Huntsman Jr. made the same case to Bret Baier on Fox News earlier this week.

“It's like a startup company. Introduce it to the marketplace and people start buying, you'll get additional investors,” he said. “If we go up in New Hampshire, more money comes in.”

The Huntsman campaign has staked its prospects on winning the New Hampshire primary, with the hope that momentum in the early-voting state will lead to successive primary wins. But as a centrist candidate in a crowded GOP field, Huntsman Jr. consistently comes in last in the polls, and in some cases barely registers.

That hasn’t discouraged his father.

"I think that Jon Jr., first of all, is a great fighter,” Huntsman Sr. said. “He's a great competitor. Nothing gets him down. He's a great optimist and he doesn't get uptight. Nobody gets to him. You'll never see Jon Jr. get upset. He keeps his cool, even under fire. That's the kind of person you want to see, who has their hand on the trigger or who can negotiate with future enemies of America or the great challenges of the economics of America."

The admiration seems to run both ways. At the Bloomberg-Washington Post Republican presidential debate in October, Huntsman Jr. said he would seek the advice of someone like his father if he made it to the White House.

“I'd like the profile of my own father, who's a great entrepreneur,” he said. “And he started with nothing, and he built a great business. And my brother now runs that business. People who have been out in the world, who have actually had their hands on products and manufacturing and know how to build something from the ground up, that's what this country has always done. It's what we need to continue to do.”