Jon Huntsman is counting on right-of-center politics to give him an advantage  in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination,   despite polls showing him trailing far behind  the favorites in a crowded field.

He says Democrat Barack Obama is too far to the left and the president’s other Republican opponents are too far to the right.

“This country is crying out for a sensible middle ground. This is a center-right country; I am a center-right candidate,” the former Utah governor said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week with Christiane Amanpour.”

“We’ve found ourselves at the extreme ends of the political spectrum, and people are crying out for us to get back to some level of sensibility,” said Huntsman, Obama’s former ambassador to China.

Huntsman said “sideshows,” “finger pointing and name-calling” distract from what candidates should be talking about — their ideas for fixing the economy and creating jobs.