Mormons in Utah think presidential candidate and former Gov. Jon Huntsman is trying to distance himself from them, and they aren’t happy about it, Politico reports.
For example, Huntsman has located his campaign headquarters in Orlando, Fla., all the way across the country from his home state.
In addition, when Time magazine recently asked Huntsman whether he’s still a Mormon, the recently departed ambassador to China replied, “That’s tough to define.”
|Jon Huntsman and President Obama
Quin Monson, a political science professor at Brigham Young University, told Politico, “He’s trying to create a brand name that doesn’t keep ‘Utah’ and ‘Mormon’ at the forefront of people’s minds. ‘Mormon’ didn’t do a lot for Mitt Romney. I think Huntsman is deliberately trying to brand himself in a different way.”
Meanwhile, Huntsman isn’t running away from his tenure as President Barack Obama’s ambassador to China. He says he’d do it all over again if Obama asked him, The Hill reports.
"I worked for the president of the United States,” Huntsman told ABC. “The president asked me — the president of all the people. And during a time of war, during a time of economic difficulty for our country, if I'm asked by my president to serve, I'll stand up and do it.”
Some Republicans have no problem with that rationale. But others, such as RedState's Erick Erickson, say they’ll never support Huntsman because of his service for Obama.
Huntsman’s taking heat for warm thank-you notes he sent to Obama. "He chose me, a Republican, and I wrote that to him by way of a thank-you note," Huntsman said. "I do a lot of them, too. And it was my way of expressing what I thought about his election."
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