The conservative cred of Utah’s two favorite presidential candidates fell a notch last week:

First, former Gov. Jon Huntsman made the rounds blaming dastardly Democrats Michael Moore, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton for endorsing his candidacy and thereby undermining his campaign.

But Huntsman probably did more damage to his prospects with the GOP by calling for a third party and then comparing the tactics of Republicans who disinvited him from a fundraiser to those used in China.

Republicans, you know, hate being compared to communists. There goes 2016.

Meantime, former Massachusetts Gov. (and Utah mascot) Mitt Romney slipped a bit on the conservative purity scale when he hired a misogynistic firebrand who also happens to be gay.

Two weeks ago, Romney picked former Bush administration loyalist Richard Grenell to be his national security and foreign policy spokesman. For moral majority folks, Grenell’s sexual orientation was a problem.

But Grenell’s last-minute scrubbing of impulsive statements about certain media personalities and prominent women from his Twitter account and personal site revealed the larger risks for Romney, who doesn’t want to be seen as part of the GOP’s “war on women.”

Among Grenell’s greatest hits: MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, a lesbian, should “take a breath and put on a necklace.” He mused about First Lady Michelle Obama “sweating on the East Room carpet” and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton starting to look like Madeleine Albright.

The guy Bush II put in charge of drafting U.S. government statements from the U.N. insisted those were just “tongue-in-cheek.”

Maybe Mitt “I live for humor” Romney didn’t find them so funny. Whatever happened, Grenell resigned from the campaign on Tuesday, blaming “hyper-partisan discussion of personal issues.”

A Romney camp spokesman said the team was “disappointed.”

“We wanted him to stay,” Matt Rhoades said.

Anybody believe that?