Jon Huntsman explains remark comparing Republican Party to Communist China

Published: Monday, April 23 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Republican presidential candidate former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman waves as he is driven away from a campaign stop, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012, in Charleston, S.C.

Associated Press

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During a Sunday interview in New York, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman criticized the Republican Party by purportedly comparing it to Communist China — a remark that drew criticism from some and further clarification from the former presidential candidate.

Hunstman called for a third party presidential candidate in February and was subsequently disinvited from the Republican National Committee's donor gathering in Palm Beach. The withdrawn invitation drew his ire during the Sunday interview.

"This is what they do in China on party matters if you talk off script," he said.

On Monday, Huntsman said he was "waxing philosophical," and that blogs had taken his sentence out of context and made it into a headline.

Maggie Habreman of Politico's Burns & Haberman blog, commented on the matter, saying, "The problem with public venting by former candidates is that it's, well, public. Huntsman, who's in the midst of his own public image rehab, clearly feels that he was stunted by a party that's been swayed by the tea party over the last three years — and does not blame his own performance as a candidate."

Read more at KSL.com.

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