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Huntsman: Moderate Is Not A Bad Word

GWEN IFILL (PBS): We talk about electability, but I don't think we often define what that means. Does electability mean me, you are electable if you're me, or are there a set of qualities that people should be looking for? Is it just -- or is just, I see -- on a good day, I might be able to beat Barack Obama?

What does it mean?

JON HUNTSMAN: A proven track record that speaks to leadership, the kind of leadership that allows you to coalesce enough support to succeed in electoral politics, because, at the end of the day, the math has to work for you to win an election.

To be electable, you've got to actually convince some people who voted for Barack Obama last time to vote for you.

GWEN IFILL: Does that mean you consider yourself a moderate, someone who could appeal to people like that?

JON HUNTSMAN: It means I have crosscutting appeal.

If you look at my record, it would speak to being a consistent conservative.

GWEN IFILL: Wait a second. Why not call yourself a moderate?

(LAUGHTER)

GWEN IFILL: Crosscutting appeal? Is that a bad word?

JON HUNTSMAN: Well, we get folks from a lot of different political spectrums. I don't think it's a bad word at all.

I have a hard time with people putting labels on your forehead. I think that's unfair in politics. And some people actually confuse a moderate temperament with a moderate track record.

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