Merrimack, New Hampshire (CNN) - Jon Huntsman sharpened his rhetoric against New Hampshire front-runner Mitt Romney on Monday night, six weeks before voters head to the polls in the nation's first primary state.
The former Utah governor unveiled a new line of attack against Romney, casting doubt on whether the former Massachusetts governor could dramatically shake up Washington and tackle Wall Street reform.
"Anyone who is in the hip pocket of Wall Street because of all the donations they are picking up, like Mr. Romney, is in these days not going to be the change agent who is going to fix the too-big-to-fail banking system," Huntsman said.
The candidate, who touts his civil approach to campaigning and rarely mentions other candidates by name, also told the audience:
"You should be wary of any candidate who carries the endorsements of every member of Congress, because it means they're going to be a status-quo president."
Huntsman spoke to an audience of about 80 voters in a town hall building in Merrimack.
He offered three suggestions for tackling congressional gridlock: limit the terms a member may serve; institute a lifetime ban preventing a former member from lobbying; and tie members' pay to their output.
"I want to cut the pay of members of Congress until they can balance the damn budget," he said, citing a "corrosive" lack of trust in Congress.
Huntsman will campaign in New Hampshire through Thursday, then head to South Carolina for the weekend.
Yes. Sir. Ree. Bob. This man has hit the nail on the head as to what needs to be done in order to end special interests dominating our governmental processes.
Jon Huntsman is a rational, moderate statesman who has no place in the Republican Party. He needs to become a Democrat and work at solutions for progressive Americans everywhere.
The only voice in the GOP candidates that makes sense. No wonder he's trailing in the polls!
Which Mitt are we speaking of today? Oh, ok, it's Monday Mitt!!
Roger on that J Huntsman, Your time will come. I like the way you think.
Huntsman is right about the "fast talking salesman" Romney. He's NOT the reformer of "too big to fail" crew. Too bad no one listens to Huntsman!!
Jon Huntsman is absolutely correct. Why is he not taken more seriously??
The GOP really need look at Ron Paul or even Huntsman as their canidates of choice.
huntsman is too smart to be a republican candidate.
True, maybe. Look at obama. He gets more $$$ from Wall Street than all Republicans combined. Go figure.
Good point, Jon.