Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman hopes to exceed "market expectatations" and prove he has what it takes to get elected.
"Here's the deal," Huntsman said, wearing his trademark leather jacket on MSNBC's Morning Joe: "Like if you were a stock trading on the stock market—to put it in crass business terms—if you exceed earnings expectations, people invest in you. So we have to prove that we are electable coming out of New Hampshire. And if we can exceed market expectations, people are going to invest, because they will see that we are worth investing in, worth volunteering for, and that helps us down market as we move into South Carolina."
After promising to "arm twist shamelessly" for votes in New Hampshire right up to the finish line, Huntsman said the "mathematical reality" of the race means he has to convince some people who once supported Barack Obama to support him. "What I love about the New Hampshire primary is [that] you can come in here, you can get Republicans, you can get Independents, maybe pick up even a few Democrats—people might quibble about that—but you know what, you come in here with a head of steam and you speak to the issue of electability."
As for why competitor Mitt Romney is still tracking ahead of him in the Granite State after Huntsman invested so much time there, the former Utah governor had an interesting choice of words: "He's a homeboy." (To which co-host Joe Scarborough said Huntsman likely is "the first person who's ever called Mitt Romney a homeboy.")
"You serve a neighboring state as governor, you get a lot of advantages in terms of name recognition," Huntsman said, noting that drives polling to some extent early on. "Then you know what happens? You get to the last 24, 48 hours of the campaign and people stare down that ballot box and they say, 'OK. ... Now I have to make a decision about who can actually be president of the United States of America.'"
Huntsman, responding on both MSNBC and NBC to questions about whether his well-to-do family would provide him with more funds, said the campaign won't falter in any case and family wealth has nothing to do with it. "We believe in giving to charities and humanitarian causes. Politics isn’t a humanitarian or charitable cause," he said on NBC.
"You get out and you earn it the old-fashioned way. If you go up in the marketplace as we're doing here in New Hampshire, voters are going to respond. The traditional funders of campaigns are going to respond, too. They want a winner—and tonight, I think were going to prove the point that we've got the staying power... and I think that will change the financial dynamic."
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