Huffpost Politics

Jon Huntsman Skips Las Vegas GOP Debate To Campaign In New Hampshire

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U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), former CEO of Godfather's Pizza Herman Cain, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) are introduced at the Republican presidential debate airing on CNN, October 18, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Seven GOP contenders are taking part in the debate, which is sponsored by the Western Republican Leadership Conference in Las Vegas and held in the | Getty Images

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has called his Republican primary strategy of focusing all of his resources on New Hampshire a "Vegas move."

Except he did not go to Las Vegas with the other GOP candidates to debate.

Tuesday night, he spoke at a town hall in Hopkinton, N.H. "You see, I was offered an invitation to a game show tonight out in Las Vegas," he said to a full house, according to ABC News. "It’s called a presidential debate. There will be sound bites, and there will be talking points, and there will be buzzers."

"I know my friend Herman Cain will likely play the roulette wheel and he’ll be focusing on getting the ball on 999. And Romney will likely be staying at Trump Tower because he’s already won the apprenticeship for the presidency. … I thought we’d come here together and talk about serious issues because I’ve also heard that what happens in Las Vegas, stays in Vegas. And I say that what happens in New Hampshire impacts the world," he said.

Huntsman announced he would boycott the Nevada caucuses after the state moved the event to Jan. 14, potentially threatening the New Hampshire law that requires its primary to have a seven-day window after its primary. New Hampshire has asked Nevada to move its caucuses to Jan. 17 or later.

Huntsman still faces an uphill battle in New Hampshire. He raised only $1,000 from two donations in the state in the third quarter. Recent polling shows support for Huntsman only at six percent in New Hampshire, with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney getting 41 percent and former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain getting 20 percent. Huntsman blamed "fickle" polls Wednesday morning on Fox News for him not breaking through in the polls.

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