Poor Jon Huntsman.  I really like this guy but he had better sleep lightly, with one eye opened.  The Democrats are showering him with love for some of his comments about fellow Republicans.  According to Politico:


Huntsman Said The Rest Of The GOP Field Had “Zero Substance” And Were “Too Far To The Right.” Huntsman on ABC’s This Week: “We have people on the Republican side too far to the right. We have zero substance. We have no good ideas that are being circulated or talking about that allow the country to get back on its feet economically so we begin creating jobs.” [ABC News – This Week, 8/21/11]

Huntsman Said He Would Not Trust His Opponents With The Economy Because They Would Have Allowed The Country To Default. When asked by Jake Tapper, “Would you trust a President Bachmann to do the right thing with the economy?” Huntsman replied, “I wouldn’t necessarily trust any of my opponents who are on the recent debate stage with me when every single one of them would have allowed this country to default.” [ABC News – This Week, 8/21/11]

Huntsman Said The Republican Party Has “A Serious Problem” In Becoming “The Anti-Science Party.” On ABC’s This Week, Huntsman said: “I think there’s a serious problem. The minute the Republican Party becomes the party, the anti-science party, we have a huge problem. We lose a whole lot of people, who would otherwise allow us to win the election in 2012 when we take a position that isn’t willing to embrace evolution, we take a position that basically runs counter to what 100 to 900 climate scientists have said with what the national academy of science has said. What is causing climate change and man’s contribution to it. We find ourselves on the wrong side of science and therefore in a losing position.” [ABC News – This Week, 8/21/11]

Huntsman Said “We’d Be Here All Afternoon” To Talk About Romney’s Flip-Flops. On ABC’s This Week, Huntsman said, “If we talk about inconsistencies and change on various issues, we’d be here all afternoon.” [ABC News – This Week, 8/21/11

That is what happens during the primary season.  However, most of the Republican candidates are all tripping over each other trying to be the most conservative.  Jon Huntsman is the son billionaire businessman Jon Huntsman Sr.  He grew up in Palo Alto and has served as Governor of Utah.   He has been in a rock band, is a college graduate but not a high school graduate, he got his GED. 

Huntsman also speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese which he learned while on his Mormon mission.    He seems like a Reagan Republican.  He should because he was.  Huntsman worked in the Reagan administration and has served as ambassador to several countries.  He has trade experience, both domestic and international. 

Republicans who can get over ideological problems need to take a close look at this very viable candidate who can appeal to the mainstream.  Perhaps when everyone has finished skewering everyone else, Jon Huntsman will rise to the top.  He is a candidate who bears watching.  If the Republicans don’t want him, perhaps the Blue Dog Democrats will welcome him with open arms.  I have not seen a more highly qualified Republican candidate in a long time.  He is certainly one I could consider. 

56 Thoughts to “Jon Huntsman: Fair-haired child of the Democrats?”

  1. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    The simple fact that Huntsman thought he could run for the nomination tells you that something isn’t wired correctly upstairs.

  2. Scout

    I thought he was trying to get the nomination, SR. Are you sure you aren’t confusing him with someone else?

    Huntsman is a traditional Republican candidate with an excellent executive skill set. He has good governance experience, a strong foreign policy exposure, important language skills (an extremely rare attribute in any sector of the political spectrum) and a good business background. His personal traits and character appear to be above reproach. He seems to have a good education and good analytical skills. There was a time when that would be a dream package for the Republican Party. That it is not now says nothing negative about Huntsman and a great deal about what the Republican Party of today. Slowpoke is probably right that such a well-qualified, electable candidate will not get the nomination (I concede that he probably was trying to say that in this comment). The question he raises with what is probably a correct observation is: Why would the Republican Party want a candidate of this calibre to be such a long shot?

  3. I think it speaks very much to what the Republican party has become. I cannot believe I used to consider myself a Republican. I consider Jon Huntsman to be a great candidate for the same reasons Scout outlined. 20 years ago he would have been seen as the dream candidate.

    What happened is that the Republicans started trying to put social and religious dogma before good governance when selecting a candidate.

    That’s really a shame. I just think good governance should be the determining factor rather than all this weird ideology.

    I predict a third party of normal is on the horizon.

  4. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    So let’s see….I said “run for the nomination”, and Scout says that instead he’s “trying to get the nomination”. You wouldn’t by any chance be a liberal, would you, Scout? You reason like one.

  5. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Moon-howler :
    I think it speaks very much to what the Republican party has become.

    And in other news, Democratic hero Maxine Waters says the “Tea Party can go straight to Hell!” Y’all must be so proud to identify yourselves as Democrats!

  6. marinm

    The media loves this candidate. The electorate does not.

    1. Is that because he isn’t really an ideological candidate?

      Look at his credentials. With the exception of a couple of items where I disagree, he seems like an excellent candidate. He has experience in the executive office, he has foreign policy experience and commerce experience.

      I am curious what’s wrong with him. Back in the day, he would have been wildly popular with mainstream R’s.

  7. marinm

    I don’t know of a current candidate (D or R) that can be seen as non-idealogical.

    Mr. Huntsman has no traction. He polls poorly. No name recognition outside of the biased liberal elite media.

    Ask a person off the street what they think of him and you’ll just get a look of “Who? Wha?”

    RCP shows he polls 2.2 (avg). To put that in perspective Ginrich is 5, Cain is 5, Paul is 8.8, Bachman is 9.6, Palin 10, Perry 18.4, and Romney is 20.2.

    If moderates were the key to winning elections I think we’d have President McCain. Instead we voted in an idealogue.

    Which is not to say it’s a bad thing. Idealogues get things done. 😉

    1. @marin,

      There are plenty of candidates who aren’t ideologues, just not many Republicans. Romeny isn’t an ideologue either. Bachmann, not so much.

      I don’t see the current president as an ideologue nor do I see Hillary as one.

      As for Mr. Huntsman, I would say that non-name recognition is more of a midwest/east coast thing. His father invented the clamshell container that McDonalds first used back in the early 70s. Huntsman was a Utah gov. — not that far in the past.

      Voters want shock jocks for presidents now I guess. I expect if Rush Liimbaugh ran he would get 15-20% of the vote.

    2. @marin, what do you mean when you say Huntsman has no traction?

      What about him do you personally not like?

  8. Juturna

    Disagree – I, like a few other of my friends are the moderate Dems/Repubs that proved to be the swing vote in the last election. I think he hasn’t gotten any publicity yet, it’s still early.

    There are many people in the middle of these ridiculous discussions, liberal, conservative, Republican Democrat that pretty much shy away from any discussion where those words are thrown about and used to villify not discuss. It’s simply pointless and clearly without depth.

    He oversaw the largest state budget reduction in US history while Governor, he’s been Ambassador to China, worked for Regean, Bush (41) and gave the nominating speech for Sarah Palin. Personal opinion aside, on paper he is far more qualified than Palin.

    1. @Juturna, I agree. It is very early. There are lots of flash in the pans out there and Huntsman has substance. Lots of it. Those on the left and right extremes forget that it is people like you and me who really determine the outcome of elections. Time and time again we prove this but no one learns at either end because they are so wrapped in ideology that they cannot see past it.

      I don’t remember Huntsman giving Palin’s nominating speech. That’s probably a good thing. I might not have taken a second look if I had recalled that.

      The far right still won’t believe that Palin was the deal breaker for the centrists last election. I believe McCain might have won had he not chosen her as his running mate. I know hundreds of people who back off and went in the other direction when Palin was selected.

  9. marinm

    Trying to get my mind wrapped around this…..Obama not an idealogue? Really?

    An entire movement that took Congress by storm exists because of his idealogy.

    We have national conversations about the TEA party. We don’t have them about Mr. Huntsman.

    1. @marin

      It sounds like you have listened to too many Glenn Beck shows. How would you define Obama’s ideology? Or Hillary’s?

      Its also very obvious about what movitivated some people to join up with the TEA party. I know that some are religious right/values. Some anti Obama people are also very much linked to the op-ed Big Dog posted yesterday. I don’t want to hear its not. I know people who feel exactly that way and don’t hesitate to express themselves along those lines.

      I would say that the TEA party, whatever the hell that is, is a mixed bag of ideology…not all coming from the same place. But I will let you tell me about Obama and Hillary because I must have missed it.

  10. Juturna

    IMHO Obama is an idealogue – not only that, I think he’s blind to his advisors which when you are an idealogue makes for a disaster which is what I see happening.

    I don’t see Hilary as an idealogue, she was during Clinton’s first term when she failed with Health Care but that failure drove it out of her.

  11. marinm

    I agree with Juturna.

    I don’t watch Mr. Beck. I think he’s a good guy and means well but I’ve never bought a book by him, watched his show, or otherwise supported him with money.

    The TEA party is idealogical. They want a smaller govt that listens to the People.

  12. Juturna

    And people like us very often end up on opposite sides of the fence!! But we know at some point we will be on the same side. If I can’t see a lot of “how” I tend to back off. Don’t preach, yell, screech (Rush not Michelle 🙂 ), oversimplify or attack. Loses me everytime.

  13. @Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Why would you think Maxine Waters speaks for me? She no more speaks form me than Michele Bachmann does.

    As for the go to hell…oh well…who care. I hear stuff all the time from stuff both sides. Yawn. Bachmann says the the president of the United States is incompetent and a socialist. Yawn.

    ps Scout is a life long Republican.

  14. @marinm

    Some tea party want that. Others don’t. People who want to expand religion and religous believes into the public sector obviously don’t want smaller government. Then there are the social issues. Government in my bedroom or determining who can marry and who can’t certainly is extending the roll of government and there are lots of TP people out there who want to do that.

    So…I am not buying it. Smaller govt? Not really. Different govt. perhaps.

  15. Health care is one issue. I don’t think seeing that all Americans have access to health care is really ideology. It just makes good sense. Pay me now Pay be later kind of good sense.

    At some point, most people need health care. Someone has to pay for it. Those without insurance can’t. So you and I pay for it with increased premiums. Unless your employer pays for the entire thing (and I know yours doesn’t) you are still having costs go up.

    How else do you see Obama as an ideologue? I would say he is more surrounded by them than he is one himself. I believe he campaigned more on ideology than he governs on it.

  16. Cato the Elder

    Moon-howler :

    How would you define Obama’s ideology?


  17. We must have studied different Marx Brothers. 🙄

  18. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Moon-howler :
    @Slowpoke Rodriguez
    Why would you think Maxine Waters speaks for me? She no more speaks form me than Michele Bachmann does.
    As for the go to hell…oh well…who care. I hear stuff all the time from stuff both sides. Yawn. Bachmann says the the president of the United States is incompetent and a socialist. Yawn.
    ps Scout is a life long Republican.

    I don’t recall saying that “Maxine Waters encapsulates MH’s views”. You asked “what has become of the Republican Party”. I’m simply asking “what has become of the Democratic Party?”. You may not believe this, but today’s Democratic Party isn’t the one my parents knew in the 50s and 60s. The problem is in both parties IMHO.

    1. @pokie

      It certainly isn’t the one my parents knew in the those days either. I will totally agree with you there. Of course my parents were not too many steps away from being Dixie-crats, I think. Not really sure. They always told me it was none of my business who they voted for. I know I heard them talking about voting for Adlai Stevens (and I think I just misspelled that). Didn’t he run against Eisenhower? My parents would have NEVER voted Republican in those days but that was a spill over from Reconstruction. (seriously)

      Many of the dixie-crats became Republicans in the 60s and 70s. I always associated the switch over to the voting rights act just basing it on who I knew that changed parties.

      1. pokie,

        Email me at moon.howler07@verizon.net

        There is something I want to tell you that I don’t want to put on broadcast.

  19. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Hmm, I totally messed that up 🙂

  20. Kelly3406

    My problem with Huntsman is that he seems to go out of his way to inflame those in his own Party. It reminds me how John McCain seems to enjoy insulting conservatives. We all know how that worked out for him.

    If he is a Reaganite, he certainly seems to have forgotten the 11th commandment: thou shalt not criticize other Republicans. Referring to the Republican Party as anti-science is simply taking a page out of the Democrats’ playbook. I have seen signs that there is a growing acceptance of skeptics in the climate community. There have been a couple of papers in major journals recently that call into question some of the basic tenets of anthropogenic global warming. So calling dissenters anti-science is completely uncalled for.

  21. Kelly3406

    I think the healthcare issue is proof that Obama is an ideologue. Forcing an individual to enter into an agreement with a corporation is an intrusion of individual liberty that marks Obama as a socialist and collectivist. Only if you want someone else to pay for your healthcare could you look at this as other than an intrusion.

  22. Juturna

    I stopped believing McCain shortly after Sarah Palin was crammed down his throat. Huntsman reminds me slightly of Bush (41). It will all depend on the Republicans and how badly they want to win. Social issues seem to have failed – too many are touched by single parents, homosexuals and abortion. So if that is who he’s insulting he’s got a lot of backing. Besides, who isn’t in yet? It’s still early days. The Republicans have a lot of depth – they should carefully select those that will carry the majority. And that will not be an extremist. Congress has provided all the reasons not to vote for anyone who is too far in any direction and unwilling to work seriously for a plan that at least appears to take multiple views into consideration.

  23. Scout

    It doesn’t seem “socialist”, Kelly, to “force an individual to enter into an agreement with a corporation. . .” It would be more like socialism to have tried to impose a single payor national system (along Canadian lines, to use an example). In any event, the dilemma of establishing some sort of effective national health system is the same dilemma faced by motorist insurance. You have to have total participation. The health care system enacted last year leaves an individual the option of not participating, but imposes a tax penalty for opting out. I’m not sure I like it, and I’m curious to see how the Supreme Court deals with it, but I certainly understand why one has to require something like that to have a system that works on a national basis.

    Ideology is a middle and eastern European construct that is the bane of governance in a democratic republic such as this one. Ideology is un-American. It is a place for lazy minds. Most problems of governance do not have an ideological solution. Facile, shallow ideology has gotten hold of the Republican party like chokeweed. It makes everyone dumb en masse. That elements of the Democratic Party have the same problem doesn’t make me feel any better about what has happened. Republicans used to be the smart ones.

    @ Slowpoke (comments at 0941 and 0945): I’m a conservative Republican with some long bloodlines in the Party. I worked my first statewide campaign in 1962 and my first national campaign in 1964 (one of Barry’s Boys). I served in the Reagan Administration. My ancestors were big Lincoln (and Fremont in 1856) men. So I think I’m in a pretty good position to say that Huntsman would have been a solid GOP candidate not all that long ago (like at any time prior to 2000). And I do continue to believe that his apparent life on the margins of this campaign (we’ve got a long way to go, and I have a feeling he’ll do better as time passes, up to a point – I don’t expect him to win) is a negative reflection on the state of the Republican Party, not a negative reflection on Huntsman.

  24. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Moon-howler :
    Email me at moon.howler07@verizon.net
    There is something I want to tell you that I don’t want to put on broadcast.

    I did…..verizon.net didn’t work, but the old yahoo one worked. The Verizon got kicked back at me by both my email accounts.

    1. I am nuts. try moonhowler@verizon.net or moon.howler07@yahoo.com

      Sorry, pokie. Too many distractions including a dancing 5 year old. (who told me you had to squirrel spaghetti, not cut it.)

  25. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    I agree that Huntsman would have made a good candidate before 2000. America seemed to tire of neo-cons, so I think the days of Bush/Cheney/McCain (and Huntsman) are done.

  26. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Moon-howler :
    We must have studied different Marx Brothers.

    God as my witness….Groucho was an absolute comic genius. I feel sorry that today’s kids mostly won’t know just how funny that man was. Harpo was pretty cool, too. I love to watch him play harp, and there’s a recording of his voice on the Internet. Funny, you’d never guess that’s what he sounded like. Deep, strong voice.

  27. Scout

    SR: Huntsman doesn’t strike me as a “neo-Conservative” (in the commonly accepted appreciation of that term – e.g., Chaney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle). He seems like a good antidote to that kind of thinking. Nor do I think McCain fits the Neo-con mold very well.

    1. @scout, I am glad you said that. I am not an expert on who is what in the Republican world since I am ‘unpartied,’ but I never thought of McCain and Huntsman as neo-con.

      I just think of them as moderate republicans.

  28. Kelly3406

    I agree that it would be ‘more’ socialist to have a single-payer system, but forcing healthy people to pay into a healthcare system (HCS) in order to guarantee coverage for all is at least soft-core socialism.

    Forcing health insurance is nothing like auto insurance, because the former derives from state law not federal law; and one can choose not to own a car and therefore not to purchase car insurance.

    There is no opt-out provision in the HCS except for large, punitive fines that likely cost more than health insurance. If the federales have the power to force the purchase of health insurance for the good of all, then there is virtually nothing it cannot force one to buy for the good of all. You claim to have worked in the Reagan administration, but a national HCS is clearly antithetical to what Reagan stood for (I can even find the videos where he speaks out against a national HCS).

    Finally, your little homily on ideology moved me … not at all. If the desire for limited government is ideological, then I confess to being ideological. Your implicit acceptance of national solutions that provide centralized control of health care betrays much more ideology than perhaps you intended. That ideology includes a willingness to continually chip away at individual liberties in order to grow the social safety net, which is not consistent with governance from a conservative Republican.

  29. marinm


    PRINCETON, NJ — President Barack Obama is closely matched against each of four possible Republican opponents when registered voters are asked whom they would support if the 2012 presidential election were held today. Mitt Romney leads Obama by two percentage points, 48% to 46%, Rick Perry and Obama are tied at 47%, and Obama edges out Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann by two and four points, respectively.

  30. punchak

    One of tonight’s news casts reminded me of the National Republcan Convention at the Cow Palace in San Francisco 1964. The primary election was between Nelson Rockefeller and Goldwater. Rockefeller was a moderate, liberal Republican. When he stood to give his speech, he was booed to the extent that he was unable to finish speaking. Goldwater, who was introduced by Richard Nixon, was chosen, as you know, and was soundly defeated. That convention was awful. Huntley-Brinkley were covering it and word was that they actually feared for their lives. I watched it on TV. It was ugly.

    I feel Huntsman is a Rockefeller Republican who is up against hardcore right wingers of the Goldwater type. In today’s atmosphere I’m afraid he doesn’t stand a chance, even though he has a background that definitely makes him an excellent candidate for the presidency.

    1. Those Goldwater types seem very tame to us all now–almost moderate. Wasn’t Sandra Day O’Conner a Goldwater woman?

  31. punchak

    Oh, yes – Ronald Reagan was the key note speaker.
    He had just become a Republican.

  32. Scout

    “Limited Government” is not an ideology, Kelly, it’s a buzzword. As a conservative, I distrust government and want it as powerless as possible consistent with the protection of liberties. But I view that as an issue of mechanics, not ideology. The People in their Constitution placed limits on the federal government while, at the same time, granting it powers. That works for me. Again, no particular ideology, just good governmental engineering.

    The reason a national health care system requires participation (directly or indirectly) by all is to avoid moral hazard dis-economies. I think I have been fairly fastidious in not endorsing such a system. I simply acknowledged that if there is to be one, everyone has to be engaged in it. The same imperatives drive Social Security. There are, no doubt, people who would rather not be bothered with Social Security, or who still regard it as a blatant encroachment of statist interventionism into individual lives, but no one can “opt out” for the same underlying reasons that national health care requires universal participation. There may be a better way that is “more conservative”, but it would be very different than anything we have now.

    A social “safety net” of some sort may be completely consistent with conservative objectives in an American context. It depends on how it works and what it requires of the citizens.

  33. punchak

    Pres. Reagan nominated O’Connor, but Goldwater, her fellow Arizonan, might have suggested her.

    You’re so right. Goldwater wouldn’t make the cut with today’s hardcore Republicans. Waaay tooo tame for the young Cantor-types. Goldwater was actually quite likable; honest and outspoken, he didn’t worry about where the chips might fall. Not too many like that around these days, is there?

  34. @Punchak, there sure aren’t.

    Goldwater was painted as a racist extremist back when he was running. I really don’t think that was true.

  35. Scout, I always enjoy your comments. Don’t stay away so long next time. You give us all something to think about.

  36. Pat.Herve

    I do not know whey people think that the HCR individual mandate is an ideological move – it has been a Republican Idea for many years – even the Heritage Foundation supported the individual mandate – and many Republicans, including Newt supported the mandate – http://dcprogressive.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/history-republicans-supporting-mandate/

    It was a very Republican idea before in was a Democratic idea – McCain campaigned on the individual mandate.

    How do you solve the healthcare issues without requiring people to pay into the system – there are those that shirk their responsibility to protect themselves, and then you and I pay for their care through taxes and increased medical costs. Doing nothing is not an option, we keep kicking the can down the road on all these issues that need to be addressed – Tax Reform, Debt, Deficit, Immigration, SS, Medicare, etc.

    1. Pat brings up a very valid point. When they don’t pay, we pay for them. Every insurance premium hike is a result of us having to pay for those who walk on their health care bills. Why would we want them not to have to pay?

  37. Juturna

    Goldwater saw the decline of personal responsibility in the 60’s and was concerned about it. He was right on a lot of things.

  38. Cato the Elder

    Forget all the personality comparisons, I like Huntsman’s record of achievement and for me that’s my number one criteria in candidate selection. Do I agree with him on everything, no, but I’m not willing to allow perfect to be the enemy of good. However, my second most important criteria is “can he win?” He’s a very bright technocrat but has run a horrid campaign thus far, so for me to consider him he’s going to have to demonstrate that he understands what it takes to win both the primary and the general, which is something he hasn’t been able to do to date.

    Also, I can tell you in five minutes how to solve the health care crisis in one page of legislation. Stop allowing pharma and device/equipment manufacturers to price-fix in the United States while selling the same product for pennies on the dollar in Canada. No, I’m not talking about price controls, just a simple bill that says if you sell a pill in Canada for .05 then you either have to sell it in the U.S. for .05 or not at all. The truth is that the U.S. funds health care innovation for the entire world, and by extension the socialized health care systems of most developed nations. That free ride needs to come to an end.

  39. Censored bybvbl

    I’m another person who thinks everyone should contribute to our health care system in this country. Being young and healthy isn’t an excuse for not having insurance. You never know when you’ll be involved in an auto accident or a fall or have a kidney stone or cyst that will send you to the hospital. Why should I pay higher premiums to cover your carelessness? I’ve had neighbors who didn’t buy insurance, ended up in the hospital, agreed to make payments, and then declared bankruptcy. And then they bought new toys with the money they saved by not having insurance. Meanwhile those of us with insurance keep seeing our premiums rise.

    Jon Huntsman seems to be a candidate who could draw support from Independents who aren’t wedded to the extreme of either party. He will probably be punished for that.

  40. Censored bybvbl

    Cato, One of our medical providers also thinks that all insurance claims should be filled out using the same form – thus eliminating time and extra paperwork filling out different forms for different companies. He said that if vets can do it so can medical docs.

  41. @Cato the Elder

    I even saved $30 on a 6 month supply of frontline for dogs buying in Canada. That is absurd.

    As for Huntsman, time will tell. Is he mainstream enough to appeal to the independents should be of primary concern.

  42. Juturna

    I’ve been interested in Huntsman since I first read the Dems recommended his appointment to China as they saw him a large risk to Obama. That goes back a while.

    Ryan says he’s out for President. What about VP?

  43. Cargosquid

    Huntsman would stand a better chance if he primaried Obama and ran as a Democrat.

    1. @cargo,

      I wouldn’t bet the ranch on that. The Republicans know they have to run a moderate if they are going to beat Obama. The fringe won’t work. Not enough supporters.

  44. marinm

    The polls don’t really reflect that.. Bachman and Paul (not moderates) are within the margin of error in the most recent poll.

    If BACHMAN is polling that well ——————————————— that can’t bode well for the Anointed One.

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