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GOP Candidates Face Off In New Hampshire

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Mitt Romney

Republican presidential hopeful and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a town hall meeting at Diamond V South Plant on Dec. 9, 2011 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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NEW HAMPSHIRE (CBSNewYork/AP) — Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary could be make or break for at least one GOP presidential candidate. WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell caught up with former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman.

Voters were packed shoulder to shoulder and cheek to jowl at the Beantown Coffeehouse to see Huntsman.

“We’re moving up. I can feel it. There’s that energy on the ground an we’re going to take it over the top on Tuesday,” the candidate said.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports

Several at the site told Haskell that they were impressed.

“I like hearing him speak. He’s much more moderate than the other candidates. He’s somebody I feel could unite the two-party system we have,” one man said.

“I think I’m going to give him a boost on Tuesday. I’m an independent but I think that I want to see him go to South Carolina and continue right along,” another said.

Some political observers say if Huntsman wants to remain a viable candidate he has to have a strong showing in New Hampshire.

Meanwhile, a combative Newt Gingrich accused Mitt Romney of “pious baloney” Sunday for saying he’s not a career politician and charged him of hiding behind inaccurate attack ads aired by his allies in the race for the presidential nomination.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reports

The Massachusetts governor fired back. “This ain’t beanbag, we’re going to describe the differences between us,” Romney declared in the most intense exchange of a  weekend debate double-header in the run-up to Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary.

Romney won the Iowa caucuses last Tuesday by eight votes over Rick Santorum, and is the leader by far in New Hampshire polls. South Carolina comes next, on Jan. 21, the first Southern state to hold a primary, and Romney pointedly noted that he has been endorsed by that state’s governor, Nikki Haley.

Verbal attacks by Gingrich served as bookends to the 90-minute morning debate in which Romney strongly defended his standing as front-runner in the Republican campaign to pick an opponent to President Barack Obama.

Who do you think will win the Republican nomination? Let us know in our comments section below…

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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