Huntsman says third-place finish in NH means he'll stay in race

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Huntsman bet the future of his campaign on the Granite State, choosing to campaign almost exclusively there and making the risky choice to ignore Iowa where the first vote of 2012 was held last Tuesday. He made slow gains in the state, only seeing a strong surge this week in the days leading up to the vote. The candidate acknowledged this week in several interviews that he needed to “exceed market expectations” in the voting results in order to move on from the state. “That’s the way to win the electability argument,” Huntsman told Fox News on Tuesday.

"The people of South Carolina will be looking for the same thing that the people of New Hampshire have been looking for and that's electability," Huntsman said. He also took a shot at GOP rival Mitt Romney, who took first place with a strong lead in New Hampshire, saying the GOP needs a nominee who will "not talk about the enjoyment of firing people or pink slips in the way that they'll get tripped up by the DNC [Democratic National Committee] and by the Chicago machine that has a billion dollars behind it."

Romney faced a barrage of attacks this week after his fellow candidates and the DNC criticized him for saying about health insurers, "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me."