Huntsman: Romney, Perry Feud Could Work to My Benefit

Thursday, 29 Sep 2011 05:12 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman says his immediate strategy to shore up his ranking in the presidential race is to focus on New Hampshire. Huntsman also told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Wednesday although Mitt Romney holds front-runner status in the Granite State, he believes the growing feud between the former Massachusetts governor and Texas Gov. Rick Perry is a “distraction” and could help his campaign.
“New Hampshire has always been the strategy . . . this is a state where they have seen it all — they have heard it all, you’ve got to get in there, you’ve got to make the pitch — you’ve got to sell yourself,” Huntsman said. “They want a person of substance, leadership, and vision, who inspires — and if you don't have it, they show you the door.

“You can go from zero, the margin of error candidate, as I like to call ourselves — I can’t call us that anymore — to knocking on the door of second place now in New Hampshire,” the former Utah governor said. “That’s with nothing on the air, Greta — that’s just good old Adlai Stevenson, shoe-leather politicking, in town hall meetings, and house parties, and VFW halls.”

Van Susteren noted Romney has a built-in advantage in New Hampshire because he governed neighboring Massachusetts, but that Romney is involved in a “slugfest” with Perry, and she asked whether their war of words is enough of a distraction for Huntsman to close in on front-runner status.

“It's a distraction — no question about it — and I’m not interested in drama — I’m not interested in talking about vaccinations, I’m not interested in talking about the latest spin on a book,” Huntsman said. “I’m interested in sharing a vision about where this country can go — the greatest nation that ever was. We’re experiencing a time of difficulty — they’re feeling it in New Hampshire — all they want is for somebody to come in and square with them, to tell the truth.”

Van Susteren then asked Huntsman about the surprising endorsement he received from ultra-liberal filmmaker Michael Moore, and whether it was good — or  bad — for his presidential quest.

“Listen, if Michael Moore wants to buy into my approach for tax cuts, my approach to regulatory reform, my approach to energy independence, my approach to getting our position right in the world, my pro-life, my pro-2nd Amendment position — I’ll take it,” Huntsman said. “But the fact of the matter is, I think that’s a representative example, Greta, of how this nation wants to come together. This nation desperately wants to find a leader who can transcend politics and who can find solutions that will begin to bring us together.

“The divide we're facing in the United States is unhealthy and it is un-American — and it is painful — and the way we’re going to resolve it is by fixing our underlying problem, which is the economy, and that's going to create the jobs that finally are going to give the dignity that so many people lack today,” he said.

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