At conservative confab, Huntsman readies warning

By Philip Elliott

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Sept. 23 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

Republican presidential candidates Texas Gov. Rick Perry, left, and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman joke around during a break in a Fox News/Google debate Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011, in Orlando, Fla.

Phelan M. Ebenhack, Pool, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

ORLANDO, Fla. — Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman will tell conservative activists they risk handing President Barack Obama a second term if they insist on a GOP nominee who passes purity tests.

Ahead of a conservative summit that was slated to draw the Republican presidential contenders, the former Utah governor on Friday was set to tell Republicans that they need to do a better job pitching the party's core principals such as lower taxes and fewer regulations. Huntsman worked as the Obama administration's ambassador to China and has views that break with his party.

Huntsman's better-known and better-polling rivals were not expected to deliver such a stark warning to a voting bloc that holds great sway in picking the GOP nominee.

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