Jon Huntsman says President Obama may have played politics with China post

Holly Bailey
The Ticket

Jon Huntsman said in a radio interview Tuesday that he believes politics might have played a role in why President Obama picked him to be ambassador to China.

Appearing on "The Mark Larson Show," the former Utah governor was asked if thought Obama was trying to neutralize a potential political opponent by asking him to serve in his administration.

"There may be some of that," Huntsman, who resigned his China post in advance of a possible 2012 presidential bid said. "The other reality is that there aren't a whole lot of people in the country who can actually pass Senate confirmation when it comes to filling a very sensitive slot like the post over in China."

'Was there politics?" he added. "Perhaps. I'll let historians sort it out."

You can listen to the interview here, via YouTube:

Ahead of his expected GOP presidential campaign, Huntsman has been on the defense about his tenure in the Obama administration. In April, someone leaked a note Huntsman wrote to Obama praising his leadership—which later prompted a website mocking the former governor.

Last week, Huntsman criticized his former boss, but defended his tenure in the administration, insisting he was serving his country and would do so again. Hunsman reiterated the same point on Tuesday, likening himself to members of the military who serve presidents not of their own political party.

"They simply say, 'I salute the flag, and I do what I can for my country,'" Huntsman said. "If it's a position where I can actually get in and leave it a better place and add value to the my nation, I'm going to do that."

(Photo of Huntsman: Jim Cole/AP)