Photograph by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images.
Former White House hopeful Jon Huntsman spent Monday morning walking back comments he made over the weekend that appeared to compare the GOP to China's Communist Party, suggesting that his remarks were taken out of context.
Huntsman's original remarks were made at a New York City event and were first reported Sunday night by BuzzFeed. While answering questions about his failed run for the Republican nomination, Huntsman, who served as President Obama's ambassador to China, lamented a decision from GOP party officials to disinvite him from a Florida fundraiser earlier this year after he appeared to back a third-party campaign.
"This is what they do in China on party matters if you talk off-script," Huntsman said Sunday.
But in a Monday appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Huntsman said that quote was taken "out of context" and that he was only "waxing philosophical" with his comment.
"I said, you know, if you’re not on-script and you get knocked out of an event like that, the parties are supposed to be big-tent, you’re supposed to bring in all ideas,” Huntsman said on the show. "And I said, I thought for a moment about what they do in China if you go off-script. The party, they knock you out. We shouldn’t be doing that here, we should be accommodating all voices."
As for the outlet that originally picked up his quote and the other news sites that followed, Huntsman had these unflattering words: "You get these blogs out there, you know, Bottom-feeder, Buzzsaw, BuzzFeed, whatever they are, and they take a sentence out of context and it becomes a headline and pretty soon mainstream newspapers pick up on that."
The Los Angeles Times notes that Huntsman's harsh words for his party weren’t limited to RNC leadership, as he had also remarked in the controversial Sunday interview about thinking "Is this the best we could do?" during an August presidential debate in Iowa.
Huntsman endorsed Mitt Romney after dropping out of the GOP race in January, support he repeated during Sunday's event.