Greenville, South Carolina (CNN) - The day after former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman opened up a new line of attack against his Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney, the Huntsman campaign stayed on offense, calling the former Massachusetts governor's track record on job creation "abysmal by every standard."
The sharp statement from a Huntsman spokesman was sparked by the Romney campaign's defense of his jobs record in Massachusetts, which has come under attack in recent days by Democrats, and now Huntsman.
Romney has made jobs and the economy the central themes of his campaign, but his critics have made hay of the fact that Massachusetts ranked, by one measure, a dismal 47th in job creation during his administration.
Huntsman openly questioned the Romney resume on Monday night and accused the GOP frontrunner of trying to run away from his jobs record. Huntsman pointed out that Utah under his leadership ranked first in job creation during the same period.
The Romney campaign's response: Unemployment in Massachusetts actually dropped during the governor's tenure.
Romney "created nearly 50,000 jobs as governor of Massachusetts and led his state to one of the most dramatic job market turnarounds in the country," campaign spokesman Ryan Williams told CNN Monday in response to Huntsman's criticisms.
Then came the tough response from Huntsman's team the next morning.
"You know your job creation record is bad when you brag about leapfrogging a state ravaged by Hurricane Katrina," Huntsman spokesman Tim Miller said in statement. "Gov. Huntsman will run on his record of cutting taxes, reducing regulation, and passing free market health care which resulted in Utah becoming the #1 state for job creation. We assume Mitt Romney will continue to run away from his record."
The candidate, though, would not match his campaign's tough rhetoric when asked about the statement Tuesday at a press conference in South Carolina, where he picked up endorsements from the family of the late former Gov. Carroll Campbell.
Huntsman was asked by a reporter if he believed that Romney's record on jobs was indeed "abysmal."
"Forty-seventh is forty-seventh," he said tersely. "First is first. So you know, just let the facts speak for themselves."
Huntsman WHO ? some nobody trying to get attention anyway he can.
The truth hurts doesn't Mitt. You are a job destroyer and outsourcer Mitt. You will never be POTUS. Not with that track record.
Republicans eating their own...love it!!! Taking a page out of the Democrat's playbook, good for them. Now all we need is for the right wing to run and independent candidate, let's say Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann, and watch the "Nader effect" happen to the Republicans, cool!
Huntsman, who's that?
let the LDS war begin!!!!!!
But don't the conservatives keep telling is that "government doesn't create jobs"? That doesn't seem to stop them from trying to take credit for jobs created on their watch, or blaming the President for job losses.
The reality is that Romney has a record of job destruction while he was at Bain Capital, where he specialized in buying up companies and cannibalizing their more profitable sectors, laying off thousands of employees, and then selling the remaining elements for a quick profit.
This back and forth reminds of watching a tennis match. Great shots from both sides. I guess another court may feature a Pawlenty/Bachman match.
Geez, didn't anyone ever tell Huntsman not to speak ill of the bretheren? I wonder if he'll lose his temple recommend over this, not that will cause him to lose sleep. Of course, both of them will say and do anything to get elected. Just typical GOP opportunists who will pander to whatever group they are speaking to.
Neither one of you will EVER occupy the Oval Office so what does it matter? You are too soft and Romney is simply NOT a likeable person.
The truth is, Romney was never that good of a leader, or a manager, and now he is getting exposed for it.
Bush didn't create one job and neither has the rest of these Republicans, there is no record of job creation, just lies. I'm tired of them trying to take credit away from our President which Democrats already said that's exactly what they will attempt doing and they are still at it. Republicans know they have a bad record of not creating jobs.