Jan 3, 2012 5 Comments ›› Angelia
Even before the results were in, Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman had a message for whoever won the Iowa caucus: “Welcome to New Hampshire. Nobody cares.”
Huntsman skipped Tuesday’s Iowa caucuses and was counting on a strong showing in the Jan. 10 New Hampshire primary to keep his campaign afloat.
Huntsman finished up his final day of having New Hampshire to himself with a crowded town hall meeting in Peterborough, where a voter asked him what he’d say to the Iowa winner. His short answer — “Welcome to New Hampshire. Nobody cares” — was a bit more direct than he had been in recent days. He has said the rest of the country will forget the Iowa results within days if not hours.
Showing off a more aggressive speaking style, Huntsman won sustained applause from the crowd of about 350 when he repeated his stump speech promise not to pander to voters by “signing all those silly pledges like all the other candidates.” And he answered “Hell, no!” when asked if he’d bail out banks if they sought help to deal with foreign debt.
“I can’t even believe I’m standing here!” he exclaimed at one point, reveling in what likely was the largest crowd he has attracted so far.
The former Utah governor insists that New Hampshire, not Iowa, will send a strong message about electability, but he continues to lag far behind the New Hampshire front-runner, Mitt Romney.
Asked by a reporter in Lebanon, N.H., to compare himself to Romney, Huntsman strung together all the criticisms he’s been sprinkling into his speeches in the last week. He started by saying simply, “I can get elected.”
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