Report: Huntsman praised Obama as 'remarkable leader'

Possible GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman praised President Obama as a "remarkable leader" in notes before he took up his post as the administration's ambassador to China.

The Daily Caller, a conservative news website, posted two notes written in 2009 in which Huntsman, the former Republican governor of Utah, effusively praises Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"You are a remarkable leader – and it has been a great honor getting to know you," Huntsman wrote to Obama.

Huntsman also wrote former President Clinton to praise his wife's work as secretary of State.

"I must report that Sec. Clinton has won the hearts and minds of the State Dept. bureaucracy — no easy task," he wrote. "And after watching her in action, I can see why. She is well-read, hard working, personable and has even more charisma than her husband!!"

The notes come straight out of the playbook against Huntsman, who had been considered a top contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 before accepting the post as ambassador to China.

"If you needed any more proof the White House fears Jon Huntsman the most, this is it," said a GOP strategist associated with Huntsman's possible presidential campaign.

Huntsman's decision to work for Obama was interpreted at the time as a death blow to his hopes of ever winning a Republican primary, but he appears set to pursue the nomination nonetheless after resigning as ambassador, effective at the end of this month.

Obama himself appears content to saddle Huntsman with the burden of their relationship — it's been characterized as a "death hug" for Huntsman's chances in a GOP primary, where conservative voters tend to dominate.

"I'm sure the fact that him having worked so well with me will be a great asset in any Republican primary," Obama said at a press conference in January.