Portsmouth, New Hampshire (CNN) - Jon Huntsman seemed to get carried away in embracing his campaign's New Hampshire strategy Tuesday, telling an audience: "I don't care what the rest of the country thinks or feels."
He later clarified he was speaking about national poll numbers.
The former Utah governor is running a cash-strapped campaign and has put the majority of his resources into the New Hampshire primary, hoping to catch fire in the first-in-the-nation primary state. He emphasized his commitment to New Hampshire at a well-attended town hall on the state's coast.
"I don't care what the rest of the country thinks or feels," he said. "That's not important."
He continued: "I do care about what the people of New Hampshire feel, because this is important."
After the event Huntsman was asked by a reporter to clarify his remarks. He said his comment was "the wrong thing to say" and explained he had been referring to national polling.
"Of course I care what people think in the rest of the country," he said. "Specific to the poll numbers, is what I was referring to."
Huntsman ranks in the low single digits in most national polls, but has seen an uptick in his polling in New Hampshire.
Speaking to the media, Huntsman also said he had not yet seen the television advertisement released by a SuperPAC supportive of his candidacy. The ad hit the airwaves in New Hampshire Tuesday.
"We've been on the road all day so I'm looking forward to seeing it at some point," he said. "But anything from the outside that serves to bolster our efforts in New Hampshire, I'm mighty grateful for."
Huntsman, the son of a business mogul in Utah, said he had not spoken to his father about whether he had contributed to the SuperPAC. The organization is not affiliated with Huntsman's campaign and is not subject to the same fund-raising regulations.