Jon Huntsman Sr., the billionaire industrialist and father of former Utah Governor and Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman Jr., says his son would easily win a presidential election in China.
“If he were running for president of China, he would have already won the election,” Huntsman Sr. said of his son, who was the U.S. ambassador to the communist-run nation for a one and a half years before jumping in the presidential race, in an interview with Utah’s Deseret News. “But he’s had to come here and start from scratch.”
Huntsman Sr. said his son is a “tremendously talented and capable individual” who is lagging in the polls only because Americans haven’t had the chance to get to know him yet. “Most of the other candidates had a year or two or three or four. Mitt’s had six,” he said, referring to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a frontrunner for the GOP’s nomination.
“One has to understand that six months ago, he was helping to resolve the problems of China, and dealing with problems, or situations, in North Korea and Taiwan,” he continued, explaining that his son has faced a hard transition moving from an important diplomatic post to the campaign trail.
“Then all of a sudden, your focus shifts to all of these public policy issues from the United States, and it’s a very different set of conditions.
“I think he’s made a remarkable transition,” he added. (RELATED: Huntsman obedient to wife when it comes to hair products)
The Huntsman campaign has struggled to gain footing in the Republican contest. According to RealClearPolitics, Huntsman has averaged a meager 1 percent showing in recent polls of GOP primary voters.
Still, despite his son’s difficulties campaigning, Huntsman Sr. remains optimistic. “I think that Jon Jr., first of all, is a great fighter,” he said. He’s a great competitor. Nothing gets him down. He’s a great optimist. And he doesn’t get uptight. Nobody gets to him.”