- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 12, 2011

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who is mulling a bid for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, said President Obama has “failed on the economic front.”

“On the economic side, there are no signs of success, very little,” Mr. Huntsman said in a taped interview broadcast Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The criticism of Mr. Obama marked a shift toward a more partisan message from Mr. Huntsman, who until about six weeks ago served as Mr. Obama’s ambassador to China. In speeches and appearances, the undeclared candidate has generally avoided taking shots at his former boss, or even at his potential rivals in the GOP field.

“You look at unemployment, you look at the environment in which jobs supposedly can be created, when you look at the debt level and you look at all the economic indicators, it would suggest that we’re in bad shape,” he said.

Mr. Huntsman has been campaigning heavily in New Hampshire, but he is skipping Monday’s GOP debate there and declined to officially announce his run during the CNN interview, though he did say he and his family are prepared for a run.

Possible 2012 presidential hopeful and former Republican Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., of Utah, speaks to a reporter at a gathering at the home of Nancy and Wally Stickney in Salem, N.H., on June 10, 2011. (Associated Press)
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