In a forum at the 92nd Street Y last night, former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman compared the Republican Party to China’s Communist Party for disinviting him from a fundraiser last month — and also chided politicians for their allegiance to “some corner of the Republican or Democratic Party.”
BuzzFeed first reported that Huntsman was asked not to attend a Republican National Committee fundraiser in March after calling for a third party movement.
Huntsman recounted the episode as part of the 92nd Street Y’s “Campaign for the
American Conversation” series, saying he received a call from someone telling him it would be better if he didn’t show.
Huntsman, the former Utah governor and once President Barack Obama’s Ambassador to China, expressed disappointment that the Republican Party disinvited him from a Florida fundraiser in March after he publicly called for a third party.
“This is what they do in China on party matters, they punish you, if you talk off script,” he said.
A RNC spokesperson declined to comment on Huntsman’s remarks Monday morning.
Huntsman took to Morning Joe on Monday morning to defend himself, saying “Bottom Feeder, Buzzsaw, Buzzfeed, whatever they are” had taken his comments out of context.
The 92nd Street Y has provided video of the event showing that the quotes were in context — and in fact, might be worse for Huntsman’s relationship with his party:
“And I said thanks, I was hoping to have a free weekend at some point,” Huntsman said. “And my first thought was — this is what they do in China on party matters, they punish you, if you say something off script. But not here. You know, we should be having an open, wide-ranging discussion of what works and what doesn’t for the sake of the United States. Our base should be the people of the United States, as opposed to some corner of the Republican or Democratic Party.”