Former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman slammed his party during an interview this weekend at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. He compared his party’s demand for purity and discipline to the Chinese Communist party, BuzzFeed reports, saying that Ronald Reagan would “likely not” be able to win the GOP nomination today.
He said he regrets taking such a hard line against tax increases, criticizing pledges like the one from anti-tax activist Grover Norquist that almost all Republican politicians sign. On his party’s foreign policy, Huntsman said, “I don’t know what world these people are living in.”
And Huntsman, who, during his presidential run, slammed his party’s denial of climate change and evolution, said this weekend, “I had to say I believe in science — and people on stage look at you quizzically as though [you were] an oddball.”
Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today, Huntsman downplayed much of his criticism and attempted to make nice. But when asked about presumed nominee Mitt Romney — whom the former ambassador once called “completely unelectable,” but has since endorsed — Huntsman couldn’t help but bring up the candidate’s flip flopping:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: What does Mitt Romney stand for? What’s his core conviction?
HUNTSMAN: Listen, [laughter] he’s talking about jobs. He’s talking about economic revitalization. And I think he’s been consistent on that theme. You can talk about the other back and forth, and flip-flopping and the other things. … If you’ve wrapped yourself up in too many pledges, that diminishes your ability to do what needs to be done in the final stretch to some extent.
Indeed, Huntsman and Romney have a long history of tension, and the former Utah governor has slammed some of the former Massachusetts governor’s positions as “out of touch,” “wrongheaded,” and “outlandish.”