President Barack Obama was asked bluntly about the buzz that his Ambassador to China may turn into a Republican rival for the White House in 2012.
A Newsweek article about Ambassador Jon Huntsman has been seen by some as hinting at a potential run for the White House by the former Republican governor of Utah.
Obama responded with praise and humor to the question posed at a news conference with Chinese President Hu Jintao.
“I think Ambassador Huntsman has done an outstanding job as ambassador for the United States to China. He is a Mandarin speaker. He’s brought enormous skill, dedication and talent to the job,” Obama said.
“And, you know, the fact that he comes from a different party I think is a strength, not a weakness, because it indicates the degree to which both he and I believe that partisanship ends at the water’s edge, and that we work together to advocate on behalf of our country,” the president continued.