Jon Huntsman said Monday that he’d be open to filling out the VP slot on the Republican ticket if Michele Bachmann were to win the party's presidential nomination.
Huntsman, who has so far struggled to break into the top tier of GOP presidential candidates, made the somewhat surprising statement Monday night during an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan. After Morgan then pointed out that his comments would likely be perceived as the admission of a possible defeat, Huntsman appeared to backtrack slightly, saying he gave a “more or less a hypothetical answer.”
As can be the case with television interviews, especially whenever politicians are concerned, it wasn’t exactly clear whether the interviewer and the interviewee were on exactly the same page. Still, Huntsman’s comments made clear that he’d be hard-pressed to turn down the VP slot if offered, whether by Bachmann or another candidate.
During the exchange with Morgan, Huntsman first laughingly ruled out joining an all-Mormon ticket with Mitt Romney, saying: “There’d be too many jokes about that, I can’t imagine that at all.”
Morgan then asked: “What about a Tea Party candidate? … [If] Michele Bachmann continued to get real traction and she came to you and said, ‘Look, you’re the other part of the party here, together we can create sweet music.’ ”
Huntsman responded: “You know, if you love this country, you serve this country. Every time I’ve been asked to serve over different administrations from Reagan to the two Bushes to President Obama, I have the same answer and that is: If you love this country, you serve her. And so if you’re in a position to better the country by bringing whatever background you have to bear, whatever experiences to use in fine-tuning our future, I’ll be the first person to sign up. Absolutely.”
Then, after Morgan pointed out that his comments were likely to make headlines on Tuesday, Huntsman appeared to backtrack slightly and reaffirmed his belief that–despite his lagging poll numbers–he’ll be the one on top of the GOP ticket when all is said and done.
“This is a hypothetical conversation and I give you a more or less hypothetical answer,” he said. “That’s OK. We’re going to win and I have no doubt about that.”