Huntsman plays to his strengths, goes after GOP rivals on foreign policy

Hours before the first Republican presidential debate to focus on foreign policy, Jon Huntsman released a web video to capitalize on the only issue where he has the clear advantage over his competitors.

The video starts with a montage of Huntsman’s opponents making inaccurate or contradictory statements about other countries, while melancholy piano music plays in a minor key.

“So, yes they’re a military threat,” Herman Cain says of China in the video. “They’ve indicated that they’re trying to develop nuclear capabilities.”

China tested its first nuclear weapon in 1964 and has been considered a nuclear power ever since.

The video also attacks Mitt Romney for appearing to change positions on a timetable for U.S. withdrawal in Iraq, and Rick Perry for an incorrect statement about India.

“I think at some point the substance really does matter and you’ve got to have a commander in chief who actually understands the world in which we live,” Huntsman says at the video’s close.

Foreign policy is the one area where none of the other candidates can best Huntsman, a Republican who resigned as Utah’s governor in 2009 when President Obama nominated him to be the ambassador to China. Huntsman also held the ambassador post in Singapore under President George H.W. Bush.

Saturday’s CBS/National Journal debate is a rare and sorely needed opportunity to shine for Huntsman, who took just 1 percent in a McClatchy-Marist poll of Republicans released on Friday, and has rarely topped 3 percent in any national polls.


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