Huntsman: ‘You Don’t Have to Be Crazy to Be in the GOP’

Oct 10, 2011 7:21pm

Jon Huntsman is doing double duty in New Hampshire today, touting his new foreign policy plan, while preparing for Tuesday’s Washington Post/Bloomberg debate at Dartmouth College. When ABC News asked the former Utah governor what he will do to stand out during the debate, he replied: “Well, you can light your hair on fire, I guess. But I’m not going to light my hair on fire. I don’t think you have to be crazy to be in the Republican Party.

“I think you have to stand your ground and talk about what you’ve done in the real world as a leader,” Huntsman said. “You get through the debates and ultimately people are going to gravitate to a candidate who has substance, who has leadership, who has a track record.”

Huntsman said he is certain the GOP nomination is still up for grabs.

“People go up and they go down. I remember when I got in this race initially, it was [former Minnesota Gov. Mike] Pawlenty’s to lose. And then it was [Minnesota Rep. Michele] Bachmann’s to lose, and then it was [Texas Gov. Rick] Perry’s to lose. So you know, people go up and they go down, all the while I want a steady substantive rise with building blocks here in New Hampshire that speak to viability, that speak to what I’ve done as governor, done in business, the way in which I read the world.”

As for his latest policy speech, Huntsman said his strategies are stronger than those of frontrunner Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who delivered his own foreign policy plan on Friday. Huntsman told ABC News the difference between his plan and Romney’s is that he “actually spoke about specifics.”

“It wasn’t bumper-sticker sloganeering,” Huntsman said in reference to Romney. “We talked about how we were going to fix our core. We talk about not just traditional defense spending for the sake of traditional defense spending but the realities of how we’re going to fix our world. We talked about reengaging not from a threat standpoint but from an opportunity standpoint with China. So A lot of differences and if you take a look at both, no doubt you’ll see two different world views.”

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