Huntsman: Holder should ‘take responsibility’ for ‘bungled’ operation [VIDEO]

Matthew Boyle | Investigative Reporter

Republican presidential candidate and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman said Tuesday that Attorney General Eric Holder should resign because Operation Fast and Furious was a “bungled operation” and “the attorney general ought to take responsibility.”

In mid-November, Huntsman told TheDC he thinks President Obama should ask for Holder’s resignation. When TheDC asked him at The Heritage Foundation’s blogger briefing on Tuesday, Huntsman again explained why he thinks Holder should resign.

“It was a bungled operation,” Huntsman said. “It was weapons in Mexico that are then used against you. I say somebody ought to take responsibility for that. As somebody who has worked as a chief executive and who’s run complex organizations, I say there needs to be some responsibility taken.”

Watch:

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Huntsman also doubled down on his preference for a stronger diplomatic approach to dealing with Mexican drug cartels, saying America has “got some work to do” with its relationships south of the border. He said America needs a stronger “Western Hemisphere” foreign policy.

“We’re focused on southwest Asia, we’re focused on the Middle East — that’s taking a lot of the bandwidth out of our discussion on foreign policy these days,” Huntsman said. “And, I believe we’re leaving behind the Western Hemisphere. I think we’re suffering because of that. So, we’re only as good as our own backyard and I believe our own backyard is withering.”

Huntsman added that Mexican drug cartels have taken over the country, and said he wants the United States to get involved to help fight public corruption in Mexico.

“We’ve got a cancer metastasizing in Mexico called corruption,” he said. “We’ve got a problem. And, when you’ve got narco-traffickers and terrorists in Mexico who are running roughshod over local officials, you’ve got a problem. So, I say we need some stepped up engagement.” (RELATED: The Daily Caller’s complete Fast and Furious coverage)

Huntsman recommended the United States participate in a military and law enforcement campaign in Mexico, similar to the late 1990s “Plan Colombia,” during which the U.S. military intervened to help the Colombian government fight drug-smuggling rebels.

“I would point to the success that we had in Colombia with President Uribe, called Colombia Plus [sic],” Huntsman said. “I believe that kind of stepped up interaction, whether it’s military to military enhancement or whether it’s law enforcement to law enforcement enhancement, we need them both. We’ve done a little bit of it in Mexico, but not enough.”

“And, I’m concerned about it because this is our backyard and we need to make sure that there is stability in our hemisphere,” he continued. “And, I would be an advocate of doing something in Mexico that is akin to what we have done in Colombia, that targets the problems that exist and ultimately allows us to sit down with Mexican authorities to talk also about corruption because I believe this is at the heart of what we are facing.”

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