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updated: 9/1/2011 10:18 PM

Huntsman sets high expectations

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  • Republican presidential candidate former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman of Utah speaks Wednesday during a campaign stop at Gilchrist Metal Fabrication in Hudson, N.H.

      Republican presidential candidate former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman of Utah speaks Wednesday during a campaign stop at Gilchrist Metal Fabrication in Hudson, N.H.
    associated press

 
Associated Press

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Brushing off bad poll numbers, presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman on Thursday predicted that he'll win New Hampshire's Republican primary -- even as he acknowledged that his campaign manager for the state had been fired.

"I want to put you on notice. We're going to win this state. We're going to win this primary," the former Utah governor said at the popular Politics and Eggs discussion series.

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His comments came in the same week he earned just 1 percent in two national polls. And they came the same day he confirmed the firing of New Hampshire campaign manager Ethan Eilon.

Huntsman would not explain why Eilon was fired, but spokesman Michael Levoff said, "The campaign is very pleased with the leadership team we have in place in New Hampshire."

Huntsman, himself, also said that polls are meaningless this early. And he offered a subtle jab at Texas Gov. Rick Perry, his Republican opponent and someone he later called a friend.

"I might not have the Texas Rangers here, I might not have a large entourage," he said, a reference to Perry's recent campaign stops.

Huntsman met with voters the day after releasing a formal jobs plan which calls for lowering corporate tax rates and ending loopholes.

Appearing earlier Thursday on NBC's "Today," Huntsman criticized his GOP rivals, saying "we're getting drama but not solutions."

Asked if Perry and Michele Bachmann are too far to the right to beat Obama in 2012, he said voters "don't want politics at the extreme ends."

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