Washington (CNN) - Jon Huntsman gave a frank appraisal of his fellow Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann Thursday, saying the Minnesota congresswoman was qualified to be president, but only by the narrowest of definitions.
"I think she meets the constitutional requirements, of course," Huntsman said when asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer if Bachmann was qualified to be president.
"I would never go beyond what the Constitution requires. Leave that up to the people to decide. They always typically make the best choices," Huntsman said.
Huntsman said that recent comments from Bachmann about the safety of the human papillomavirus vaccine had confused voters. In interviews, Bachmann has repeated a story about a woman who claimed her daughter was rendered mentally disabled after receiving the injection.
"If you're going to say something, check your sources, get your information right," Huntsman said Thursday. "If you're going to run for president of the United States, people are pretty much going to want to rely on your facts. They are going to rely on what you're presenting. You darn well better make sure it's consistent with reality."
Huntsman said that he opposed a mandate requiring all girls to receive the vaccine.
"Mandates do not have a role predominantly in these kinds of issues, whether it's health care reform or whether it's what we are discussing here," Huntsman said. "American people are very skeptical of mandates in society. They want freedom. They want the freedom to choose these things."
Huntsman praised Texas Gov. Rick Perry for admitting he had made a mistake in enacting that legislation in Texas that required girls to receive the HPV vaccine.
"I think Rick came out courageously and said he erred and took back that earlier decision he made," Huntsman said.
When asked about his consistently low polling numbers, Huntsman said he was confident that voters in New Hampshire and elsewhere would soon begin to gravitate to his campaign.
"I believe we will resonate with all voters, many independent, a whole lot Republican, some the old Reagan Democrats," Huntsman said. "We are beginning the process of introducing ourselves to the American people."
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the more I hear John Huntsman talk, the more I want to vote for him
I like Huntsman. It's amusing that Perry actually did the right thing for once. Too bad his motive was money rather than actual concern for people.
There's something kind of mean about the way he looks. I also think Hunstman is dishonest. We all know Bachmann is a loony liar; call it like it is, man. Don't be all fake with the American people. They won't like you then.
The gloves may eventually come off, for most, but Huntsman has already promised to run a clean and tasteful campaign, and up to now, he has kept that commitment. I really respect him for that.
Bachmann does not live in the world of facts. She just makes things up when it suits the moment. She is NO leader and just an extremist lunatic. The fact Republicans have ever considered her a serious candidate is downright scary.
"If you're going to run for president of the United States, people are pretty much going to want to rely on your facts. They are going to rely on what you're presenting. You darn well better make sure it's consistent with reality."
Ok, Huntsman, now it is your turn to try and define "reality" to Manic Michelle!
Anyone who is breathing technically qualifies to be President,.. but the country deserves better than a mentally comatose windbag like Bchmann.
Part of the way that the people speak is through Congress. I would hope that we would have an informed electorate. Unfortunately it doesn't look like it because people believe Bachmann and her false claims. I guess that is true because people believe Sarah Palin.
We need people are willing to look at the science as well as do the reseach for scientific exploration (and understanding).
Huntsman seems to be both too intelligent and too moderate to win the Republican nomination.
He should get together with Hillary and start a Centrist Party!
►"Mandates do not have a role predominantly in these kinds of issues, whether it's health care reform or whether it's what we are discussing here,"
Aren't the other vaccines mandated? A child cannot enter school unless they had all of their shots????
I wish Mr. Huntsman would be the GOP canidate. I could vote for him not any of the others.
Consider that those who are not vaccinated pose a public health risk to others, as they can get infected and pass on the virus to others. In many ways, this is on the same level as infection by syphilis or gonorrhea, both of which must be reported when detected and treated by doctors. The immediacy of the infection is the only difference between the various STDs.
Huntsman is probably the most decent and moderate candidate that the GOP has.
Huntsman is positioning himself for a VP slot and he is betting on the current strong horse in the race. This is why he is praising Perry and bashing Bachmann.
It also makes sense for him to back Perry over Romney because of the two Perry is more likely to choose a moderate like Huntsman than Romney who is already a moderate. If Romney is nominated he is more likely to choose somebody from the Tea Party like Haley (who, concidentally, recently bashed Huntsman).
Good for John Huntsman. HPV is a ubiquitous STD that, much like measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus before it, is preventable by a simple vaccine. It should be a required vaccine, just like the MMR and DTaP... unless someone thinks cervical cancer is less serious than any of those other conditions.
I have a Huntsman bumper sticker on my car. He truly is uniquely qualified to lead us out of this endless recession and into a new world financial order in dealing with China in their native tongue. President Obama is not equipped to get us out of the recession as he has proved over the past 32 months. The "top tier" GOP candidates have a series of problems to succeed in the general election; two too far right with TP, one who is very good domestically but a complete isolationist and another who has serious flip flop problems. Newt is really a smart guy but he has old baggage and temperament problems, Santorum nice guy but not going anywhere, Cain good domestically but I also wouldn't trust him with the football.
If the GOP wants to beat Obama they will gravitate to Huntsman otherwise the lesser of two evils will allow Obama to win.
These people are all crazy. Is this really the best the GOP has?
Huntsman is actually the only repulbican candidate I believe. Would even consider voting for him.
OF all the Republican current hopefuls I believe Huntsman is the Republican parties best potential presidential nominee to go up against Obama.
Children are required to have vaccinations before they are allowed to attend public school. Why is this any different? An STD can be transmitted to others just like measles or any other disease.
No i wouldn't make it law because it will never go through and the Supreme would tear it apart. But i say if you refuse it and you do get cancer your on your own for flipping the bill
When has Michele Bachmann EVER been consistent with REALITY???
Michele Bachmann wouldn't know what REALITY was even if it came up and bit her on her derrier.
Perry was the puppet of Merck. They paid him to issue the order to use their drug. The Washington bribe payers will love him. The Koch Bros and the Apostolic Federation own him now.
It's official we can now refer to mid-western white republican voters who voted for President Obama as Obama Republicans. I'm headed to Wikipedia to coin the term!!!! Oh wait, its already there!!!
I'm military and I remember the military's strong push to vaccinating military dependents with HPV. Of course, they can't simply push whatever they want into our dependents' veins the way that they do to active servicemembers, but they pressure you, as a trusted professional doctor is strongly advising that this is what you need to do to be a responsible and proactive parent. In the shadow of great consternation and stress, we declined the vaccination. My simple test is, if I were a civilian and this was a treatment that I could not afford to write a check to recieve, would I be facing all of this pressure? Schools require vaccination shot records for enrollment. When HPV reaches that level of vetting and research, THEN you can start putting the pressure on society OUTSIDE of politics. Really...who CAN you trust these days?