Laconia, Dover, and Hampton, NH--Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman wouldn't rule out spending more of his personal fortune on his flagging presidential campaign during a campaign swing in New Hampshire.
Huntsman, who's struggled to gain traction in the polls and whose campaign was saddled with almost $1 million in debt at the end of Sept., said when asked by a reporter if he will pump personal cash into his New Hampshire-centric operation: "It's not about putting money in. It's about messaging."
"As we go up and gain traction in New Hampshire, our fundraising goes up 250 percent. So it's the marketplace at work. If we do well here and if the polls ahead we're showing signs of life, money will come," Huntsman said hopefully on Sunday.
Huntsman stuck to an aggressive campaign schedule in New Hampshire, trudging through the snow to four campaign stops Sunday despite the fact that much of New Hampshire had been without power for 24 hours due to a major weekend snowstorm.
Huntsman, who loaned his campaign $2 million last quarter, also criticized the role of super PACs in campaigns. Our Destiny PAC, the super PAC organized to support Huntsman, has yet to execute any advertising on his behalf.
"If you could wish away all the SuperPACs, I would do that in an instant. We don't need that," Huntsman told reporters. "In fact you know the sad commentary is to remain competitive today you've got to have organizations raise money to do this and that. Is that the best way to do it? I don't think so. I don't think we've found the best way to finance campaigns."
According to his campaign's recent fundraising reports, Huntsman is suffering from a cash flow problem. His campaign only had a paltry $300,000 cash on hand at the end of the quarter 3 along with nearly $900,000 of debt. Many have wondered if his billionaire father, Jon Huntsman Sr., will contribute to Our Horizon.
Huntsman, who this fall folded his multi-state strategy and moved his national campaign headquarters to New Hampshire for financial reasons, has sustained more aggressive attacks against GOP front runners in the Granite State during this campaign swing.
Just days after launching a web video criticizing Mitt Romney, Huntsman distributed hard copies of his economic plan to voters at town hall meetings before criticizing each of his competitors' alternatives.
"People don't want a well-lubricated weather vane," Huntsman said of Mitt Romney. "They don't want someone who's been on every side of all the major issues of the day, from life right on to what's playing out in Ohio on union reform. They want someone who's gonna be straight up and consistent."
"And Rick Perry's a friend. He's put forward a flat tax and I say, 'I did a flat tax as governor.' That's a pretty good thing but the problem with Rick's plan is that it's an option and we're still stuck with the same old system," he said in Dover of the Texas governor. "That doesn't get us where we need to be."
Huntsman called Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan "a non-starter with Congress."
On a lighter note, Huntsman said he is taking cues on campaign strategy from his three daughters, who have become notable for their tweets and now a video from the campaign trail. Abby, Mary Anne and Liddy Huntsman recently published a YouTube video poking fun at Herman Cain's viral ad featuring his campaign manager Mark Block smoking a cigarette. The video some voters said on Sunday has gotten more attention on the New Hampshire campaign than Huntsman himself.
"You [campaign] in the old fashioned way that I do, you give important policy speeches here and there and a few people tune in," Huntsman told voters in Hampton. "And your daughters get on YouTube and it goes viral. I say, 'Okay I’m beginning to understand how politics works these days.'"