Former Democratic President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday he's voting for President Obama in 2012, but that Obama's former ambassador to China would make for a "very attractive" Republican nominee.

Carter told CNN that Jon Huntsman, the former Republican governor of Utah who resigned last Saturday as Obama's top diplomat in China, might make for Obama's best GOP challenger.

Carter said that Huntsman is "very attractive to me personally," but also said that his "intention is to vote for the Democratic candidate."

The former president isn't the first Democrat to offer Huntsman what could be considered a "kiss of death" for the potential Republican candidate; Obama himself has openly joked about what an asset Huntsman's service in a Democratic administration would be in a Republican primary, where conservatives dominate.

But Huntsman has taken the steps to at least lay the groundwork for running, if he chooses to pursue the nomination in 2012. He established a federal political action committee, H PAC, on Tuesday, and is set this month to take trips to New Hampshire and South Carolina, two key primary states.