Huntsman on Romney: 'Name recognition only means so much'
November 26th, 2011
05:28 PM ET
3 years ago

Huntsman on Romney: 'Name recognition only means so much'

(CNN) - Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who has largely plugged his campaign resources into New Hampshire, said Saturday that GOP presidential rival Mitt Romney better not count on his popularity in the state as a solid path to primary victory.

"There's nothing that guarantees somebody with high name recognition, like Gov. Romney, is going to carry this without a fight," Huntsman said in an interview with television station WMUR, a CNN affiliate in New Hampshire. "I do believe that name recognition only means so much."

Three new polls measuring support in the Granite State this week showed Romney with a commanding lead, hovering around 33%-40% among likely Republican primary voters.

House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Rep. Ron Paul competed for a distant second place that failed to climb above 22% of support.

Meanwhile, Huntsman has slowly been creeping up in the polls, but still struggles to break into the double digits.

Still, Huntsman, who has logged more than 105 public events in the state since he launched his campaign June 21, said he's confident of his underdog candidacy and hopes to speed up his momentum before voters take to the polls January 10.

With New Hampshire holding an open primary where voters don't have to vote with their registered party, Huntsman said he's also counting on appealing to independents and even some Democrats.

"What we don't want to have happen is 15 minutes of fame," Huntsman said. "I want to make sure that the work we have done results in a good, steady, substantive rise - that our rise will be sustainable, not ephemeral."

– CNN's Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Jon Huntsman • Mitt Romney • New Hampshire
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. The Unsub

    Huntsman is the only capable one. Only if the crazy Right could see that.

    November 26, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  2. bilk7

    The Republicans claim to want to beat Obama at all costs. So why is Huntsman so low in the polls? He's the only one who could run a decent general election campaign against Obama. Gingrich has too much baggage and Romney just won't go over with Dems and Independents, which the GOP will need due to numbers. Serious debates on the issues between Hunstman and Obama would be great for the country.

    November 26, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  3. Matthew

    Here is my take, Sr Huntsman buying the NH newspapers Elite for the endorsement of Little Johnny, This guy talks about a fight. Were was he when these 12 year olds were getting raped in his home state when he was governor, Yea HE TURNED A BLIND EYE. TYPICAL MORMON

    November 26, 2011 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  4. Matthew

    The fact that you are censoring this like Korea proves Sr is paying Cnn also

    November 26, 2011 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  5. WHOOSH

    JHuntsman you really are the one that should be the Republican't nominee but you won't be therefore, BHO will be reelected.

    November 26, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  6. FoMo

    You shook Romney to his core when you ask him "did you hear what I just said?" I saw Willard Mitt Romney for what he is. worth. A scared sheep in wolf clothing. HaHaHaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

    November 26, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  7. Gemini Girl

    That Jon Huntsmann is not #1 in all the polls is a mystery to me! How Newt is not dead last is another mystery! What is with you people? And I am not even a Repub, I plan to vote for the current Pres, but Jon Huntsmann is sure looking good to me....

    November 26, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  8. eolsen

    Huntsman has huge name recognition in Utah where he was governonr. Yet he poll far behind Romney there. Wonder why John?

    November 26, 2011 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  9. Jed Merrill

    Jon Huntsman could have positioned himself for next in line, but instead is blowing his family money on attack ads against a distant cousin who has been more successful than he has.

    Huntsman was a popular Governor and had great employment numbers, better than Rick Perry's, but being Governor of Utah is another case of being dealt four aces, Jon.

    Maybe Huntsman has to talk rough about Romney to justify donor dollars, but he sure isn't running a Reagan's 11th Commandment campaign. You've got some decent ideas, Jon, but you are better off riding your capable cousin's coattails than beating him over the head with a broom.

    New Hampshire is smarter than this.

    November 26, 2011 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  10. Pinche Vato

    La Bachmann is a woman scorned.

    November 26, 2011 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  11. Pinche Vato

    Romney is the guy everyone considers the basic empty-suit.

    November 26, 2011 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  12. anon

    Two Mormons are now running for president. This is great. Mormons are honest, sober and are people with good moral character. Some might think Mormons have strange beliefs... and I chortle at the Evangelicals who attack Mormonism. I don't have a dog in this religious fight... but dude, if you are an Evangelical attacking a Mormon for their strangeness... please look at your own ridiculous beliefs first. Talking snakes in gardens and talking donkeys on desert roadways, global floods (impossible), horn blasts that bring down walls to name a few. You believe in absurdity also.

    your strange believes might be "mainstream", but they are just as strange as magic underwear (which, btw a case can be made for in the bible), temple worship (again, found in the bible), handshakes that represent binding covenants made with god... what is the big deal. Mormons have these strange things and more. But it is part of the reason they are some of the most upright and moral/ honest people I know.

    November 26, 2011 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  13. logicalguy

    I really wish people would see through the Mitt Romney facade and listen to the wisdom of Jon Huntsman. The Republican party is way too self absorbed to realize that by selecting Romney as the candidate to run for President in 2012 they are appealing to a small group of people (themselves). Republican voters can not tip the scales and win the election. It's going to take Moderates & Independents to win the election. Romney does not appeal to those two groups of people, Huntsman does. Huntsman also bring serious leadership – not just a determination to hold the highest office. He has consistent experience. He is open and direct. Romney is an old school politician. He won't win in 2012. Jon Huntsman will. Wise up Republicans of forever hold your peace for another 4 years.

    November 26, 2011 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  14. Commentary

    I am hoping against hope that Jon Huntsman stays where he is on the left-right spectrum until 2016, and if he does, he will be the Republican nominee in that election, and he'll even have a great shot at the presidency. But if this last shred of moderation in American politics panders to the Tea Partiers and the far-right by 2016 just to be elected, I quit and retire to the hills.

    November 26, 2011 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  15. freedom27

    Note how they say Ron Paul is a "distant" second place. You would think he was last ! Wake up people! Ron Paul is hated by the repubs and the NeoCon's and liberals alike. Not enough Waterboarding or big corporate crony-capitalism. Lobbyists will have to find a new home. He is the only candidate elected 11 times. Fox news and the liberal media alike will lose all government support. So they will not mention him. The media is blacked out on him, yet everywhere I go I can start talking about Ron and I will get immediate crowd approval of him. No matter what party. Ron is so electable that he will be the next Reagan. Only he will actually do what he says.

    November 26, 2011 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  16. Thomas

    At least Huntsman has two sons in the Military .
    All five of Romney's sons were to busy helping dad out in the office , all FIVE !

    November 26, 2011 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  17. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The problem is that Huntsman sounds reasonable compared to all the others. People are only just getting that now.

    November 26, 2011 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  18. doregroj

    I think for any Republican candidate to be electable he or she is going to have to move to the center, where the majority of the voters are. Gingrich took a big chance with this immigration position and I think it will pay off. Now, if he takes a position of favoring taxing the billionaires (which as I understand it, they agree), and he clears the Republican primaries, he will be a slam dunk to beat President Obama. Republicans are wasting their time if they stick to a rigid positions that most of the voters are not in favor of.

    November 27, 2011 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  19. tamara reina

    Well, maybe my name will have a purpose in this day

    November 27, 2011 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  20. Marry

    Jon SEEMS to be the best bet for the Republicans – if they could ever come down to what is “useful” for the country and perhaps “electable”.
    However I doubt that the GOP/TP of today is a good bet for Jon. Should the “pledges” stay he will have a lot of trouble (…if they do not just throw that pledge out as soon as a Republican is elected – we now how the GOP spends money on their friends when in power…) or, if they do get ask out – who does he then want to effectively work with (…most likely The House and the Senate are going to be strongly Democrat after the 2012 elections…).
    So best for him to wait until 2016 – hope the GOP (TP out) has grown a spine and might start to work for the country. Not likely, but well…

    November 27, 2011 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
  21. Sandra Taylor

    You hope, Huntsman ! And he can hardly stand it that he is so much behind Romney. He wants a fight alright, and count on him to try and stir something up in the next debate. The truth is he is making all the TV ap[pearances he can and can you guess what his favorite subject is >? He usees that time to run Romney into the ground. He's a squirt and a weasel who is out to bad-mouth Romney, and watch for him to show up again soon and tell the world what a bad candidate Romney is. If Romney did that to another candidate it would be big news and he's get hell. They are cousins btw. Huntsman is a loud-mouth creep .

    November 27, 2011 04:19 am at 4:19 am |
  22. J.V.Hodgson

    Huntsman best of the Republican bunch
    At least what he says has a chance in the congress as whole.The rest will be more divisve than the current congress, if thts possible.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    November 27, 2011 04:59 am at 4:59 am |
  23. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    This guy can't compete with the other wingnut anklebiters. They all need to follow Pawlenty and quit. The wingnut/teabagger trainwreck implosion continues full speed ahead.

    November 27, 2011 05:56 am at 5:56 am |
  24. Reggie from LA

    That's right, because the Union Leader has thrown its weight behind Gingrich.
    Whatever happened to Herman Cain by the way?

    November 27, 2011 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  25. diridi

    Both idiots and GOP does not understand Middle Class America. They ship jobs, now want to ship people to India, China for Jobs...ha...These idiots are not for you, middle class, not for you, they are for Rich, Corporate, Insurance, and Hospital thugs that loot Medicare....watch out..

    November 27, 2011 08:43 am at 8:43 am |