Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) - In the lead up to voting in New Hampshire Tuesday, Jon Huntsman released a new ad that retools statements from Sunday's debate to hit frontrunner Mitt Romney and prove his patriotism.
"He criticized me while he was out raising money for serving my country in China, yes, under a Democrat, like my two sons are doing in the United States Navy," Huntsman is quoted saying of rival Romney in the spot. "I want to be very clear with the people here in New Hampshire and this country: I will always put my country first."
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Romney criticized Huntsman at the presidential debates over the weekend for instituting President Barack Obama's policies in China while he served as U.S. ambassador, policies Romney said have failed.
But as he has stated throughout his White House bid, Huntsman used the 30-second spot Monday to defend his time in the Obama administration as service to his country.
The former Utah governor is staking his candidacy on New Hampshire, the second state to vote on the road to the White House. Although he failed to gain initial traction, new poll numbers released Monday in the Granite State showed Huntsman in third place behind Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.
Team Huntsman said the campaign raised over $100,000 in fundraising Sunday night to air the commercial.
"The final ad before the New Hampshire primary starkly outlines the fundamental difference in this race: Mitt Romney always puts politics first, while Jon Huntsman puts his country first," spokesman Tim Miller said in a statement.
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This ad reference the Romney-Huntsman exhange that shall be the defining moment in this campaign – the turning point. It revealed the character of Romney as a Small minded, unprincipled insulting DILETTANTE on the one hand, and Huntsman as a respectful, principled articulate diplomatic uniter with experience on the state, federal and international stage.
The exchange just highlighted that ROMNEY IS NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME!
COUNTRY FIRST! McCAIN SAID IT. HUNTSMAN (and his Navy sons and his whole family) LIVES IT!
Huntsman is the only republican candidate I would consider voting for as President. It is because of his service to the country that he is appealing to me, along with the fact that his sons have put their lives on the line for us all. Mitt is nothing more then a professional candidate. He has been running for President every since he decided he would lose a second term as govenor in Mass.
This guy is too sane, and from all appearances decent, to run in a Republican Party that has become so extreme. He should have challenged Obama in a primary. I personally think that would have been his better option, but what do I know?
While I am not a Republican, Huntsman is the only candidate who seems to be able to look at issues and policies in a bipartisan fashion. Pretty sad stati of affairs for the GOP when the moderate, balanced candidate with good ideas is doing so poorly. I suppose we can thank the tea bag faction for the fracturing and splintering of what is left of the GOP. All good news for Obama, however.
I respect Huntsman for putting "Country First" ahead of politics. He really lived up to McCain's 2008 campaign slogan.
Go Huntsman!!! Can you imagine a Huntsman/Rice ticket?!? It would make heads explode on both sides of the isle!
Go Huntsman!! He proved on Sunday that he was the classiest candidate. Shame on Romney. Huntsman is the most qualified and I can't wait to see how well he will do in New Hampshire.
Hunstman is too sane, articulate and well informed to represent the Republican party as it stands right now. As a Democrat, Huntsman is incredible appealing, even to me. My wish is that he'd splinter off and run as an Independent and see what kind of a stir he can cause. It's unfortunate that the other candidates, who are much better at being flashy and in your face than they are at examining the issues we're facing, are getting all of the attention. Huntsman could possibly be our very best choice, period.
As a registered independent, Huntsman is the only Republican who would get my vote. It is precisely because he has worked with the other side of the aisle and respects constructive dialogue during these debates that I believe he is worthy of my consideration. All of the rest of the GOP has gone waaay to extreme right.
I respect Huntsman for putting his country first. Unlike the rest of the infants, he's run a decent enough campaign. He's wrong about Romney though ... Mitt doesn't put politics first, Mitt puts himself first. As it is with all career campaigners, the focus is always on them - not their politics, not their devotion to country, not their devotion to the people they seek to represent. Ask John McCain how that works. He's still out self promoting himself after how many years has it been in the public spotlight now? And he still doesn't get why he wasn't elected as our president. Romney is one and the same. So, hey, GOPers here's a new slogan for all of you to chew on: Putting Americans First. Because it's we the people of America that makes America great - not the corporations, the talking points, the partisan politics, or the political wannabes.
Huntsman and Ron Paul are the only 2 candidates from the Republican party I would even consider voting for. Too bad Huntsman is overqualified and intelligent and Ron Paul is too consistent and sincere to get the nomination.
If the Republican's really want to take the White House back, they're blowing it by not backing this man. As a Democrat, I would seriously consider voting for this man for President. He seems to be the only one who does put country first and did not join the clown show that has been going on since the start of the cycle. Come join our side, you might have a shot with us in 2016.
I kinda like this guy. I'll still vote for Ron Paul, whether he wins the repub nom or not. But Jon Huntsman seems like an alright guy. I'd have no problem with him as President.
Huntsman is entirely too reasonable to be attractive to Republicans. Anyone who has done anything cooperatively with Democrats is an evil traitor to those who hate and fear the government. They want a lunatic nut-case who will wage holy war against the black foreign dictator who's taken away their liberty and their guns. Why does someone like Huntsman even bother with the deranged Republican party?
Huntsman is the only smart and reasonable Republican left in the whole party.
Hey Romney, how many of your sons served the US in the military?
When Amb. Huntsman responed to Gov. Romney's attack by pointing Romney is "what is wrong with America." he scored with audience big time. Gov. Romney revealed his priorities to putting partisanship and politics first, foremost and only most.
Third party candidacy for Mr. Huntsman? I think he would pull most independants( as we tend to be right leaning ) some dems and more than a few repubs, especially if Romney gets the republican nod.
I will definitely vote for a second term for President Obama, but if I had to vote for a Republican, this would be the guy.