GOP Has to Be "Big Tent Party" to Win 2012: Huntsman

Christine Jenkins|Special to CNBC.com

Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman told CNBC on Tuesday that to win the general election in 2012, the GOP is “going to have to a big tent party. We’re going to have to bring people home.”

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“There are a lot of independents who have fled over the years, who are now in the unaffiliated category,” he said.

Asked if that meant Texas Governor Rick Perry can’t win, Huntsman responded, “My comment there is if we get too far over to one end of the political spectrum, we’re not going to be able to draw in the numbers.”

In a past interview, Huntsman criticized Perry's remark that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's actions were "treasonous."

Asked how he would address the deficit, Huntsman said he would phase out tax loopholes, deductions, and subsidies.

“That's a tax increase and I would invest it back into the tax code," he said. "Lower the rate, broaden the base, flatten it out."