Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) was the first presidential candidate to decline an invitation to an upcoming debate moderated by real estate tycoon Donald Trump. “We look forward to watching Mitt [Romney] and Newt [Gingrich] suck up to The Donald with a big bowl of popcorn,” Huntsman spokesperson Tim Miller told Business Insider, touting the fact that, unlike Romney and other candidates, Huntsman has not met to discuss his candidacy with Trump.
Trump fired back today, telling MSNBC’s Chuck Todd in a testy exchange that Huntsman repeatedly sought a meeting. And for no apparent reason, Trump couldn’t resist hurling a religious insult in the process. “I’m sure he’ll tell the truth about that,” Trump said, “because he’s a Mormon.” Watch it:
Reached for comment via email, Miller told ThinkProgress that the campaign has not requested a meeting with Trump. “This has been litigated in the press before,” Miller said. “You’ll be surprised to find out that it’s Mr. Trump who is not telling the truth. We never requested a meeting. We are focused on issues that matter not presidential apprentice.” Miller declined to respond to Trump’s comment about Huntsman’s religion.
Huntsman, appearing on Fox News this morning, responded to Trump. “I’m not going to kiss his ring, and I’m not going to kiss any other part of his anatomy,” Huntsman said. “This is exactly what is wrong with politics. It’s show business over substance. … The presidency of the United States of America is more important than these silly game shows and reality shows.” Watch it: