Jon Huntsman is still dissing his GOP presidential opponents

Jon Huntsman resurfaces with a vanilla boring interview in the Deseret News (here) The “news” is that he will campaign for fellow Mormon Mitt Romney, since he’s the “best of the options we have” running for president. But outside of the LDS media organ, Huntsman’s been more candid about his feelings since his flop of a presidential run ended.

In a Yahoo News piece by Jeff Greenfield (read) the former ABC news reporter is convinced that Jon Huntsman is not long for the Republican Party. Part of his exasperation with the party is its candidates. Huntsman may have endorsed Romney, but the GOP presumptive nominee can’t take much comfort in this observation from Huntsman. Greenfield writes, “When he (Hunstman) recalled his first appearance on a debate stage with his rivals, he said he remembers thinking two thoughts. First: “The barriers to entry are very low.” Second: “In a nation of 315 million people … is this the best we can do?”

Mitt Romney was certainly on the stage when Huntsman’s nose crinkled in patrician disgust at the site of his GOP debate colleagues. If we see these two Mormons on the campaign stage together soon, look for the frozen smiles of two men who would rather be anywhere else than sharing a stage.

Here is the end of Greenfield’s article: “Why do I get the feeling,” I asked him (Huntsman), “that if we have this conversation a couple of years from now, you will not be sitting here as a Republican?”

“Because,” “he replied with a smile, “you’re a good journalist.”

I’m not so sure, though, that Huntsman will leave the GOP. He seems more of a professional political scold than an apostate ready to bolt his party. He was an excellent governor of Utah, and enjoyed easy success in a smaller pond. As a presidential candidate, he came across too often in the debates as arrogant and supercilious. This was one pol who did not thrive in a national pond. It seems a large campaign debt and the sting of a sound campaign rejection from Republicans will smart for a while longer.

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9 Responses to Jon Huntsman is still dissing his GOP presidential opponents

  1. Brent Glines says:

    Well, why not. After all, it worked so well for Arlan Spector.

  2. Midwinter says:

    I do not understand why Utahns prefer Romney over Huntsman. But I do understand why a conservative like Huntsman would feel more welcome in the Democratic party than the GOP. If they keep it up, they’ll render themselves so ideologically pure that no one outside of Mississippi will ever vote for them.

  3. ScottH says:


    Mr. Huntsman was quite popular as governor. But that does not necessarily equate with being a “good governor.” He enthusiastically expanded state government during his tenure at a significantly higher rate than either economic or population growth. He spent like crazy while the economy was hot, leaving others to deal with this bloat when the economy went south not long after his departure from office. This makes him a good governor?

    I think your description of Mr. Huntsman as “a professional political scold” well matches his current behavior. He came across as arrogant in the debates because he is absolutely certain that his views are correct. He has no problem forcing his views on others through public policy. Faced with the unpopularity of his views in the national market, he steams that so many are so insipid as not to agree with him.

    That’s not the kind of leadership our country needs.

    • Michael Trujillo says:

      “…he is absolutely certain that his views are correct.”

      Wouldn’t that be true for all the Presidential candidates and most politicians as a whole?

  4. Doug Gibson says:

    I think Huntsman’s candidacy was always handicapped because of his decision to be Obama’s ambassador to China. The debates did not help his cause. I don’t recall how much Utah government expanded during his tenure as governor, but you could be right.

  5. D. Michael Martindale says:

    Who even cares? Hunstmans lost because he ran one lame-ass campaign that inspired nobody. Yes, I also ask, is Romney and Obama the best we can do? But I hardly think Huntsman would have been an improvement.

  6. Dave Thomas says:

    Many of my friends from outside Utah told me that they preferred Gov. Huntsman to the other candidates. I still prefer him to Gov. Romney or any of the others who have fallen by the wayside. He had appeal to independents and conservative Democrats. Where he did not have appeal was to the Republicans, where most of the moderates and liberals have bolted the party.

    I think most of us Americans are neither as liberal as the Democratic candidate nor as conservative as the Republican one. (Of course, who knows Gov. Romney’s true position?) But for whom do we have to vote?

    Gov. Huntsman could be exciting in 2016 running as a Democrat.

  7. greg stuart says:

    when Huntsman decided to waffle on his religion, I decided that I did not want him anywhere near the White House. His answers about he was a little hindu, and a little this and a little that was so political I wanted to vomit. He should take some lessons from Romney. He never backs down on his religion, but doesn’t make it a political issue.

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