Team Huntsman admits ‘huge disadvantage’ in Iowa

Since Jon Huntsman, former Utah Governor and current ambassador to China, submitted his resignation to the White House on January 31, observers have speculated with curiosity about how a moderate Republican could campaign for president amidst an ever-growing field of die-hard conservatives.

Now, The Daily Caller has learned that the initial strategy for Huntsman’s campaign-in-waiting at Horizon PAC is to avoid focusing resources to campaign in the nation’s first caucus and socially-conservative state of Iowa.

“We haven’t ruled out playing in Iowa, but we have a huge disadvantage when it comes to the infrastructure, money, and time other candidates have spent in Iowa,” a Republican strategist aligned with the Huntsman campaign, told TheDC.

While the Obama administration initially laughed off any concerns about a Huntsman bid for the presidency, White House officials appear to have since taken a keen interest. An anonymous source told Politico’s Mike Allen that when Obama visited China in 2009, Huntsman told White House officials that he supported the president’s domestic agenda – including health-care reform.

And in a presentation to potential donors just two weeks ago, Jim Messina, Obama’s re-election campaign manager, specifically highlighted Huntsman’s weaknesses, suggesting the administration takes his challenge seriously.

For now, Huntsman has avoided commenting publicly on a presidential campaign. An official announcement, however, is expected in June or July.