In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, the former Utah governor and leading Republican moderate said the party must accept "a strong dose of libertarianism" on social issues and allow state governments to move ahead with gay marriage.
Offering his prescription for the party's renewal, Mr Huntsman said the early stages of the Republican presidential primaries rewarded extreme conservatives rather than "long-term competitive candidates" who could effectively take on the Democrats...
...[T]he scale of Mitt Romney's defeat in November has left the party reeling and may create a fresh opening for the socially-moderate but fiscally-conservative ideas Mr Huntsman espoused in the primary.
"The party right now is a holding company that's devoid of a soul and it will be filled up with ideas over time and leaders will take their proper place," he said.
Mr Huntsman urged the party to "reflect a little bit on our winning chapters" and face up to a demographic reality where white conservatives represent a shrinking portion of the electorate.
"We can't be known as a party that's fear-based and doesn't believe in math," he said. "In the end it will come down to a party that believes in opportunity for all our people, economic competitiveness and a strong dose of libertarianism."
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