Huntsman calls N.H. strategy a ‘Vegas move’
October 17th, 2011
09:47 PM ET
11 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.”

Watch Piers Morgan Live weeknights 9 p.m. ET. For the latest from Piers Morgan click here.

Filed under: 2012 • Jon Huntsman • New Hampshire • TV-Piers Morgan
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Bruce I really enjoyed reading your post.
    I particularly liked "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..." Deep down inside I share that sentiment mre often than I care to admit.
    And yes, it does look more than "f'd" up to me that someone like Mr. Huntsman is being overlooked, Straw Polls are given so much importance, and that the GOP as a whole has NO ONE that would consider putting America first again for a change. I also think it is "f'd" up that a new "Party" has 'emerged' whose allegiance is to corporate America and a couple of brothers; who thrive on pledges that have nothing to do with the advancement of the country, but self-aggrandizement and the perpetuation, even at the expense of the country as whole, of the status quo while simultaneously negating thir oath of office.
    It is all "f'd" up Bruce. I qute agree.
    I'm NOT sorry that your team lost in 2008,however, because that would've for sure guaranteed that it would be even more "f'd" up than it is nowthat we have somebody at the helm that is trying their best to rectify 8 years worth of errors.

    October 18, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Please pardon the typos in my previous post.
    Contrary to what some would have you believe, millions of us are at work right now.

    October 18, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  3. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    Probably going to roll snake eyes.

    October 18, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    he might get my 2016!

    October 18, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  5. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Huntsman quit his job to run against his boss. He's disingenuous and untrustworthy. Period.
    Agreeing to be an ambassador does not mean you forfeit your right to run for office, or to think independently. Besides, an ambassador serves HIS COUNTRY, not A BOSS, especially an empty suited one.

    October 18, 2011 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  6. Elizabeth

    At least Huntsman already raised more money from Nevadans than any other candidate in the third quarter. I'll take your contributions – you can keep the votes !

    October 18, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. Scott S.

    These Republicans hold a debate every week. Do talking points really change that quickly? I've stopped watching them. I already know who I'm voting for next November, and it sure isn't the color red.

    October 18, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. Max Powers

    All primaries should be held at the same time. People across the country don't benefit from knowing the whims of N. H. or any other state. This kind of primary leads only to herd mentality. Have all the primaries at once so each person isn't influenced by who's winning or not. Primaries in this country are more corrupt than college football.

    October 18, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Let's all take a second to recognize how carefully CNN has avoided reporting on Cain's campaign using donated campaign funds to buy Cain's books and funnel money to his own for-profit corporation. The MSM appears to possess an almost Zen-ninja-like ability to selectively avoid anything damaging to the GOP candidates and spend all its time reporting he-said-she-said nonsense that paints them in a positive light.

    October 18, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  10. cf

    Huntsman is the only candidate on the right that isn't completely insane. Unfortunately, that means he probably stand a chance of getting the nomination.

    October 18, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  11. Elizabeth

    Huntsman should do what he feels is right ! What people hate most about politics is bowing to pressure and pandering for a few votes here and a few votes there. Explain that not campaigning in Nevada is for a principal and Americans will be more than glad to understand.

    October 18, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. chelle

    Elizabeth. "Explain that not campaigning in Nevada is for a principal and Americans will be more than glad to understand."
    Oh if that were only the case. If Americans truly thought their politics through, Jon Huntsman would be the front runner. If American voters actually followed reality/facts and not opinion offered up by people who are biased beyond all possible belief, Herman Cain and Rick Perry would have been laughed off by now. The fact is that the average Tea Party/GOP voter right now can be swayed by mentioning the word liberal like it is a perjorative.

    October 18, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  13. Squigman

    It's gotten to the point, that the party of no can make issue of almost anything. Wait till the election. Maybe (if the people don't get to damned lazy), the republicans can be told no at the unemployment office. What a beautiful day that would be.

    October 18, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  14. Orchid333

    I think far too few have taken Huntsman seriously - if he were to somehow rise up and grab the nomination I think he'd give Obama a good run for his money. The move to shun Vegas is definitely risky... but look at this! He's got his first big story on CNN, and any press is good press. He's getting more face-time now that he would going up against the lastest flavor of the week in a debate.

    October 18, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
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