Officials in the Obama administration say they expect former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, a Republican currently serving as the US Ambassador to China, will soon step down to prepare for a possible presidential bid, reports ABC News’ Jake Tapper.
Speculation surrounding Huntsman began earlier this month after he refused to rule out the possibility of a White House run in an interview with Newsweek. TheDC recently took a look at his chances of winning the Republican nomination.
At the State Dinner welcoming Chinese leader Hu Jintao to the White House two weeks ago, President Obama joked about a possible Huntsman candidacy. “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,” he said, smiling. “And I’m sure that him having worked so well with me will be a great asset in any Republican primary.”
At Saturday night’s Gridiron dinner, an annual gathering of politicians and journalists in Washington, D.C., newly appointed White House Chief of Staff William Daley reportedly said that President Obama had “no hard feelings” about Huntsman’s departure. In fact, “He just did an interview with the Tea Party Express about how integral he has been to the success of the Obama administration,” Daley quipped.