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Huntsman campaign drama spills over

AP

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R)

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Scenes of internal tensions, tears and disorganization within Jon Huntsman's campaign spilled into plain view before dawn this morning, with a new report from Jonathan Martin at Politico detailing internal discord among senior staffers and campaign strategist John Weaver.

According to Politico, David Fischer (a long-time family friend of Huntsman and Huntsman's father) who was asked to exit the campaign by Weaver, said Huntsman's early failures were rooted in Weaver's problematic management style and "verbal abuse." Fischer recounted worry among family and staffers at Florida headquarters and disclosed previously unknown staff resignations.

When NBC News asked about overall campaign strategy here yesterday, Huntsman said it is not his responsibility.

"Listen I am not going to get into strategy," Huntsman said. "I don't do strategy for a living; I am the candidate. I have a message and I have a vision, and that's my job."

This morning, spokesman Tim Miller called the new developments mere "inside-the-beltway banter."

"Gov. Huntsman is very confident in the campaign's leadership, including John Weaver," Miller told NBC News in an email and phone conversation. "The campaign is on a path to victory with trusted advisers, the right message, and most importantly, the most-prepared and most-accomplished candidate in the field. He's focused on solving this nation's problems, not inside-the-beltway banter."

Today, Huntsman continues campaigning through New Hampshire with a meeting at the Salem Chamber of Commerce and a speech to the Derry Republican Committee.

*** UPDATE *** Miller contacted First Read to clarify that Huntsman is confident in the campaign's leadership and that includes Weaver.

*** CORRECTION *** Miller did not misspell John Weaver's name. That was First Read's mistake.