Jon Huntsman: ‘I’m Not Looking for Endorsements, I’m Looking for Votes’

Oct 11, 2011 4:51pm

HANOVER, N.H. – While New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was endorsing Mitt Romney in Lebanon, N.H., Jon Huntsman was pushing his new foreign policy plan at an event in the neighboring town of Hanover.

Most of the press covering Huntsman quickly scuffled out of the Kendal Retirement Community when Christie’s news was confirmed, but the former Utah governor and ambassador to China wasn’t fazed.

“I think New Hampshire is always won or lost based upon votes, not endorsements,” Huntsman said at a press gaggle after his town hall event. “As we get around the state, we’re finding there are a lot of willing voters and a lot of people giving us every consideration.”

When asked if he had been hoping to gain Christie’s endorsement, Huntsman replied: “I’m hoping for people’s vote in the state. I’m not looking for endorsements, I’m looking for votes. That’s the way races are won at the end of the day.”

Huntsman’s climb to gaining recognition is becoming steeper and steeper as candidates like Herman Cain emerge in the polls. ABC News asked Huntsman to comment on his competitor’s rising favorability.

“Well the 9-9-9 seems to be pretty catchy,” Huntsman said with a laugh. “But I want something that’s doable, doable, doable. I believe my tax package is doable, doable, doable.”

As for his own dwindling poll numbers, including a mark of less than 0.5 percent in a new Washington Post/Bloomberg poll, Huntsman believes it’s all par for the course.

“I think the polls [in New Hampshire] will show an upward trend,” he said. “This is kind of the silly season where you see a lot of people doing snap polls here and there. But longer term, we’re going to see upward movement. We’ve seen that in the polls already, and I think on average we’re bumping up to a place we’re increasingly comfortable with. We’re not going to be there long because you add a little air cover to that and aggressive campaigning in every corner of the state and we’ll go up. That’s the way these things go. “

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