By Geneva Sands - 09/12/11 05:25 PM EDT
Republican presidential contender Jon Huntsman said he believes Florida will decide the next GOP nominee.
"New Hampshire is going to be critically important because it is the first real test of retail politics … but here in Florida we're not conceding anything. My wife is from Orlando, Fla. For heaven's sake, she'd kick me out of the house if we did anything to diminish our presence here in Florida," Huntsman said Monday on Fox News.
"We're going to play to keep here in Florida because I do believe in Florida this is where the Republican nominee is going to be chosen."
GOP candidates including Huntsman are participating in a CNN/Tea Party debate tonight in Tampa, Fla.
The former Utah governor also told Fox News that the Republican Party can't "run from science" and expect to win a general election.
"I don't think you have to light your hair on fire in order to be a conservative. I don't think we should be seeding any of these issues to the Democrats," Huntsman said.
Huntsman has been critical of his opponents' skepticism on global warming and evolution.
"To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy," Huntsman tweeted last month.