ answers.