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Huntsman won't attend Republican convention, cites party's narrow focus

There's been a lot of talk lately about the number of Democrats saying they won't attend the Democratic National Convention, including Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Joe Manchin (D-WV). Both are from right-leaning states.

But unlike Democrats, who deny that politics are playing a role in their decision, former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman (R-UT) says he'll be skipping the Republican convention in Tampa because of the party's politics and policy positions.

Huntsman, who served as governor of Utah before becoming President Obama's ambassador to China, is widely regarded as a moderate and railed against the party's narrow focus.

"I have had several requests asking about my attendance at this year's Republican National Convention, which I have attended virtually every time since 1984, where I was a Reagan delegate," Huntsman said in a statement. "I will not be attending this year's convention, nor any Republican Convention in the future, until the party focuses on a bigger, bolder, more confident future for the United States. A future based on problem solving, inclusiveness, and a willingness to address the trust deficit, which is every bit as corrosive as our fiscal and economic deficits. I encourage a return to the party we have been in the past, from Lincoln right on through to Reagan, that was always willing to put our country before politics."

Huntsman has, however, endorsed Mitt Romney.

The Salt Lake Tribune first reported the news.