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Jon Huntsman Says He Is 100% Behind Mitt Romney

On CNBC, Huntsman is critical, but insists he's staying with Mitt Romney. Veering back to the party.

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Former Utah Gov. Jon Hunstman, after a series of comments suggesting deep alienation from his own party and even an independent bid for the White House, now says he's sticking with Mitt Romney.

After two days of criticism of his party for disinviting him from a fundraiser and catering only to its most conservative base, Huntsman was asked on CNBC's Squawk Box whether he was still 100 percent behind Mitt Romney's presidential bid.

"Absolutely, I am," Huntsman replied. The economic message is going to carry the day in November, and I think that message will resonate — or not — through the critically important states in the midwest... These are gonna the states that will tell the story in November. I think it's about recovery, it's about rebuilding our manufacturing muscle in this country, and the prospects for job creation. I think he's best positioned by virtue of his own background training to be able to provide that leadership."

But Huntsman didn't spare Romney from criticism, noting "He didn't do real tax reform when he was governor." Huntsman said he hopes Romney will run with it if elected to the White House. "He has a huge opening now to be able to put something on the table that the marketplace — I think — will respond to."