Republicans rejected him, but the Obama campaign viewed him as a threat:
When Obama campaign aides surveyed the field of Republican presidential hopefuls early on, they saw a certain handsome Mormon candidate and thought he’d be trouble in a general election showdown.
It wasn’t Mitt Romney.
Jon Huntsman is the former Utah governor who took a moderate stance in a GOP field that leaned to the right. He didn’t get very far in the Republican nomination fight, but team Obama viewed him as a serious candidate who could pose real problems in a general election.
“We were honest about our concerns about Huntsman,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said at a Politico breakfast event Tuesday. “I think Huntsman would have been a very tough candidate.”
As for the president, he liked Mr. Huntsman enough to appoint him ambassador to China in 2009. Mr. Messina, who was working in the White House at the time, said he helped Mr. Huntsman win Senate confirmation.
“As someone who helped manage his confirmation for Chinese ambassador, he’s a good guy,” Mr. Messina said. “We looked at his profile in a general election and thought he would have been” a formidable candidate.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment