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New Hampshire Primary: Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman Address Supporters

Aired January 10, 2012 - 21:00   ET


REP. RON PAUL (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you very much. I really don't have to introduce my wife. I think you know my wife, Carol.


PAUL: And we have a few other members of the family here. We have a daughter-in-law, Peggy. And --



PAUL: We have Lisa, Linda -- Linda and Mark. And you know we have another member of the family, but he's also on the staff. I think technically in the family, he's a grandson-in-law. That's Jesse Batten.


PAUL: But it is a delight, and, Jim, Senator Forsyth, thank you very much for your support along with Andy, for your co-sponsorship and Ray. Ray, I appreciate all that. It's just great.

I do want to mention three names of the individuals who did so much organization up here. And that Gerard Chicoin as well --


PAUL: I don't know if he's here. He's probably still making phone calls or something.


PAUL: And Bob Goodman, he's -- he's a tremendous amount of work here. And George Braun, he was fantastic.

But there was -- there was one other acknowledgement I wanted to make. I wanted to thank the union leader for not -- for not endorsing me.


PAUL: Now I called Governor Romney a short while ago, before he gave his talk, and congratulated him because he certainly had a clear cut victory. But we're nibbling at his heels.


PAUL: But there was another victory tonight. He had a victory, but we have had a victory for the cause of liberty tonight.


PAUL: There is -- there is no doubt, there is no doubt that this whole effort that we are involved in will not go unnoticed, let me tell you.


PAUL: I think the intellectual revolution that's going on now to restore liberty in this country is well on its way and there's no way they're going to stop the momentum that we have started.


PAUL: And that is the victory that you have brought about because you have been the ones that have done the works. There's a lot of people here, but the ones across the country, the donors and the excitement on the campuses, it's just unbelievable. We don't always get the coverage or the interest shown on what is going on, because if they did, they wouldn't -- they wouldn't be ignoring so much of what we're doing.

But you know, I find it sort of fascinating when they finally get around -- and this is different people, it could be in the media, it could be our opponents or whatever. But I sort of have to chuckle when they describe you and me as being dangerous.



PAUL: That's one thing they are telling the truth because we are dangerous to the status quo of this country.


PAUL: And we will remain a danger to the Federal Reserve system as well. Yes.


PAUL: And if they arrive, and if that. Yes.


PAUL: You know, in studying monetary history from the beginning of our country and even throughout all our history, monetary policy on periodic occasions will become the dominant issue. And we have emphasized that and it has become an important issue. Just think, this is the first presidential campaign that the subject ever came up since the Federal Reserve was started. So we are now -- because of what is happening, it will remain a dominant issue. There's no way they're going to put it to bed because they have destroyed our money. It's worldwide. There's a financial crisis going on and it's only sound money and personal liberty that can solve the crisis that we have today.


PAUL: The one reason -- the one reason I talk about the monetary system so much, it was a sneaky deceitful way to pay the bills. You know an honest government wants to be a big spending government, would tax the people and then the people would know what they were doing. If we had to pay taxes for everything that they do, you know, the people would rise up and stop it.

So then they started borrowing money a lot and then people didn't notice that quite as much because they didn't pass that on. But then they resorted to the printing of the money. And that is why the Federal Reserve was established, to take care of the powerful interests, the military industrial complex, the banking system, and deficit financing.

And there is a couple of reasons they have deficit financing. Sometimes there are conservatives that want deficit financing and sometimes there are liberals who want deficit financing. And they have resorted -- they have resorted to this and, of course, this is why we are facing this crisis today.

But it also serves those interests who like to think that we have this responsibility. They claim it's a moral responsibility to take our young people, put them into the military and send them hither and yon around the world, policing the world and using up the money.


PAUL: So just -- just as we have been able to bring to the forefront that most important issue of funny money, fiat money, the paper money system, the Federal Reserve, we have brought to the forefront, others have tokenly talked about it. They get in office and they do nothing about it.

Bur tight now, it is this liberty movement, which is seen as a patriotic movement, an individual liberty movement, that is saying to the country and to the world, we've had enough of sending our kids and our money around the world to be the policemen of the world. It's the time to bring them home.


CROWD: Bring them home. Bring them home. Bring them home.

PAUL: Bring them home.

CROWD: Bring them home. Bring them home. Bring them home. PAUL: The one thing is we do know they will come home. My goal and our goal has always been to bring them home in a deliberate fashion, to avoid major economic cries by destroying our economy by spending so much overseas.

In the last 10 years, the wars that have gone on added $4 trillion of debt. And I don't think we have been one bit safer for it. I think we have been less safe because of all the money that we have spent overseas.

So this is the issue now, it is -- it is an issue that I think is crucial. Jim mentioned in the introduction that, you know, so often, they say that if we tell people that we think we should spend less in the military, they say, oh, that means you want to cut defense? No. If you cut the military industrial complex, you cut war profiteering but you don't take one penny out of national defense.


PAUL: And besides, besides, we're flat-out broke. Fortunately, we did not have to fight the Soviets. The Soviets brought themselves down for economic reasons. Do you know that they were so foolish and thought themselves so bold that they could pursue their world empire that they invaded Afghanistan?

But we will come home, but if we do it now, calmly and deliberately, we can save our economy here at home because there are a lot of people who are suffering here at home. You have to stop the inflation because that's what destroys the middle class and that's what transfers the wealth from the poor and the middle class to the wealthy.

And that is why the wealthy got their bailouts and the middle class shrunk and they lost their jobs and they lost their houses. So this is what we have to do. We have to cut the spending. This is why I have made a token suggestion in the first year in office, we would cut at least $1 trillion from the budget.


PAUL: Now the one thing that -- the talk you hear in Washington is pure talk because there is nobody suggesting -- the other candidates are not talking about real cuts, they're talking about cutting proposed increases out in 10 years. They say, well, we'll cut a trillion. Yes, a trillion over a 10-year period which is $100 billion every year.

Our national debt is going up in real terms $100 billion every month and they claim that's cutting and they're yelling and screaming, we can't cut, we can't cut. We do have to cut. We have to live within our means if we want to be able to at least take care of the people who have been made to be so dependent on the government.

I mean, we have to work our way out. I would say if we did this and cut this overseas spending, at least we might be able to allow the Social Security beneficiaries to get their checks and medical care be provided.

But if we continue to do what we're doing, the results are that the dollar is destroyed and the whole thing comes apart and it's going to be a worldwide phenomena. Already, already, Social Security beneficiaries are suffering a lot. Their income is shrinking because the value of the dollar is going down, so they're getting -- they're getting their checks cut.

And that is why you have to think about the cutting and the stopping of the inflation. But overall, you have to ask, once again, as our founders did, what should the role of government be in a free society? The role should be very simple. The protection of liberty.


CROWD: Ron Paul revolution, bring us back our Constitution. Ron Paul revolution, bring us back our constitution. Ron Paul revolution, give us back our Constitution. Ron Paul revolution --

PAUL: Wonderful, wonderful. You know, the Constitution was written for a very precise manner. It was not designed to restrain the individual, not to restrain you, it was to protect your liberties and to restrain the federal government.


PAUL: But liberty has to be reemphasized because we have been careless over the last 100 years. We have taken liberty and chopped it up into pieces. Some people think liberty has to do with personal habits, which I agree. Other people think liberty is how to spend your money and they defend that part and they fight about when to do what.

What we need to do is make this emphasis that liberty means you have a right to your life and your privacy and the way you want to live your life as long as you don't hurt people and you have a right to keep and spend your money as you want to.


PAUL: Freedom, freedom is a wonderful idea and that's why I get so excited. But I really I get excited when I see young people saying it. It is a wonderful idea.

Freedom is popular, don't you know that?


PAUL: Now freedom brings people together. I think it's magnificent that the crowds that have come out over the weeks and months have been very diverse because it should be, because some people want their freedom to practice their religion, it's one way, maybe another way, some might not even want to practice it at all.

But freedom, if you understand it, you should all fight for freedom because you want to exert your freedom the way you want. Same way with economic freedom. It should bring people together. And I think this is one reason people worry about how you're ever going to put the coalition or how you're -- no, they don't want to call it. They said, how are you going to compromise and give up some of your beliefs in order to get some things passed?

You don't have to compromise. What you have to do is emphasize the coalitions that people want their freedoms for different reason and bring them together.


PAUL: It's been -- America has been the greatest country ever, the most prosperous country ever, the largest middle class ever. It's not that way today. Our middle class is shrinking, the country is getting poorer. The wealth is apparent, is based on Dad, the few who really hold the wealth, it's maldistribution because it shifts overdue to the regulations, the control of government.

We have had too many people too long in the last 100 years thinking that it was beneficial more to be -- have high paid lobbyists to get and to find out what they can get from the government rather than us petitioning our government in a proper manner, to petitioning our government and demanding our freedoms back again.


PAUL: A lot of times, they give us -- they give us trouble and they say, freedom, you people are just too selfish, all you want to do is have your freedom. You know and --


PAUL: They argue that that is the case. But the thing of it is, the people, the bleeding hearts, and I understand them and I recognize them and I believe most of them are well intended. But it doesn't work, is the problem. All that good intentions of saying, we're going to give everybody a free house and no loans and then they can borrow against the, you know, the equity. And look what happened. It was the bubble that burst and they lost their houses.

So the humanitarian instincts are there across the board. What we have to convince them, if you are a true humanitarian, you have to fight and argue the case for free market, sound money, property rights, contract rights, no use of force, and a sensible foreign policy so we don't waste our resources.


PAUL: We're well on our way. We're well on our way. People have asked me what did I expect five, 10 years ago? I had no idea. I always assumed that the best I could do is set a record. I didn't know you were out there.


PAUL: But it's no longer that irate tireless minority that is stirring up the troops, now that irate minority and so tireless as you have been, it's growing by leaps and bounds. It's going to continue to grow by leaps and bounds, and we will restore freedom to this country.

Thank you very much.


PAUL: Thank you.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Ron Paul, coming in second, delivering his speech. His obviously loved every word of the Texas congressman said. He has an impressive second place finish in New Hampshire. Mitt Romney the winner in New Hampshire. Jon Huntsman, the former Utah governor, coming in third.

We're standing by to hear from Jon Huntsman. Remember at the bottom of your screen, it's a focus group that we have of non- committed Republicans in Charleston, South Carolina. South Carolina January 21st, the next contest. You saw the lines go up and down, what they liked, what they didn't like, the men and the women.

We'll hear from Jon Huntsman and the other candidates. Much more of our coverage from the CNN Election Center when we come back.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And you're looking at a live shot at Jon Huntsman's headquarters in New Hampshire. We are anticipating his speech at any moment. We of course are going to bring that to you live. We're back here with all our analysts, our CNN contributors.

At this point, we've seen two very different speeches tonight, one from Mitt Romney and obviously one completely different from Ron Paul. What do you make of it so far?

ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY FOR PRES. BUSH: You know I got a tweet from somebody that said the issue with Ron Paul is not whether he wins or not. What's important is that he's doing a great job spreading libertarianism. And that's what his followers want. But he can't possibly win, neither can Jon Huntsman. Here's why.

They're both -- when you look at the numbers, their base is not the Republican Party. Their base is the liberal wing who's coming out and voting. Here's what Ron Paul, among somewhat liberal, 33 percent, moderate liberal, 24, somewhat conservative, 20, very conservative, 18 percent. He's going the wrong way in a party that's increasingly conservative.

Jon Huntsman's problem. Jon Huntsman does well among those who oppose the Tea Party, he won them, were satisfied with Barack Obama, he won them, and Democrats, who are middle with only 4 percent of the electorate in New Hampshire. But he won them, too. Both of them have bases outside the Republican Party. Look, I think this really comes down to -- COOPER: Although they would make the argument that in general election they can reach out to those who are in the Republican Party.

FLEISCHER: They're not going to get to the general elections, though. This is really going to come down to Newt Gingrich. And Rick Perry is going to hurt New Gingrich in a state where Newt could be strong. And that's South Carolina. Newt really is the only one left who can slow Mitt Romney down.

ROLAND S. MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You can mention Congressman Ron Paul in terms of, is he liberal, or whatever, look. A libertarian message sounds liberal when it comes to foreign policy but when it comes to fiscal issues extremely conservative.

FLEISCHER: That's not how Republicans vote.



MARTIN: Because when you look at the debate, the attacks by Rick Santorum on others, and Newt Gingrich and Romney, on Paul, they did not go after him on fiscal issues, they went after him on foreign policy issues, whether it was Israel, whether it was Iran, whether it was Afghanistan and Iraq.

COOPER: James.

JAMES CARVILLE, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: I'm just -- Paul, he just sort of goes out and says these things that are remarkable. We are all Austrians, he said, in Iowa. And then he says, I'm glad I didn't get the union leader endorsement. I was wondering what that focus group in South Carolina --

COOPER: Although it's interesting to watch the focus group in South Carolina respond to --


COOPER: Bringing the troops home, for one. And obviously his fiscal message.

CARVILLE: And particularly the women, the women shot way up on bringing the troops home. That was -- really sort of interesting. It was interesting.

Paul, everything with Romney was scripted down to the clothes people wore to the color assigned. But Paul, he just sort of takes off on the union leader. He takes off -- I did think -- you know, I'm interested some of the panel address this. I found him a little more energized, a little testier tonight than he usually is.

COOPER: Paul or --

CARVILLE: Paul. Paul. A little bit more. He's usually a little more affable than he came across tonight. He's very energized. And he's seen the --

COOPER: He said he's nipping at Mitt Romney's heels.

CARVILLE: Right. A little bit.

LOESCH: Paul gets a sizable number of the independents. But one of the things that kind of shocked me, and I realized that New Hampshire conservatives are vastly different than Midwestern conservatives or southern conservatives. But you had a good proportion of Tea Partiers that voted for Mitt Romney, whereas when you look at Huntsman, 51 percent of those surveyed in exit polling strongly opposed the Tea Party. And Huntsman is trying to be a non- Romney.

CARVILLE: He is going to come out, he is getting beat as bad tonight as LSU got beat last night. And we didn't go out and claimed victory.


MARTIN: Wow. That bad?

CARVILLE: We got beat.

MARTIN: That bad?

CARVILLE: He's getting beat by 20 points. How does he claim victory?

COOPER: It was interesting.


CARVILLE: But we didn't claim we won. We didn't claim we won. We didn't come out -- we said we got beat but you know Todd --

COOPER: Earlier he was interviewed by Jim Acosta on CNN. And he called his third place position solid, comforting and confident -- or comfortable and confident.


FLEISCHER: He's 20 points behind Romney.

MARTIN: I think James pointed something out.

FLEISCHER: The morning after is very different. And that's the fight --

COOPER: Although he said, in the morning after, there's not going to be a note saying, "Jon Huntsman has dropped out." Do you buy that?

MARTIN: And actually James found the actual issue with that. As we showed the camera shot of Huntsman writing his speech, there were bottles of beer on the stand right behind him. He had to be drunk making that ridiculous statement. How will you stay --


MARTIN: It's a sling shot. Third is a sling shot? Seriously?

LOESCH: This is somebody that we saw, too, and I almost fell over quite honestly when I saw this. Thirty-nine percent of those surveyed were satisfied -- that voted for Huntsman were satisfied with the Obama administration. I look at that, I look at how he's polled in some other areas, he doesn't have a hope outside of New Hampshire.


COOPER: Can he go into South Carolina -- in South Carolina, I mean his poll numbers are --

CARVILLE: Right. Look --


CARVILLE: If you get beat by 20 points, you didn't win.


MARTIN: He's lower than Stephen Colbert in South Carolina.

FLEISCHER: Why are we talking so much about him? He's not going --

LOESCH: He's not what he said. It's done. It's done.

FLEISCHER: South Carolina is mainstream Republican conservativism. And you don't get a lot of the new voters, the young voters, that things that propelled either Paul or -- not even Huntsman's. It's going to come down to whether Perry can catch fire and then whether Newt's anti-Romney ads can make a difference in taking Romney down. That's what South Carolina is all about.

COOPER: I want to bring in some of our political analysts.

David Gergen, you watched very closely Mitt Romney's speech tonight. You think that's kind of the speech he's prepping for the general election, the way the speech --

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Absolutely. I think this is a preview of his speech that he intends to make at the convention when he accepts the nomination. I thought it was the most important speech he's made in this campaign.

COOPER: The most important?

GERGEN: I think so. More important than the debates because it was his -- as James pointed out, he intentionally came out early in primetime, when he would have the maximum audience. He did not wait a round, he really wanted to go, wanted to get that audience. He was using a teleprompter, this was clearly scripted. COOPER: Which in Iowa, they put away after Rick Santorum.

GERGEN: Yes. And it was a forgettable speech in Iowa. I can't remember a word of what he said in Iowa.

COOPER: Well, he recorded the song, "Oh Beautiful" --

GERGEN: Yes, right.

COOPER: So spacious skies.

GERGEN: I can remember the song but not the speech.

COOPER: Right. I just remember the (INAUDIBLE) of gray and he made a joke about it which is something he had done numerous times before.

GERGEN: Right. Right. Yes.

LOESCH: Right.

GERGEN: But tonight, this was -- this was the heart and soul of what he's going to be doing in this campaign I think for the next few months. Two other things, he had tried to inoculate himself against the attacks that are coming. Ari Fleischer was right. One of the big questions is, whether Gingrich dumping $3.5 worth of negative advertising will really hurt him in South Carolina. He's trying to inoculate himself against that. The other thing I found --

COOPER: The super PAC that's going to be doing the ad buy.

GERGEN: Absolutely. The other thing on Bain and all the rest. The other thing I found really interesting is he is now drawing much more heavily upon Ann Romney, his wife, and she's coming out with the sons. She does so much more to help warm people up toward him than he can do himself right now.

COOPER: She gave -- she gave the opening speech.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: She did. Yes, and she makes him see more authentic.


BORGER: And so does his family. And the problem that Mitt Romney has had for the last couple of days when he's told voters in New Hampshire, I know what it feels like to be worried about getting a pink slip and all the rest, is that he hasn't seemed really authentic. And I think she helps him there.

But I want to point out also something in this speech because he really took a direct shot at Newt Gingrich. I mean a total direct shot where he said that some Republicans were joining with Barack Obama and he said, quote, "In the last few days we have seen some desperate Republicans join forces with him."

And that was clearly Newt Gingrich and on to South Carolina. Newt Gingrich has nothing to show for tonight, by the way.

COOPER: At this point, does Romney have to go all in on South Carolina? I mean --

BORGER: Sure. Yes.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He is all in, of course. Because he knows that -- he has every reason to go all in. One, he's leading in the polls right now. And number two, he has the governor's support, some question about whether she's lost a little bit of her popularity. But better to have her than to not have her in the state.

And number three, South Carolina is very proud of its history of deciding. Iowa win knows the field, New Hampshire win knows the field. Go back through history. South Carolina picks Republican presidential nominees.

If he wins the state and opens 3-0, a lot of people at home are going to be saying, no, it's about delegates. No, it's about delegates. No, it's about delegates.


KING: If Newt Gingrich keeps coming in at 10 percent, it's very hard to make the argument, I'm a stronger nominee than Mitt Romney, never mind he beat me three states in a row. He won't be able to raise the money. No one is going to write a check for him or his super PAC. So Romney wins, it's a home field win tonight. So yes, sure, some people would discount it. If you look at the margin, he's at 37 percent. My bet is that margin goes up a little bit because of where the votes are still out tonight.

It's a good win for him. We're about to hear from Jon Huntsman. He bet everything that Iowa would weaken Romney, he would win New Hampshire. He's going to spin third place tonight. They wanted to win New Hampshire. He borrowed the John McCain staff. He borrowed the John McCain message, reaching out to independents. He borrowed "Country First," the slogan.

The one thing, Anderson, he couldn't borrow, McCain's voters.



WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: You know, we're getting ready to hear from Jon Huntsman, who's come in third in New Hampshire. We're going to go hear his remarks. And remember we've got this focus group in Charleston, South Carolina. They're going to be assessing as he goes along.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, please --

BLITZER: You can see some members of his family are already there. We'll take a quick break. When we come back, Jon Huntsman in New Hampshire, right after this.

We're not going to take a break because there is Jon Huntsman and his wife, Mary Kay, and his daughters. He's got two sons who are serving in the United States Navy. Right now, they seem pretty happy. They certainly don't look like a candidate that is even thinking of dropping out of this race. They got their arms raised over there.

Jon Huntsman getting ready to speak. So we'll listen.

JON HUNTSMAN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ladies and gentlemen, I think we're in the hunt.


CROWD: On the hunt, on the hunt, on the hunt. On the hunt, on the hunt.

HUNTSMAN: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.

I'd say third place is a ticket to ride, ladies and gentlemen.


Ladies and gentlemen, we are here tonight because of you. We've got the greatest volunteers, the greatest organizers this state has ever seen. Give yourselves a hand!

And we proved the point that this state wants its candidates to earn it the old-fashioned way. That's on the ground, hand shake by hand shake, conversation by conversation, vote by vote. We got it done, ladies and gentlemen!

You know what else we got done during this great seven months where we've had at least 170 public events in this great state -- 170 public events. No one even came close. We had conversations about the importance of putting this country first, ladies and gentlemen. Because the people --

CROWD: Country first, Country first, Country first, Country first, Country first.

HUNTSMAN: -- because the people of this great nation, the greatest nation that ever was, they're tired of being divided. They want leadership that will stand up and tell us all that, first and foremost, we need to come together as Americans in order to solve our problems.

We need a president, ladies and gentlemen, who is going to stand up and say we have an economic deficit. It's called 15 trillion dollars in debt. This isn't a debt problem. It is a national security problem. And we are not going to leave it to the next generation of Americans, ladies and gentlemen.

And I want to stand up and I want to square with the American people about this. Afghanistan is not our nation's future. And Iraq is not this nation's future. Our nation's future is how prepared we are to rise up as the American people and hit head-on the competitive challenges of the 21st century. You know what I'm talking about?

And this is about economics. This is about education. This is going to play out over the Pacific Ocean, with countries that I have lived in before. All I can tell you tonight, without any hint of hyperbole, folks, if we don't get our act together at home, we will see the end of the American century by 2050. And we are not going to let that happen, are we?


HUNTSMAN: Ladies and gentlemen, we have also been able to get our message out to the people of this great state about a second deficit that we have. It's not an economic deficit, but it is just as corrosive as the economic deficit. It's called a trust deficit.

Because the people of the greatest nation that ever was, the United States of America, no longer trust their institutions of power and no longer trust their elected officials. And I say, how did we get to this spot? We are too good as people to be in this hole.

We are the most blue sky, problem solving, can do, optimistic people on Earth. And we're going to get out there and we're going to address the trust deficit. It's going to start -- it's going to start with Congress, because everybody knows Congress needs term limits!

Everybody knows we have to close that revolving door that allows members of Congress to file right on out to become lobbyists, trading in on their insider information and relationships. And we wonder why there is cynicism, as seen by the American people toward Congress. No trust!

I say, there is no trust in our wars abroad, ladies and gentlemen. And we're going to fix that part. Because I'm going to stand up in front of the American people and I'm going to say, we have something to show for our 10 years in the war on terror. Something to show for the American people that's mighty important.

We have run the Taliban from power. We have up-ended and dismantled al Qaeda. They're now in sanctuaries in Waziristan and beyond. Osama bin Laden is no longer along. We have had free elections. We have strengthened civil society and helped the military and helped the police.

We have done what this nation can do. It is time to bring the troops home from Afghanistan, ladies and gentlemen. We need trust infused back into this nation. We need a president who's going to be able to stand up and say it's time we come together as Americans, first and foremost.

This nation, the greatest nation on Earth, has every attribute a nation would ever want for success. You know that? That's why we're going to succeed as we go forward. All we need is a little bit of leadership and a plan. I saw this nation from 10,000 miles away. You hear me? Ten thousand miles away. When you see this nation from abroad, you tend to see it in bold colors. You know what I saw from 10,000 miles away, living over in China?

I saw a nation with the greatest people on Earth, a nation that is down for the moment, down temporarily, but a nation that's about to rise up again, because we have every attribute a nation would ever want to succeed.

We have stability. We have rule of law. We have the longest surviving Constitution in the world. We even have private property rights right here in New Hampshire. We have the greatest colleges and universities on Earth.

And people flock here from every corner to attend them. We have the most creative innovative and entrepreneurial people anywhere. And they're sitting on their hands because there is no confidence about the direction or the leadership of this nation.

And I say, that's an engine of growth that we are going to re- fire. I say, we have the greatest and most courageous armed forces this nation has ever seen.


HUNTSMAN: I'll be darned if we're going to allow the men and women to come from the theaters of combat, the front lines, to the unemployment lines. That's not going to happen.

Those men and women who have worn the uniform of the United States of America in the theater of combat are going to come home to dignity and respect and to admiration. And they're going to come home to jobs and opportunity as well.

And they're going to do the same thing for this nation that the Greatest Generation did so many decades ago. They rebuilt this nation. They pulled this nation up by the bootstraps. And there's another greatest generation coming up.

You know the people I'm talking about? They're in your families. They're in our neighborhoods. We love them all. They are going to do what earlier generations did. They are going to help us rebuild this nation. They are going to help us make it the very best it possibly can be.

Ladies and gentlemen, I love this state. This state -- this state -- this state, we have worked hard and diligently. We have pounded the pavement. We have shaken hands. We have had conversations. We have won people over, person by person.

This is the old way to get politics done in New Hampshire. My confidence in the system is reborn because of the people in New Hampshire, because they just turn out at these town hall meetings. Nobody forces them. Nobody tells them they have to do it. It's because they believe in a better tomorrow for the United States of America.


HUNTSMAN: Thank you. Thank you very much. They turn out to the town hall meetings and they turn out to the house parties. And they hear from the candidates. And then they assimilate and they digest it all. And then they render a judgment.

And here we sit tonight, ladies and gentlemen, with a ticket to ride and to move on. Here we go to South Carolina.

Thank you all so very much. Thank you. Thank you all so very much. Thank you!

BLITZER: No reassessment on his part at all. Jon Huntsman coming in third, but insisting he's going off to South Carolina and then Florida. Jon Huntsman not dropping out of this race, coming in third after Ron Paul and Mitt Romney.

More candidates are getting ready to speak, including Newt Gingrich. We'll hear what the former Speaker of the House has to say when we come back.


BLITZER: OK. Live pictures of city hall. But there you see number one, number two and number three in New Hampshire, in the primary: Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman. They finish in that order.

We have heard the three of them speak already. We are waiting to hear from Newt Gingrich.

Let me show you the votes right now, what we have. We have projected the winners, second place and third place. Right now, with 53 percent of the precincts officially reporting, Mitt Romney, the winner, has 38 percent. Ron Paul coming second, 24 percent. Jon Huntsman third, 17 percent. Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, they're both vying for fourth, 10 percent each. Look at how close it is right now; 11,688 for Rick Santorum, 11,655 for Newt Gingrich. Rick Perry coming in last with only one percent, 889 votes.

But there is a little battle going on for fourth place between Newt Gingrich -- Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.

I want go to Candy Crowley right now. She's over at Romney headquarters. I guess the crowd sort of dissipated shortly after he left. Is that right, Candy?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they did, in fact. The partying is taking place elsewhere.

Let me bring in first -- we have our trio of smart people. Let me talk to you first because I -- you and I had the same sort of impression. This was a different Romney and a different crowd and a different feel than a week ago. DONNA BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: The atmosphere was totally different. There was a lot more energy, a lot more enthusiasm. The volunteers showed up early. They came from working the polls. Clearly, they love what Mitt Romney had to say. They're eager to go out there and help him on the next leg of the trip.

Last week, I didn't see so many people. I didn't see all his finance people. I didn't see all his surrogates. He brought the entire team to New Hampshire to make sure that the victory tonight was convincing.

CROWLEY: This is a guy you can see going up against the president. Whereas last week, you thought, not worried so much.

BRAZILE: Tonight, I saw the team. I saw the energy. I saw the enthusiasm. But you know what I haven't seen? I haven't seen the kind of turnout that I expected among Republicans. They have had a lot of time to make their case to voters up here. What I'm looking at tonight in terms of the overall numbers, Mitt Romney may not meet the expectations of what he did back in 2008, when over 75,000 people voted for him.

MORGAN: We're looking, I think, 38 percent is what we saw last for Mitt Romney on this, which is well ahead of everybody, actually. What -- we thought he might be hurt by the last couple of days, with the whole idea of Bain and the bad capitalist, that kind of thing. You think it helped him.

MARY MATALIN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: This is a great night for him, not just the victory, which is imperative, but the internals, as they've all been discussing. He racked it up across the board. Ironically, the Bain thing was good for him because he was going to have to deal with that, the Obama people already coming that way.

But that attack and the way in which it came, from the left, vilifying capitalism -- and what he has had to say tonight has now made Mitt Romney the champion of capitalism and moral capitalism, because he started connecting tonight the good -- capitalism and markets to this goodness of the country. That's something that Santorum did last week.

All around, good night. This Bain thing, again, the way in which they came at it is really not just anathema. It's almost sacrilegious.

CROWLEY: It wasn't the left that came at him. It was the right that came at him.

MATALIN: The right coming at him from the left, vilifying capitalism, is a sacrilege. I can't even -- the conservative intelligentsia is -- they're aghast.

And so my point is it helped him in two ways, preparing him for that argument, but he can be very righteous in defense of capitalism now. He's the champion. MORGAN: You seem to be parsing -- I know you were really interested in how the independents came in. Does anything sort of strike you looking at those numbers?

JOHN AVLON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: It is very striking. Not only independent voters also made up 50 percent of the total turnout in this open primary. What's significant, Ron Paul won the independent vote fairly decisively. That libertarian message resonating, live free or die state.

Mitt Romney, though, came in second. That speaks to how broad based and strong his overall showing was tonight. And Jon Huntsman a distant third, translating to that third place. Overall disappointing in the face of his surge in recent days.

CROWLEY: John Avlon, Mary Matalin, Donna Brazile. Back to Wolf Blitzer.

BLITZER: Thanks very much. We're standing by to hear from Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. They're battling it out for fourth place right now.

I'm anxious to hear what they say. I'm anxious to hear how the South Carolina focus group we have reacts to what they're saying. We'll take a quick break. More coverage from the CNN Election Center right after this.


BLITZER: Welcome back. We're still awaiting the speeches from Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum. They're fighting out for fourth and fifth place right now. We'll hear their speeches, both of them. We'll see who is speaking first. Then we'll go there live.

But in the meantime, as we await Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, let's check in with John King once again. John, what -- 59 -- almost 60 percent of the precincts have reported. Mitt Romney has a decisive lead. These are the official numbers. We've projected him the winner.

KING: A decisive lead as we wait for Speaker Gingrich. Worth noting, he has not won one city or town in New Hampshire right now. So a disappointing showing, as you mentioned. He's in a fight for fourth place with Rick Santorum.

I spoke to the former speaker earlier today. He described South Carolina as a must-win state for him. Not a lot of bounce he's going to get out of New Hampshire. What do you see here? The dark red is Mitt Romney. As the map fills in, an impressive showing so far, especially where the people are: Concord, Manchester, Nashua. Mitt Romney running up big numbers.

Also an impressive showing for Ron Paul. That's the orange on your screen. He's in second with 24 percent. Jon Huntsman projected -- this is a big win, Wolf. This is a major disappointment if you base it on what they hoped to do at the beginning of the campaign. He says he'll go on.

One point I want to make is it's possible -- it's possible -- a lot of people are going to say what does this say about Mitt Romney's strength. It's possible that number -- that percentage could actually go up. Why? Because about 70 percent of the people in New Hampshire liver down here in some of these towns that have yet to report, especially along the Massachusetts border.

Let's pull the map up and stretch it out a little bit. If you look down here, Nashua is in; 33 percent of the vote in. Romney with 44 percent. Again, that's above what he's getting state wide. If those margins continue, as we get the remaining two thirds of the precincts, that will boost his state-wide percentage.

You move over here, Hudson, about two percent of the state population. We have nothing there right now. If these cities and towns track what happens in these cities and towns, Romney's percentage will go up. A decent amount of the population there. A small amount here in Pelham (ph). Another population, Wyndham, the Romney campaign believes they will do very well here. This is a key place to look.

Salem, a little more than two percent of the population. The Romney campaign believes it will have numbers at a much higher percentages than their state-wide number right now out of that southern corner of the state. Closest to Massachusetts -- remember he's the former Massachusetts governor.

So that's worth watching. The Romney percentage could go up a little bit. We see it fluctuating now between 37, 38. There is a possibility he could move it up to 39.

Up here, you see a lot of the votes still out. This is the north country, north of Conway. Ski areas here, mountains and hunting range up here. Smaller towns, Wolf, not going to affect the margins up here. But if you look at this, the dark red is Mitt Romney today.

Let's go back in time. That light red, that's John McCain four years ago. The dark red was Romney. Did well down here, little bit of pockets down here. He is winning in a much broader fashion tonight, somewhere around 37, 38 percent. Again, it could go a little bit higher.

If you're Gingrich, if you're Santorum, you're not getting much here tonight. I will say this about Senator Santorum, as we go forward, Newt Gingrich says South Carolina is a must-win. His campaign didn't spend a dime on TV state-wide in New Hampshire.

The Santorum campaign bought 1.5 million dollars of TV time in South Carolina today. The battle for the conservative Evangelical vote is going to be crowded -- crowded -- Perry, Santorum, Gingrich. Huntsman says he will stay. Most people think that benefits Romney.

BLITZER: Yes, but if you add up Santorum and Gingrich, that's still only 20 percent. Romney is getting close to almost 40 percent. That's pretty impressive, when you think about it. KING: In his home field, in his home field. It is impressive. A win is a win, and this is an impressive win for Mitt Romney. The question is, can he carry it over?

Again, in this campaign, he exorcised the Iowa ghost by eight votes. But winning ugly beats losing. Tonight, he's exercising the ghost of losing four years ago on his home turf in the state of New Hampshire. The question is can he continue? Can he become a three and zero Republican candidate? That would give him a lot of momentum heading into Florida, Nevada, Michigan and beyond.

BLITZER: Some of those southern towns over there, they're basically suburbs of Boston, if you will. So he's going to do well there, as you point out. That 38 percent can go up. John, thanks very much.

Let's go to over Erin and Gloria right now. They're going to take us inside these numbers a little bit deeper. What else are you seeing?

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: We're starting to look -- as we are looking ahead to South Carolina and what comes next, what do voters in New Hampshire think about a negative campaign. Who ran the most unfair campaign. Now this was close between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. But 26 percent of voters tonight in our exit poll thought that Newt Gingrich waged the most unfair campaign. Now Mitt Romney was close.

But let's flick this over to Gloria to talk about this. The people who thought that Newt Gingrich ran the most unfair campaign, they ended up voting for Mitt Romney overwhelmingly.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: There are a couple of interesting things about this. First of all, this is clearly -- we have got Rick Santorum coming up, speaking, I'm told.

BURNETT: He's speaking right now. So let's send it over to Wolf.

BLITZER: There he is, Rick Santorum with his wife. Let's listen in.

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We came up here just about ten days ago. The polls were having us about one or two percent. After Iowa, the most recent poll was three percent. We have, depending on your math, either ten times, five times or three times the -- where we started. And that's what we wanted to do.

We wanted to respect the process here. We wanted to respect the fact that we were going to campaign in every single state, states that, you know, were good for us and states that may be a little tougher. When you run in a state like New Hampshire that had a lot of folks here and spending a lot of time here, a lot of money -- we knew it would be tough.

But you know what? The message we have of going out and believing -- believing in the American people, believing that we needed to have opportunity, not just for some in America, but we needed someone who was going to go out and speak for all Americans to be able to have the opportunities to rise in society.

And we took that message here to New Hampshire. (INAUDIBLE) We took that message here to New Hampshire. We took it, talking about our manufacturing plan, talking about what we were going to do to grow this economy. And we took it to talk about faith and family as the bedrock of our society.


SANTORUM: And by your work and the grassroots effort and the crowds we had, we built this campaign here in New Hampshire in just a very short period of time. We didn't spend a lot of money, but we put a lot of effort into this. And we put our message out there.

We came where the campaign was and we delivered a message not just for New Hampshire, but we delivered a message for America, that we have a campaign here -- yeah.


SANTORUM: -- that we have a campaign that has a message and a messenger that can deliver what we need, which is, first and foremost, to defeat Barack Obama, number one.


SANTORUM: The message, as I mentioned in Iowa, from the grandson of a coal miner, someone who believed deeply that the responsibility he had as someone who risked his life for a sovereign, a king -- when he served in the Austrian Army during World War I. And he fought on the Russian Front.

If it wasn't for the aid of a friend in the middle of the night crawling out from a foxhole and pulling my wounded grandfather back into the foxhole, I wouldn't be here today. He fought for someone who didn't care about him or his freedom or his children's freedom.

And so he came to America because he wanted to make sure that his children would be in a free country, and his grandchildren would be in a free country.

Ladies and gentlemen, that is our charge. And that is what is at stake in America today.


SANTORUM: Let me assure you, he was not deferred by temporary setbacks. He believed in the greatness of the country. And he believed in the freedom of opportunity that this country presented. We're going to go on to South Carolina. For those --

(APPLAUSE) SANTORUM: For those who would like to think that somehow or another that this race can be over in one or two states, states that have been -- well, let's say the backyard and the home of a certain candidate and who -- by the way, I want to absolutely congratulate Mitt Romney for a great victory tonight.

He worked hard in this state. He invested in this state. And the people of New Hampshire gave him a very hard earned victory.