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.