(Associated Press photos )
Reporting from Rochester, N.H. — Many candidates who go head-to-head with female rivals have ended up in verbal somersaults after delivering offhand comments about the appeal (or lack thereof) of female foes.
So rival presidential campaigns took notice of Jon Huntsman's observation that Michele Bachmann "makes for good copy — and good photography," words included in a lengthy New York magazine piece about the former Utah governor that was published this week.
After a New Hampshire campaign event Monday, Huntsman, who is now trying to restart his stalled campaign, said there was "no slight intended."
"When you say someone is photogenic — that's a compliment. I wish somebody would say it about me — that’s an advantage in the race. She's to be taken seriously," Huntsman said when asked about the remark after a house party here.
"I told the same reporter who wrote that, she is a very strong, legitimate candidate," Huntsman said. He said he also told writer John Heilemann that Bachmann had "been elected by her people. She's bringing a lot of important issues to the forefront. I have great respect for that."
"I hope in today’s political world," Huntsman said, "people don’t parse every compliment for the negative."