Huntsman Backtracks Bam Praise

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Getty

GOPer tells Hannity he made “remarkable leader” remark in response to appointment of Republican to ambassador post, but maintains president has “failed in a number of ways.”

Courtesy of FOX News Channel’s Hannity

On his own lack of familiarity with Republican voters and whether or not he views this as an obstacle:
“In today’s media saturated world, I think it’s a temporary challenge. We come here to the media capital of the world, we launch a campaign. I think in very short order people will begin to understand who we are, what it is we stand for, and where we want to take this great country of ours.”

On why he joined the presidential race:
“Because I love my country and I can’t stomach the thought that we are passing down to the next generation a country that is less viable, less good, less competitive, less compassionate than the one we got. You have a choice. You can either stand on the sidelines or you can do as Teddy Roosevelt used to preach and you can get in the arena and do something about it.”

On running against President Obama, someone who was previously his superior and who he has referred to as a “remarkable leader”:
“I think he has failed in a number of ways, both in terms of economic governance and stewardship and also internationally. I wrote that after I was appointed. I thought he was a remarkable leader for appointing a Republican to a position as important and sensitive as the U.S. ambassadorship to China. And listen, during a time of war and economic hardship, I’m the kind of person that’s going to stand up and serve my country. I’m going to take that philosophy to my grave and I hope my sons do the same thing. It’s something I’ve always believed in, in where you can get in and in a unique — and in a sensitive position, make your country a little bit better.”

On whether or not we should pull out of Afghanistan immediately:
“In a war on terror is an asymmetrical effort, requiring an asymmetrical presence in Afghanistan, not 10,000 boots on the ground. But I think that is more aligned with the needs of intelligence gathering, special warfare capabilities, and also training some of the locals on the ground. That’s not 100,000. I think, you know, with Karzai in power with al Qaeda that is in the sanctuaries of Pakistan, the time is right to continue with laser-like precision on the bad guys while drawing down a very heavy and extensive presence we have in Afghanistan.”

On whether or not he identifies himself as a conservative:
“You know, everybody has labels and tags that they want to throw your way and all I say is look at my record. I’m running on my record. A lot of people run away from their records, I’m very proud of my record. Some people will like it, others will find elements of it that they don’t like. But I would term myself as a conservative problem solver. When all is said and done, I’m a conservative problem solver. And if you look at what we did in Utah to make it the finest economy in the country, to make it the best managed state in America, some reporting periods a few years ago, providing more jobs in America than any state in America — that little state of Utah. I’m very, very proud of the record.”

On his campaign approach and maintaining a respectful manner towards President Obama and his Republican opponents:
“We’re talking about how personal politics has become. Ripping down, tearing down, shredding down individuals. Sticking to the issue, sticking to the record is absolutely appropriate. But the reason I mention this is because I care what my kids are seeing, listening and hearing. They develop impressions and they develop approaches in terms of how they deal with their fellow Americans by what they see and hear. They take those attitudes into the classroom. And we wonder sometimes why our kids aren’t showing authority figures proper deference and responsibility…I also care because the rest of the world is watching. The rest of the world cares about how we conduct our affairs because they then take that lead. We are the only leader in the world today. Some are wishing us well. Others think that we’re down and are not going get back up again. But they’re all watching with great interest to see how we conduct our business over the next couple of years.”

On President Obama and his handling of the current issues:
“I respect the president. He’s a good family man. I think he’s earnest, I think he’s trying his best…but where we are today, I mean, just look at the score card. Economically we’d in a failed position. Internationally, we have more problems than ever before. I think we have a generational opportunity to get the numbers right and to un-launch the entrepreneurial and innovative magic of this country. And I think we have a generational opportunity to get our position right in the world as well.”

On President Obama and his handling of the American economy:
“It’s failed. You have, as governor or as president, about two to two and a half years to do what you can do in order to fix the economy or to do what the American people elected you to do. We’re not roughly at the two and a half year mark, look at the indicators. Look at unemployment; look at the debt, which has gone from $10 trillion to $14.2, $14.4 trillion with no relief in sight. It isn’t even as if that level of confidence is moving up. It’s not as if the private sector is saying, we have belief in our overall direction, they don’t. And that’s perhaps the most dangerous thing of all.”

On President Obama and his handling of foreign affairs:
“This is a time when the United States should be standing tall. There is no other leader in the world today. We are not — we shouldn’t be approaching conflicts as a team sport. We either get in and we lead and we do the job, or you don’t get in at all. I also think that we’re in parts of the world where we don’t need to be. We’re spending resources on conflicts that I think we need to begin winding down. And I happen to think, as well, that there isn’t a good sense in the world today as to who our alliances, our allies and friends are. I remember some years ago everyone knew who America’s allies and friends were. It was very clear. And it was very clear to people what it meant to be an American ally and friend. Free trade agreements, military to military cooperation, so on, so forth.”

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Related Topics: 2012 Elections

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