Huntsman To Americans Elect?

Boy, I bet Mitt Romney gets more excited every day that Jon Huntsman is on his team. Aside from the nasty stuff Huntsman said about Romney before he folded his campaign and instantly endorsed Mitt, just last week he took to the airwaves to harshly attack his candidate’s high-profile op-ed on China as ignorant demogoguery.

And now Huntsman has gone before the cameras again and trashed the entire remaining GOP field, suggesting America needs a third party pronto. Here’s The Hill‘s account:

“Gone are the days when the Republican Party used to put forward big, bold, visionary stuff,” Huntsman said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“I see zero evidence of people getting out there and addressing the economic deficit — which is a national-security problem, for heaven’s sake,” he said. “I think we’re going to have problems politically until we get some sort of third-party movement or some alternative voice out there that can put forward new ideas.”…

He also argued that Republicans had made a tactical mistake in embracing a culture-war argument over birth-control mandates.

“Not only is it a waste of airtime, but it’s a political loser, because of the impact it has on the demographic you’re describing,” Huntsman said to MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, who had just discussed conservative women in his life who were upset with the party over the issue.

Huntsman did quickly disavow any interest in being a third-party candidate himself. But his combo platter of deficit-hawkery and social-moderation sure must be music to the ears of the Americans Elect crowd that is busy securing ballot access for its “centrist” candidate-to-be-named. Moreover, Huntsman’s reference to the two parties as a “duopoly” is practically a Bat Signal to the well-heeled backers of AE that he’s on their wavelength.

Meanwhile, I’m sure Team Mitt would just as soon dump Huntsman in the nearest fast-moving river.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.