Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman called himself an “undervalued stock” in an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Tuesday.
“You want to be a rising star, you don’t want to be a shooting star,” Huntsman said of his steady rise in the New Hampshire polls. He encouraged potential supporters to “see us as an undervalued stock, and take the ride upward.”
Huntsman said that after the New Hampshire primary, Republican voters will start to focus on electability: "Not who do we like out of the field and who meets our litmus test, but who can win." He suggested that he's the candidate who can attract the independents and conservative Democrats who voted for President Obama in 2008.
Huntsman added that his ambassadorial experience -- and embrace of complexity -- sets him apart from the rest of the Republican presidential field. Foreign policy experience, Huntsman said, is "a unique differentiator that ultimately the people of this country are going to look at when they say, this is a complex, confusing set of circumstances in this world and, yes, it would be nice to have a president who understands some of the complexities and nuances."
When pressed to criticize Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s lack of foreign policy experience, Huntsman demurred. A lot of presidents “learn it on the job,” Huntsman said. “Governors typically don't have a lot of exposure to the world,” he noted.
Huntsman did shake his head, however, over Perry’s press conference in support of Israel, accompanied by an Israeli legislator, while U.S. diplomats feverishly worked to avoid a showdown over Palestinian statehood at the United Nations last week.
Huntsman called Perry’s move “unprecedented.” The decision to attack Obama’s Middle East policy during such a tense time, Huntsman said, was “bad practice.”