By Justin Sink
Republican presidential candidate and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman won’t rule out joining the Republican ticket as a vice presidential nominee — even if it means partnering with a Tea Party candidate like Michele Bachmann.
Huntsman told CNN’s Piers Morgan that “if you love this country, you serve this country” in an interview set to air tonight.
Huntsman’s willingness to leave the door open on pairing with a Tea Party candidate was surprising after the candidate spent much of last week distinguishing himself from the candidates to his right.
“To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy,” Huntsman tweeted last Thursday, in apparent response to Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) comments questioning evolution and global warming theories.
Huntsman continued his critique of Perry in the Morgan interview, denouncing his opponent’s criticism of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke last week.
“I don’t think ... you can call the head of the Fed treasonous and expect to be taken seriously,” Huntsman said. “I don’t think people who are going to vote for a president are going to hear that sound bite and say that represents serious thinking on the part of the presidential candidate.”
But while the former governor remained open to a Bachmann-Huntsman ticket, there’s one candidate whom he doesn’t foresee joining on the trail — former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
“There would be too many jokes about that. No, I can’t imagine it at all,” Huntsman said.
Huntsman also criticized Romney for his jobs record as governor, and for signing universal healthcare legislation in Massachusetts.
“Creating Obamacare before Obama, the most despised and reviled healthcare legislation in the history of this country, doesn’t cut it, and I think that will be terribly problematic [for Romney in the presidential race],” Huntsman said.