Jon Huntsman on ABC's Top Line

2012 candidate says Romney leads from behind, Perry has "nonsensical" focus.
3:00 | 10/26/11

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Transcript for Jon Huntsman on ABC's Top Line
Jon Huntsman for the balance of the -- -- fall quarter hour check out the interview. Governor Huntsman thank you for joining us here -- top -- delighted thank you so -- want to get right to something that Mitt Romney. Did yesterday -- goes to Ohio 2 central issues for Ohio Republicans are the ballot initiatives one on unions and the other on the individual mandate. And He doesn't take a position. On these issues. What what what what do you make of that in -- is that the kind of leadership that expect to see from different candidate it looks a little bit like his position on the debt ceiling. A little bit like -- a position on Libya it does smacks a little bit of leading from behind. This is a time when if you're gonna be present United States you show little presidential leadership that's -- taking a position leading out sometimes there's a risk associated with taking a position. But that's all part of leadership OK so -- these issues and let's take -- -- the individual mandate. Initiative to say no to the individual mandate when it comes to health care noted individual mandate we talked about it in our state we -- healthcare reformist governor took -- three years to. Bring about comprehensive Health Care Reform but we ended up putting. A market system together with a connector expanding and broadening the market place. It isn't immediately closing the gap on a fourteen or 15% uninsured but it's gonna get us there because it was driven by an affordable insurance policy. Which is the problem social hasn't would you support this idea of doing away with the individual mandate saying that this will absolutely go and we we do have an example of the individual mandate in Massachusetts and what we seen we've seen costs on average go up about 2500 bucks for the average family we've seen. Quality go down we've seen emergency room Francisco -- And then federally we've seen at least one Circuit Court the eleventh Circuit Court basically say likely unconstitutional. But more than that. When you sedan with a small business folks in Massachusetts or indeed in the country as we anticipate when He fourteen they say. Uncertainty I have no idea what my -- -- going to be around the bend and so they say I'm not gonna deploy capital in the marketplace I'm not gonna hire again. And that's part of the reason that we're stuck in neutral. We're trying to kick this engine in the first year and it's not going because of that uncertainty. Governor wanna take a look at the big picture here in this race you had a front's front row seat for all these debates you know more about the candidates positions than anyone else probably on the planet having seen it so closely. Ten Republicans screw this up you have such a big opportunity to take on incumbent president with unemployment at media once in A generation chance to -- incumbent Democrat is it possible that Republicans well this of course. If we fail to focus on the truly relevant and germane issues. If we take our eyes off the fourteen million who were jobless in the millions beyond that who were so dispirited they've given up. We take or -- our eye off the ball called debt if we take our eye off the ball called our position in the world. Continue going with you know two wars simultaneously of course we -- lose. And if we kind of Begin wasting time on the nonsensical in the silly issues is that -- -- terrorism. Listen when I see one of my one of my colleagues governor Perry who starts talking about birth arisen again. I cringe. I say. As a party if we're gonna win this election we've got to focus on the issues that are germane for the American family. That's expanding the economy that's jobs that's our position in the world. And when we get off on those fringe issues we lose the independence and particularly the independents are looking for a home. And the independents largely are gonna drive the outcome of the election they hear some of that shatter some of that nonsensical talk. And it causes and to turn in and and walk away and we can't afford to have that happen. So what is Perry doing with that -- He says He doesn't want -- distracted issue right. But but but He won't give a definitive answer on whether money police Barack Obama as an American natural born Americans have since been settled folks it's it's been settled the presents a citizen of the United States I mean how how much more to we have to talk about it let's move -- the real issues of the day.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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