Huntsman: My foreign policy is focused on economy

Republican presidential candidate, former Utah Gov. and Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, addresses the 2012 Republican Presidential Candidates Forum hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, in Washington. AP Photo/Cliff Owen

Jon Huntsman
AP Photo/Cliff Owen

Unlike other GOP presidential candidates who moved to paint themselves as the greatest potential allies to Israel at a gathering of Republican Jewish voters in Washington on Wednesday, Jon Huntsman focused his remarks almost exclusively on the economy.

The former Utah governor said he wanted a foreign policy determined "first and foremost by economics," and went on to deliver his standard call to reduce the national debt and bring down joblessness. He got mostly tepid applause from the audience at the forum, where all six candidates are scheduled to speak today.

Huntsman did finally get to the topic of Israel during the last few minutes of his speech.

"What matters to me is our commitment to Israel, that there be no blue sky between us," Huntsman said. "There is some sense today that we are not together. Those days under my administration will be gone."

Prodded to elaborate on his Middle East policy in the question and answer session with the audience, Huntsman said that he will not stand for a nuclear Iran and that in containing the Iranian threat, "all options are on the table."

Full CBS News coverage: Jon Huntsman

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    Naureen Khan covers the 2012 presidential campaign for CBS News and National Journal.

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