Romney's failed presidential campaign never escaped questions about whether the country was ready to elect a Mormon and Huntsman said it's hard to know if Romney helped the country gain a greater understanding of Mormonism.
"There were certainly pockets of misunderstanding around the country and I think there have been for a long time and I'm not sure that's an easy issue to resolve."
Huntsman describes Sen. McCain as a friend and he said the two talk every now and again. He recalled when the men first met in 1996 when McCain was helping the former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole's presidential campaign.
In the days immediately following the terrorist attacks on 9/11, Huntsman was confronted with McCain's personal history.
On a trade mission in Vietnam on September 11, and unable to fly back to the states for several days, Huntsman visited the remains of the Hanoi Hilton, where McCain's jail cell and flight suit are on display.
The experience was deeply moving for Huntsman as he reflected on the future of the country.
"I thought this is the kind of leadership that will be required to navigate these very difficult and treacherous (times) ahead for our country. Someone who has sacrificed, someone who understands how to put service before self, some one who has dealt with an enemy, and just as importantly, has reconciled with the enemy."
Held in a Vietnamese prison camp for five years, McCain has been a big booster of U.S. relations with Vietnam, something the governor greatly admires.
If he's not tapped to be McCain's vice presidential pick, he hopes to serve another term as Utah governor -- where his reelection is nearly assured in November -- and then retire to more time with his family.
Perhaps he'll have more time for his bike. The governor enjoys motorcross and supermoto racing. And in a move that drive his staff crazy, he occasionally rides and races.