Most of the pundit chatter about Jon Huntsman and the GOP nomination has been about whether Huntsman is too moderate to win a Tea Party-fueled Republican primary. But RedState’s Erick Erickson gave a different reason today for why he refuses to even consider supporting Huntsman:
The reason I will never, ever support Jon Huntman is simple: While serving as the United States Ambassador to China, our greatest strategic adversary, Jon Huntsman began plotting to run against the President of the United States. This calls into question his loyalty not just to the President of the United States, but also his loyalty to his country over his own naked ambition.
The Huntsman camp appears to have a formulated a response for charges that no real Republican would have served as ambassador under President Obama. (Their answer is that no patriotic American would turn down an appointment from the nation’s president.) But do they have a response ready for the charge that it’s dishonorable to consider a presidential run while serving the president in such a crucial post?
UPDATE: They do have an answer. A Huntsman supporter e-mails this response: “It’s hard to imagine how you can question the patriotism of someone who has served his country under President Reagan and both Presidents Bush. Everyone from the Reagan and Bush China envoys to the Chamber of Commerce to leading human rights activists have had nothing but praise for his tenure in China and service to the country.”