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Rachel Maddow Chases Jon Huntsman In New Hampshire (VIDEO)

First Posted: 01/07/12 01:56 PM ET Updated: 01/07/12 06:21 PM ET

Rachel Maddow Huntsman

Rachel Maddow took her (mostly) fruitless quest to get a Republican presidential candidate on her show to a new level on Friday.

While fringe contenders like Buddy Roemer have eagerly sat down with the MSNBC host, Maddow has found it much harder to bag any of the more prominent hopefuls. On Friday, she took her show to the New Hampshire primaries and spent the day trying to crash different GOP events. Cameras followed her failed attempt to get into a mobbed Rick Santorum forum. Then, something even better happened: Maddow actually tried to chase Jon Huntsman down to get some face-time with him.

Before the ambush, Maddow told her producers that the Huntsman campaign had flatly rejected any kind of interview with her. "No way, no chance, never" was how she described the response.

The campaign's reluctance could be tied to a recent minor stir Maddow caused within GOP circles when a Huntsman finance director wrote an approving tweet about her.

Undaunted, Maddow went to a Huntsman speech and followed what she thought was his car. As she saw him being surrounded by a press pack, she began running towards him. Eventually, she found herself outside of the scrum, unable to get close to him.

Back in a New Hampshire studio, Maddow again pleaded with Huntsman to stop by. "I do not bite!" she said, adding, "unless you want me to."


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Background on Jon Huntsman.
Relationship With Obama
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Huntman served the Obama administration as ambassador to China before resigning from his post a few months prior to entering the presidential race. While detractors of the former diplomat and Utah governor have sometimes sought to make an issue out of his friendliness with the administration, there have been remarkably few high-profile attacks from his primary opponents regarding the matter.

The Los Angeles Times reported on the earlier moves moves by others to highlight Huntsman's Obama ties after his campaign announcement.

Seeking to undermine him, someone registered the domain name, which features a glowing letter Huntsman wrote to Obama just as he was shipping off to China.

"You are a remarkable leader -- and it has been a great honor getting to know you," Huntsman wrote.

The letter came up in an interview Huntsman did with Sean Hannity of the Fox News Channel.

"I wrote that after I was appointed. I thought he was a remarkable leader for appointing a Republican to a position as important and sensitive as the U.S. ambassadorship to China," he said. "During a time of war and economic hardship, I'm the kind of person that's going to stand up and serve my country. I'm going to take that philosophy to my grave, and I hope my sons do the same thing."

Filed by Jack Mirkinson  |