Former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman — a would-be GOP presidential contender — said he'd serve in that position again if President Obama asked him.
Huntsman, the former Republican governor of Utah whom the president tapped as his top diplomat in China, made no apologies for having served in a Democratic administration, arguably the biggest political burden he'd have to shoulder in a bid for the GOP presidential nomination.
"I'd do it again, of course," he said.
Huntsman's faced criticism from some conservatives for his service in the Democratic administration. While some Republican lawmakers have said they are receptive to Huntsman's explanation, activists like RedState's Erick Erickson have declared they would never support Huntsman if he decides to run for president.
A series of thank-you notes gushing with praise for Obama that emerged after Huntsman became ambassador did nothing to quell conservatives' worries.
"He chose me, a Republican, and I wrote that to him by way of a thank-you note," he said. "I do a lot of them, too. And it was my way of expressing what I thought about his election."
Huntsman showed more distance between himself and Obama in his Friday interview, though, expressing skepticism toward the president's decision to involve the U.S. military in Libya, and for Obama's trademark 2009 stimulus package, which Huntsman had more favorably described in the past.
In a bow to GOP primary voters, Huntsman also said he would support repealing Obama's healthcare reform law, and said that he would have voted for House Republicans' 2012 budget, including its plan to transform Medicare.