Jon Huntsman with President Obama and China’s ambassador to the U.S., Zhou Wenzhong, in China, 2009
At the joint press conference with China’s President Hu, the AP’s Ben Feller asked President Obama to comment on the possible presidential candidacy of his ambassador to China, Republican Jon Hunstman (who hinted this month in an interview with Newsweek that he might challenge the President), who was standing in front of him.
“I think Ambassador Huntsman has done an outstanding job as ambassador for the United States to China. He is a Mandarin speaker. He has brought enormous skill, dedication and talent to the job. And, you know, the fact that he comes from a different party, I think, is a strength, not a weakness, because it indicates … partisanship ends at the water’s edge.”
“I couldn’t be happier with the ambassador’s service, and I’m sure he will be very successful in whatever endeavors he chooses in the future. And I’m sure that him having worked so well with me will be a great asset in any Republican primary.”
President Obama reacts as a reporter asks him about Jon Huntsman….