Photo Credit: John Makely / msnbc.com

After a grueling campaign season, Obama’s campaign manager Jim Messina sat down for a rare on camera interview Tuesday morning with Politico’s White House corespondent Mike Allen.  Allen asked Messina, “What republican candidate would have had the best shot at beating your boss?”

Messina thought for a moment and said, “I think we were honest about our concerns about Huntsman.”

“I think Huntsman would have been a very tough general election candidate,” he continued. “He’s a good guy. We looked at his profile in a general election and thought he would have been difficult.”

Huntsman resigned as ambassador to China on January 31, 2011. He eventually entered the Republican presidential race in June of the same year with a speech at Liberty Stake Park in New Jersey, using the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop. After a third-place finish in the New Hampshire primary, the former Utah governor called it quits on his campaign in January of 2012.

If he would have made it to the general election, the 2012 campaign would have certainly looked different:

Photo Credit: Vogue.com