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Jon Huntsman: 'I Was Totally Embarrassed' By Republican Debate

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JON HUNTSMAN REPUBLICAN DEBATE
(L-R) U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), former CEO of Godfather's Pizza Herman Cain, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich participate at the Republican presidential debate airing on CNN, October 18, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Seven GOP contenders are taking part in the debate, which is sponsored by the Western Republican Leadership Conference in Las Vegas and held in the Venetian Hotel's Sands Expo and Convention Center. (Photo by E | Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, who skipped Tuesday's GOP debate in Las Vegas since he is boycotting the Nevada caucuses, said he was "embarrassed by the lack of seriousness" of the debate Thursday in an interview with NextGen Journal.

"I was totally embarrassed -- completely embarrassed by the lack of seriousness, the lack of focus on the issues that really matter to the American people -- issues about reviving our economy and addressing joblessness were given short shrift," said the former Utah governor. "Our role in the world and securing our position of pre-eminence were given short-shrift. It was more game-show-like than anything else," he added.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry attacked each other in the debate over immigration. Perry criticized Romney for once hiring a landscaping company that employed undocumented immigrants to do lawn work on his Massachusetts home.

Romney gave the company a second chance after the Boston Globe first reported on the company's hiring practices, but he ultimately fired the company when it was revealed that the company still hired undocumented immigrants. Romney attacked Perry for his signing of a bill that lets undocumented immigrants who are Texas residents to pay in-state tuition rates.

Huntsman's comments echoed another presidential contender, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who said the debate made him "very uncomfortable." "Once or twice last night, the level of intensity, particularly between Governors Perry and Romney, got to be almost like seventh graders in a school yard," he said Wednesday on "The Sean Hannity Show."

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who declined to run for president, criticized the "bickering and fighting" in Tuesday's debate, and compared the candidates to her children coming home from school.

Huntsman is boycotting the Nevada caucuses for threatening the seven day window required by New Hampshire law after its first-in-the-nation primary. He is also focusing all of his resources in New Hampshire. Tuesday he skipped the debate to hold a town hall in the Granite State. At the town hall, he called the debate a "game show."

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