MANCHESTER, N.H. — Jon Huntsman says its time for Republicans to stop attacking presidential front-runner Mitt Romney's role in a corporate-takeover firm. But the former Utah governor says Romney can be called on to account for plenty of government-related issues.

Huntsman was urging South Carolina Republicans Wednesday to see him as a pragmatic problem-solver who disdains partisan posturing.

Huntsman later told reporters that Republicans should temper their criticism of Romney's role at Bain Capital in the 1980s and '90s, when the private equity firm restructured dozens of companies. Some jobs were lost; others created. Presidential contenders Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry have seized on the lost jobs to paint Romney as a heartless profit-seeker who closed workplaces. Huntsman calls the argument unfair.