(CNN) - When contenders for the Republican presidential nomination gather in New Hampshire Monday night for CNN's debate, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman will not be on stage.
In an interview with CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley, Huntsman says his absence in this debate isn't a sign of things to come.
"There will be plenty of debates," he said Friday. "We'll be in more debates than I think anyone will be able to stomach at the end of the exercise."
Huntsman was responding to a question from Crowley on whether his decision not to participate in the debate was a good one, given recent polls that show the majority of Americans are not familiar with the all-but-declared candidate.
In a CNN/Opinion Research poll taken May 24-26, only 1% of Republicans said Huntsman would be their choice for nominee in 2012. The poll had a sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
Huntsman told Crowley on Friday that despite the race being in early stages, his team was prepared for a tough race.
"We've only been at it five weeks, and we've moved about as fast as you can move," Huntsman said. "And then we passed that mile barrier, and then you're in and you do everything that needs to be done from there."
Crowley's full interview with Huntsman will air Sunday morning at 9 a.m. ET on CNN's State of the Union.
– On Monday, June 13, CNN will host the first New Hampshire Republican Presidential Debate, live from Manchester, NH at 8 p.m. ET. Follow all the issues and campaign news leading up to the debate on CNNPolitics.com and @cnnpolitics on Twitter.
Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.
Huntsman, Smutsman...he's unlikely to gain much traction. Good thing Daddie has deep pockets and a huge Rolodex.
sad to say but I feel that Huntsman's positive relationship and praise for President Obama is going to and still is hurting him with the far right wing, Tea party, and FoxNews worshipping crowd. These folk NEVER want to hear anything positve about the president (notice how some even tried to give Bush the credit for the bin Laden capture) even if it's true with facts to back it up. That 1% is going to be very hard to raise up to get the nomination in Tampa next year.
This man served under the present administration and now he is kicking his old boss under the bus. That tells me everything I need to know about him. Now he is not a personal friend of the President?
Wow! Can these rethugs find somebody who is NOT a first class hypocrite? Probably not.
CNN: Please include all announced candidates in the June 13 Republican presidential debate. I see above Candy Crowley stating that the "Republican field is wide open." It is way too early to exclude candidates based on current polling. If you used the same criteria in 1975, you would have excluded Jimmy Carter. Please invite all candidates. The voters want to see them all.
Huntsman has never been part of the GOP circus so why would he start now, let the clowns have the stage.
If only 1% of Republicans know of him then he is in trouble to start with and then he exacerbates the situation by not putting face to name at the first debate??, this guy may be too stupid to be president.
Huntsman will attempt to avoid the rabid rightwing of the party because he thinks it sullies him. He is a RINO.