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Gingrich, leading in the polls in three of the four early states, took the opportunity to engage on a more substantive level, but it was Huntsman — yearning to climb in the polls — who benefited from a packed crowd and a large media contingent waiting for him outside.
Huntsman’s wife, Mary Kaye, was quick to pounce on what she said was the perfect forum for her husband as he starts to gain some traction in the state with the first-in-the-nation primary.
Huntsman: Not running as an independent
Petersborough, N.H. » Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman said Monday he would not seek a third-party bid for the White House if his race for the Republican nomination falls short.
“I’m not running as an independent,” Huntsman said in answer to a question by The Salt Lake Tribune in this New Hampshire hamlet. “I don’t know how many times I have to say that.”
Huntsman previously had been somewhat coy about his options should he lose this key primary state, saying only that he is running as a Republican and that he plans to win. His answer Monday marked the most definitive answer that he would not seek to run an independent White House campaign.
Pundits have theorized that Huntsman — who has been in the back of the polls so far — might opt for a third-party run, which could siphon off independents from the Republican nominee and President Barack Obama.
"It reminds me a lot of when he ran for governor," she said. "He grew on people."
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