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Huntsman On Iowa Absence: ‘They Pick Corn In Iowa’

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Republican presidential candidate former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman speaks during a GOP presidential debate in Sioux City, Iowa, Thursday, December 15, 2011. (Photo by AFP PHOTO / Pool / Eric Gay)

Republican presidential candidate former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman speaks during a GOP presidential debate in Sioux City, Iowa, Thursday, December 15, 2011. (Photo by AFP PHOTO / Pool / Eric Gay)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Former U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman is defending his refusal to compete in the leadoff Iowa Republican precinct caucuses, focusing instead on New Hampshire.

Huntsman tells CBS’s “The Early Show” the formula, so far as he is concerned, is quite elementary. Says Huntsman: “They pick corn in Iowa. They pick presidents in New Hampshire.”

The former Utah governor has made little effort to win in Iowa, focusing mostly on New Hampshire in the early going. He has remained in the lower tier of candidates as others, including Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum — and at one time, Herman Cain — soared in the polls. He was ambassador to China for President Barack Obama, but says that shouldn’t be used against him as he seeks the Republican presidential nomination.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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