Jon Huntsman avoiding Iowa ‘For A Reason’

Jun 4, 2011 1:15pm

ABC News' Sarah Kunin reports:

Jon Huntsman has kicked off his three-day, eleven-stop tour of New Hampshire this weekend to appeal to voters in the state holding the nation’s first primary. 

Voters in Iowa, on the other hand, will not be awarded the same face time.

“I'm not competing in Iowa for a reason. I don't believe in subsidies that prop up corn, soybeans and ethanol,"Huntsman said, according to multiple news sources at the event.

Huntsman, the former ambassador to China, continued, "I think they destroy the global marketplace…. We probably won't be spending a whole lot of time in Iowa. I guess I understand how the politics work there."

Huntsman’s decision to avoid the Hawkeye state stands in direct contrast with presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, who is also decisively anti-ethanol. Pawlenty is logging countless hours in Iowa, petitioning voters one-by-one to support his campaign.

At last night’s Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Washington DC, Pawlenty said, “There’s people who say, ‘you know Tim, if you tell the truth as you’re running for president, you may lose an election.’ I’m afraid that if we don’t tell the truth we’re going to lose our country.”

“When I started my campaign, I went to the all-important state of Iowa and said even for people in Iowa there’s some real truths we’re going to have to tell. That means we’re going to have to phase out the ethanol subsidies,” said Pawlenty.

While Huntsman has not formally declared his candidacy, he has already mapped out a campaign strategy to connect with voters in key primary states. "We will be competing vigorously here, and in South Carolina and in Florida,” said Huntsman.

ABC News' Michael Falcone contributed to this report

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