Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman says he would consider teaming up with tea party candidate Michele Bachmann if it helps the country, but laughed off the suggestion of any such deal with Mitt Romney.
In an interview with CNN, the former Utah governor was quick to add that he was confident of winning the Republican party's nomination and dismissed the prospect of playing second fiddle to Bachmann as purely hypothetical.
"If you love this country you serve this country... I'll be the first person to sign up, absolutely," he told interviewer Piers Morgan when asked if he'd run alongside Bachmann.
"This is a hypothetical conversation, I give you a more or less a hypothetical answer," he added, after Morgan questioned whether he believed he could win the nomination.
"We're going to win... I think we've got the background, I think we have the temperament, I think we're right on the issues and I think we're at the center-right of the political scale which is exactly where this country is."
As for a pairing with Romney, he said: "There'd be too many jokes about that, no I can't imagine (that) at all."
Huntsman is considered a second-tier candidate but he has made headlines and caused waves in the blogosphere this week by taking a moderate, centrist stance in the face of his rivals' more right-wing rhetoric, The Washington Post reported.
He told ABC television on Sunday the Republican Party was at risk of becoming the "anti-science party" after Texas Governor Rick Perry, another potential GOP nominee, maligned climate scientists and said the theory of evolution had "gaps".
Huntsman reportedly attracted thousands of new followers on Twitter by posting: "I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy."
"I think when you find yourself at an extreme end of the Republican Party, you make yourself unelectable," he told the ABC's "This Week" program, according to The New York Times.
He ridiculed Bachmann’s promise to bring gas prices down to $2 a gallon, saying: "I just don’t know what world that comment would come from."
"That is completely unrealistic. And, again, it’s talking about things that, you know, may pander to a particular group or sound good at the time, but it just simply is not founded in reality," he said.