It didn't take long for Iowa to hit back at Jon Huntsman. In a long statement obtained by Politico, Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz, himself a Republican and a Mormon, mocks Huntsman's explanation for why he's skipping the state, noting that his "excuse" (he opposes ethanol subsidies) has "as much credibility as 'the dog ate my homework.'"
Further, writes Schultz, "Mr. Huntsman is in need of a lesson in Iowa politics. Iowa is a bellwether state," and the last two presidents won the Iowa caucus. Perhaps, Schultz implies, Huntsman simply doesn't want to explain his positions on other issues, like taking federal stimulus money or distancing himself from his Mormon faith. Writes Schultz, "Mr. Huntsman should know that Iowans elected me as their Secretary of State and my Mormon faith was never an issue." If Huntsman passes on Iowa, concludes Schultz, "he is not ready for the big dance." (Read more Jon Huntsman stories.)