Manchester, N.H. — In a downtown restaurant, packed with Huntsman supporters and media, Jon Huntsman painted his third-place finish as victory that gave his campaign momentum going forward.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I think we’re in the hunt!” were his first words after going on stage, a declaration that elicited from the crowd a chant of “On the hunt! On the hunt!”
“I’d say third place is a ticket to ride,” Huntsman added. “Hello, South Carolina!”
Huntsman, who has campaigned constantly in the Granite State since his initial campaign announcement, made sure to include a few words of affection for New Hampshire style politics.
“My confidence in the system is reborn because of the people of New Hampshire,” he said, lauding them for showing up to town hall meetings and house parties to meet presidential candidates.
Huntsman was joined on stage by his wife, Mary Kaye, and his three eldest daughters, the glamorous trio behind the Jon2012girls Twitter account. Also present on stage was his father, Jon Huntsman Sr. If the elder Huntsman decides to start pouring a significant chunk of his wealth into the super PAC backing his son, it could be a game changer.
Huntsman ended his speech on the same optimistic note he had begun on. “Here we sit tonight,” he said, “with a ticket to ride and to move on!”