Huntsman calls N.H. strategy a ‘Vegas move’
October 17th, 2011
09:47 PM ET
3 years ago

Huntsman calls N.H. strategy a ‘Vegas move’

(CNN) –- Jon Huntsman won’t be on stage at the CNN Western Leadership Conference Debate in Las Vegas on Tuesday night, but the former Utah governor says he is doing plenty of gambling when it comes to campaign strategy.

When asked by CNN’s Piers Morgan on Monday whether his tactic of focusing solely on New Hampshire was a gamble, Huntsman said it was.

Programming note: GOP presidential candidates next face off at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, October 18, in the CNN Western Republican Presidential Debate in Las Vegas, Nevada. Submit your questions for the debate here.


“This is a Vegas move. You put it rightly,” Huntsman said. “But this is where you upend the traditional politics. I like where we're going in New Hampshire. All the polls show we're going up. We're in low double digits. We want a steady, gradual, substantive rise, because that's what the people of New Hampshire demand. And whoever makes it through the New Hampshire primary always bursts upon the political stage with viability.”

Huntsman announced last week he was boycotting the Nevada caucuses because their timing jeopardized New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary status. Instead of participating in the CNN debate, Huntsman will host a town hall in New Hampshire.

It was also revealed last week that Huntsman’s campaign is facing serious financial issues, with nearly $900,000 in debt and only $327,000 in the bank. A financial report filed with the Federal Election Commission also showed that Huntsman had loaned more than $2 million to his campaign.

The most recent CNN/ORC International poll showed only 1% of Republican voters selecting Huntsman as their choice for the 2012 GOP nominee.

Huntsman said Monday that his decision to boycott Nevada was made to preserve the New Hampshire tradition of hosting the first-in-the-nation primary.

“Let me just say that we have a very, very important issue playing out here, and that's the viability of the New Hampshire primary,” Huntsman said. “Why is that important? Because the primary here, the first-in-the-nation, is the window through which the American public begin to understand the candidates, who they are, what they stand for and their vision for a better America. And you begin to jeopardize that process by other states like Nevada most recently leapfrogging in the process, making New Hampshire virtually irrelevant as you move it forward.”

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Filed under: 2012 • Jon Huntsman • New Hampshire • TV-Piers Morgan
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Justin Marsh

    In my opinion, Gov. Huntsman is right about the New Hampshire primary. New Hampshire is about as politically active and moderate a state as there is - and there is an established pattern that works.

    I wish you luck, Gov. Huntsman!

    October 17, 2011 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  2. Kweg Yung

    Corporate America's expansion into China was paid for by the American taxpayer. Bush's “tax cuts for the rich” policy helped to fund this transition. That's why no American jobs were created but a lot of Chinese jobs were. Republican politicians represent the corporate rich, the 'job creators'. When was the last time you saw a job created in the U.S.? The rich don't pay tax in this country and their corporations are physically based in communist China; where, by the way, SOCIALIZED healthcare and SOCIALIZED education are the norm and ALL the banks are state owned. These former American companies only pay tax in China, supporting a growing communist government and military. Republican politicians sold us (U.S.) out. These guys aren't batting for us (U.S.) anymore.

    October 17, 2011 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  3. T'sah from Virginia

    ►TRENDING: Huntsman calls N.H. strategy a ‘Vegas move’◄

    But when is he going to hit the jackpot????????????????????

    Huntsman is in the wrong party. He reaps what he sows; that's what he gets because he went out and "bad-mouth" the president. President Obama gave him one of the most important jobs he would ever have in his lifetime and then he turns around and “brushes it off” his shoulder!!

    Obama 2012

    October 17, 2011 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  4. Larry L

    Smart guy... not crazy... rational and willing to compromise... not an elitist... Democrat.

    October 17, 2011 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  5. thomas

    The only sane and intelligent republican presidential candidate !

    John distance yourself from the nut jobs !

    October 18, 2011 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  6. Marry

    Jon Huntsman is just as “republican” as they come – just wrapped in a more civil and intelligent cloth. He does not want to go to the WH now – who would he be dealing with in these difficult times? Perhaps he likes the job for 2016 when all in all things look better and have been fixed by a democratic House and Senate – but now, with all those republican nuts – no way he would want that.

    October 18, 2011 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  7. The Elephant In The Room

    Jon Huntsman was always running for 2016.

    He`d have made a fine US ambassador to China had he STAY ON THE JOB and COULD HAVE / SHOULD HAVE contributed to solving their currency valuation problem. That would have been an accomplishment to run on.

    Instead he bolted the Obama Administration after serving long enough to burnish his resume.

    He is the Republican variant of Mr. Obama . . . intelligent, genteel, statesmanlike, cultured, deliberate, compromissing, I`ll stick with the guy that has decimated al Queda, saved GM & Chrysler, and has been succesfully swimming upstream against a flow of GOP obstructionism.

    The best place of Huntsmann is – Secretary of Commerce.

    October 18, 2011 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
  8. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Roll the dice. Things can't get worse.

    October 18, 2011 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    It may be a Vegas move, but I have never seen anyone try to draw three cards for an inside straight.

    October 18, 2011 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  10. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I dislike all this jockeying for being first. I saw that we leave the traditional ones going first and either have the rest of the primaries set up as regional groupings or have the largest states go last so that the smaller ones can get their primaries in first. This gives everyone some kind say in the process.

    October 18, 2011 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  11. Phil in KC

    I think the fact that he ignored Iowa is a greater gamble than the Nevada caucuses. Although, to be honest, he probably would fare better in Nevada. There is a fairly large LDS population in Nevada (believe it or not) and they don't have as many right-wing conservative Christians who think LDS is a cult, like they do in the Iowa Republican party. But, to Justin's point, Iowa is as politically active as New Hampshire. It's just a different kind of Republican.
    All in all, though, I wish Huntsman luck. He's the most reasonable, most mainstream Republican running.

    October 18, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  12. logic in LA

    As one of the sane candidates under the big top, I hope it works. It's time for his place at the top of the field.

    October 18, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  13. Stop the Charade

    If Huntsman wants to gamble, let him go to Wall Street where you can gamble others people's lives, but when the house loses, the government has to come in and pick up the tab.

    October 18, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  14. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Why is he even bothering? He will not be the nominee in 2012.

    October 18, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Me. Huntsman does NOT belong with The Rat Pack, it was therefore wise for him to skip Vegas. His accomplishments and stature are diminished by the Clowns on Parade just through sheer association.
    If I were him I'd use any excuse to distance myself from those fools, especially, as someone here posted, as I get the feeling that he is testing the waters for a run in 2016.
    He'd have a good shot at my vote then.

    Obama 2012

    October 18, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Huntsman said Monday that his decision to boycott Nevada was made to preserve the New Hampshire tradition of hosting the first-in-the-nation primary."

    I seriously doubt it. Huntsman's campaign is on borrowed time and he knows it. His decision has nothing to do with preserving "New Hampshire tradition" and all to do with winning at least ONE primary before he calls it quits. Jon Huntsman is starting to sound as silly as the rest of the GOP clowns. If he really is concerned about "leapfrogging" primary dates perhaps he would be more willing to state what's behind certain primary dates being changed ... and actually take on Mitt Romney for pushing to move strategic primary dates ahead to capitalize on winning those states without the disillusioned and Perry backed TeaPers getting in his way.

    October 18, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  17. ThinkAgain

    From the guy who's never gambled ....?

    October 18, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. Bruce

    It's interesting to see how important this November 2012 election seems to be in people's eyes, as if the "all important" 2008 election didn't show us how unimportant all this rot is.

    If voting was half as effective as people say it is, it would be illegal. I guess it serves as a fairly effective placebo for democracy. At least a lot of people still think they have a say...

    Seriously, now. Look at this article. Look at how people think about a candidate like Jon Huntsman. Not a single vote has been cast in the Republican primary process and people are ready to write him off, and have basically written him off for the last two months. Why bother voting? Pawlenty drops out after a friggin' STRAW POLL in Ames, Iowa, as if that is even a mockery of a farce of "democracy," and Huntsman will drop out if he doesn't knock a home run out of the park in New Hampshire.

    Doesn't that looked f'd up to you? Don't even get me started on the Electoral College...

    October 18, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  19. ThinkAgain

    Huntsman quit his job to run against his boss. He's disingenuous and untrustworthy. Period.

    October 18, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  20. Bruce

    It's interesting to see how important this November 2012 election seems to be in people's eyes, as if the "all important" 2008 election didn't show us how unimportant all this rot is.

    If voting was half as effective as people say it is, it would be illegal. I guess it serves as a fairly effective placebo for democracy. At least a lot of people still think they have a say...

    Seriously, now. Look at this article. Look at how people think about a candidate like Jon Huntsman. Not a single vote has been cast in the Republican primary process and people are ready to write him off, and have basically written him off for the last two months. Why bother voting? Pawlenty drops out after a STRAW POLL in Ames, Iowa, as if that is even a mockery of a farce of "democracy," and Huntsman will drop out if he doesn't knock a home run out of the park in New Hampshire.

    Doesn't that looked scr.ewed up to you? Don't even get me started on the Electoral College...

    October 18, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  21. Elizabeth

    The debate will be noteworthy for one thing – the absence of Jon Huntsman. Maybe Americans of all political persuasions will finally realize the gem they keep overlooking !

    October 18, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  22. Robert - Atlanta

    Perfect place for republications – The GOP should be right at home with all the other prostitutes, a place where they can lie, cheat and steal without turning any heads. They can gamble with other people’s money and charge it all off to one of their tax loopholes!

    October 18, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  23. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Huntsman running for president is more bluff than gamble. And a very bad bluff at that! Give it up Jon, Jon....

    October 18, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  24. gerr

    AS an Independent,I still consider Huntsman to be the best candidate with the best combination of humanness,intelligence, ability to speak and diplomacy.

    October 18, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  25. Bill from GA

    To quote a great blues song: "When you got nothing, you got nothing to loose".

    October 18, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
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