Huntsman slams Romney, launches New Hampshire ad

Republican presidential candidate, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman speaks to media while walking through Eagle Square in Concord, N.H., Monday, Jan. 9, 2012. AP Photo/Elise Amendola

One day after Huntsman went after Romney during the NBC News/Facebook debate for criticizing his service as President Obama's ambassador to China, Huntsman told reporters during a campaign stop in Concord on Monday that Romney "enjoys firing people; I enjoy creating jobs."

The swipe was in reference to a comment Romney made earlier in the day during a Nashua Chamber of Commerce breakfast. Romney said he supports individuals choosing their health insurance providers rather than having their employers do it, so that "if you don't like what they do, you could fire them -- I like being able to fire people who provide services to me."

It's not the first punch Huntsman's taken at the front-runner for the Republican nomination now that the gloves are off. Earlier on Monday, his campaign released its second television ad, titled "Country First." (watch above) It features the moment during Sunday's debate when Huntsman defends his ambassadorship from criticism by Romney the night before.

Huntsman is incorporating that message on the campaign trail as well. "I will always put my country first," he said in Concord. "It seems that Governor Romney believes in putting politics first."

Huntsman is enjoying newfound momentum in New Hampshire, where he has staked his campaign. A spokesman for the former Utah governor told CBS News/National Journal that the campaign raised the $100,000 it needed for Monday's ad buy in four hours. Their "TV ad drive," which concluded with an ad last week, took several days to reach $50,000, which Huntsman then matched with personal funds to reach their goal.

Full CBS News coverage: Jon Huntsman

  • Lindsey Boerma On Twitter»

    Lindsey Boerma is senior video producer for CBSNews.com.

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