(CNN) – Potential 2012 GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman used an interview published Tuesday to clarify how close he is with President Obama, his former boss.
"We don't have a personal relationship," Huntsman, who served as U.S. ambassador to China under Obama, told Real Clear Politics. "I was asked to do a sensitive job, but it's not like it was based on a personal relationship."
President Obama and his aides have used the relationship to publically jab Huntsman while he mulls a run for the White House and the former Utah governor has said he was simply serving his country.
But in the same interview Huntsman criticized the president's economic agenda.
"We have no pro-growth policies," Huntsman said. "When was the last time we had a free-trade agreement?"
"I think he's a good man, and he's tried his best," Huntsman added.
The press has continually pressed him about his relationship with Obama, which might explain his picks for Republicans he "admires most," Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Huntsman said he admired Ryan's ability to find solutions and Huckabee for connecting to voters in a heartfelt way.
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