Huntsman downplays Iowa results

Jan. 4, 2012 at 1:43 PM
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MANCHESTER, N.H., Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Republican presidential contender Jon Huntsman, who didn't compete in Iowa, said Wednesday the Iowa caucuses were "unbelievably ambiguous."

"I've got to tell you, coming out of Iowa, it was unbelievably ambiguous," the former Utah governor told MSNBC. "I mean to think that Gov. Romney with his team on the ground for what? Six years now? Basically did no better than he did last time [in 2008], you've got three people basically sharing a tie."

Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania tied for first place with 24.5 percent of the vote. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas was a close third with 21.4 percent.

Romney finished with the lowest percentage total of any GOP winner in Iowa's modern history, sinking below Bob Dole's 26 percent in 1996.

Huntsman is putting his hopes on New Hampshire, which holds the nation's first primary next Tuesday.

"Nobody here really cares about what happened in Iowa ...," he told MSNBC. "They [New Hampshire voters] want a new generation of leadership. They don't want to be told for whom to vote in the state.

"I like our position. We've put in the grassroots work," he said. "Last night in Peterborough, we celebrated event number 150. The 150th public event for the Huntsman campaign, and I can feel a surge of energy on the ground. And I think we're in great shape here."

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