Huntsman's TV tour gets D.C.'s notice
Published: April 24, 2012 09:48AM
Updated: April 24, 2012 09:48AM
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Republican presidential candidate, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, leaves the stage with his wife Mary Kaye Huntsman and his family after he announced he is ending his campaign, Monday, Jan. 16, 2012, in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Huntsman daughters at rear are Mary Anne, Abby, Gracie. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman's latest comments about his fellow Republicans has gotten the attention of the D.C. political press - because they can't spend every day speculating on who Mitt Romney will choose as his running mate.

The impetus is a speech Huntsman gave Sunday in New York, in which he said Ronald Reagan - who is the closest thing the Republicans have a patron saint - would "likely not" survive the GOP primary process these days.

He also complained about being disinvited from a Florida GOP fund-raiser after he suggested the nation needed a third-party candidate. The heat came from this part of his complaint: "This is what they do in China on party matters if you talk off script."

Huntsman walked that one back a bit, saying on MSNBC that he had been quoted out of context. And Huntsman reiterated this morning on CNBC that he is fully behind the party's apparent nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

But the D.C. bloggerati smells a story, and is writing it up.

Rachel Weiner, writing on Chris Cillizza's very-read Washington Post blog "The Fix," began: "Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman once ran to lead the Republican party. Now he’s serving as its chief antagonist."

And Howard Kurtz, Washington bureau chief for The Daily Beast and Newsweek, did some psychoanalysis on Huntsman in his "Spin Cycle" blog:

"Why is Jon Huntman going rogue? ... Here are the possibilities:

• He’s really ticked off at the GOP for failing to see the brilliance of his candidacy.

• He feels he damaged his reputation with his short-lived presidential run and is doing some repair work.

• He’s bored and wants some attention.