Former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman now says he was just “waxing philosophical” when he compared the GOP to the Chinese communist party Sunday, Politico reports
That comparison came in a question-and-answer session in New York City. The former Utah governor said he was disappointed that the Republican Party withdrew his invitation to a Florida fundraiser last month after he publicly advocated the idea of a third party.
“This is what they do in China on party matters if you talk off script," Huntsman said, according to the website Buzzfeed.
Huntsman said Monday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that his remarks were taken out of context, Politico reports. “You get these blogs out there, you know, Bottom-feeder, Buzzsaw, Buzzfeed, whatever they are, and they take a sentence out of context and it becomes a headline, and pretty soon mainstream newspapers pick up on that.”
Huntsman said he doesn’t like the idea that the parties expect blind loyalty, according to Politico. “I said, you know, if you’re not on-script and you get knocked out of an event like that – the parties are supposed to be big-tent, you’re supposed to bring in all ideas. And I thought for a moment about what they do in China if you go off-script. The party, they knock you out. We shouldn’t be doing that here, we should be accommodating all voices.”
In other remarks Sunday, Huntsman, who served as ambassador to China under President Barack Obama, challenged the staunch stance many Republicans hold against China. That was a veiled criticism of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who supports that stance. "I don’t know what world these people are living in," Huntsman said.
He offered only lukewarm praise for Romney, whom he has endorsed, saying the former Massachusetts governor would manage legislation through Congress more effectively than Obama. Romney has to emphasize less fear and more positive ideas, Huntsman said.
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