Longshot GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman is not backing away from his criticism of his fellow candidates to replace President Barack Obama.In an interview with Piers Morgan set to air on CNN tonight, Huntsman had strong words for front-runners Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Huntsman said Romney’s health care law in Massachusetts would undercut his electability in 2012 — a year in which Obama’s signature reform bill is toxic to GOP voters.
“Creating Obamacare before Obama, the most despised and reviled health care legislation in the history of this country, doesn’t cut it, and I think that will be terribly problematic,” Huntsman said.
Once again he targeted Perry’s comments last week that it would be “almost treasonous” for the Fed to print any more money.
“You can fault the Fed, you know, they’ve only got so many tools with which — with which to draw their policy options,” he said. “But treasonous, I think, is a little bit beyond.”
Asked if he would consider being Romney’s running mate if he lost the nomination, he said he could not imagine that happening, but said hypothetically he would be open to a Bachmann-Huntsman ticket — or potentially serving as any nominee’s vice-presidential pick.
“If you love this country, you serve her,” he said. “If you’re in a position to better the country, to bring whatever background you have to bear, whatever experiences to use in fine-tuning our future, I’ll be the first person to sign up.”
Huntsman added that his campaign is focused on winning the general election, with him the centre-right candidate for a centre-right electorate. But that puts him at odds with most voters who select the Republican nominee to face Obama next fall — and hinges on their belief that he would be the best candidate to win the general election.
“I think we’ve got the background. I think we have the temperament. I think we’re right on the issues, and I think we’re at the centre right of the political scale, which is exactly where this country is,” he said.
UPDATED 5:49: Clarifies that Huntsman said hypothetically that he was open to serving as the vice-presidential nominee for any candidate.