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Ex-Gov. Jon Huntsman open to another presidential run

Published May 7, 2014 11:13 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman said he's open to running for president again, but only if he can identify a path through the Republican primaries. He also heaped praise on former boss — Hillary Clinton — during an Ora.tv interview with Larry King.

"At the risk of totally destroying my future in politics, I have to say she is a very impressive public servant," said Huntsman, who reported to Clinton, then secretary of state, when he served as ambassador to China. "I have to say I haven't been around too many people as professional, as well briefed, as good with people at all levels of life, whether a head of state or the person holding open the door. I think that's the measure of a leader."

While noting their political differences, Huntsman said "she is a very, very capable person."

Clinton, a Democrat, is considering another presidential run in 2016.

King asked Huntsman if he would also consider another presidential run after his short-lived 2012 bid. He said it's hard for "public servants" like him to plan their futures.

"I never thought I would run for governor. I never thought I would be in China as the United States ambassador. Things happen," he said.

When King pressed, "So, you're open?'

Huntsman said, "I'm open, but here's the deal: You have to be able to create a pathway from point A to point B. I can tell you how I'd get to the finish line from Super Tuesday, but I can't tell you how I get through those early primary states, having been there and done that once before."

Huntsman dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination after a third-place showing in New Hampshire. His moderate Republican viewpoints did not mesh with a party that has become more conservative throughout the Obama administration.

Huntsman now serves on a number of corporate boards and is a leader in No Labels, a group trying to break the partisan gridlock in Washington.