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On 4th visit to S.C., Huntsman looks for middle ground in GOP race

Aug 29, 2011 11:31:00 PM - thestate.com
Waving off his low poll numbers, GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman insisted Monday that he is a “mainstream conservative” who can win South Carolina’s Republican primary.

On his fourth campaign visit to the state, Huntsman touted his experience as a businessman, two-term Utah governor and ambassador to China. “I’m going to remind people that we’ve been there and done that.”

Huntsman — a 51-year-old, motorcycle-riding, gun-owning father of seven — is positioning himself as a moderate who can win voters in South Carolina’s first-in-the-South primary in February and, more importantly, independents in the general election.

Huntsman said his Republican presidential rivals are “all good people,” but added that comments about being able to reduce gas prices to $2 a gallon (by U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota) and criticism of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke (by Texas Gov. Rick Perry) are off base. “You’re moving into areas that probably don’t serve us well in terms of finding the mainstream conservative leadership this country is looking for.”

Monday, he also reiterated his stance that evolution was divinely ordained — “part of God’s plan” — a statement that sets him apart from Perry, who has questioned evolution.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)