Jon Huntsman Goes On The Attack

Jon Huntsman is not going to be the Republican nominee in 2012, but he seems ready to carve out a niche for himself.

Jon Huntsman is not going to be the Republican nominee for President in 2012, of that much we can be assured. However after a rather lackluster performance at his first debate, it looks like the former Governor of Utah has decided that if he’s going to go down, he may as well go down fighting. Tomorrow, Huntsman will appear on ABC’s This Week and it sounds like he’s got quite a bit to say about his fellow candidates:

TAPPER:  You were one of the only, if not the only Republican candidate, to support the deal to raise the debt ceiling.  You called Congresswoman Bachmann’s position a, quote, “crash and burn” approach. Would you trust a President Bachmann to do the right thing with the economy?

HUNTSMAN:  Well, I wouldn’t necessarily trust any of my opponents right now, who were on a recent debate stage with me, when every single one of them would have allowed this country to default.  You can imagine, even given the uncertainty of the marketplace the last several days and even the last couple of weeks, if we had defaulted the first time in the history of the greatest country that ever was, being 25 percent of the world’s GDP and having the largest financial services sector in this world by a long shot, if we had defaulted, Jake, this marketplace would be in absolute turmoil.  And people who are already losing enough as it is on their 401(k)s and retirement programs and home valuations, it would have been catastrophic.

So I have to say that there was zero leadership on display in terms of my opponents.  Leaders — zero leadership on display in terms of the president, who should have used the bully pulpit well ahead of time.  He should have walked away from the teleprompter.  The people want you to speak from your heart and soul.  Tell us where you want us to go.  Tell us what you expect from Congress.  Tell us what’s on your mind.

That never happened.  And it waited until the eleventh hour and then we had some of my Republican opponents who basically, I think, recommended something that would have been catastrophic for this economy. I stood alone in terms of supporting the Boehner plan. Why? Because I don’t think you can just allow the greatest nation that ever was, 25 percent of the world’s GDP, to default.  I thought the — the implications would have been catastrophic.  The global markets would have been a complete wreck.

Instead, we had Speaker Boehner, I think a pretty courageous guy, step up and say we can cut deeper than we have to take it up in order to meet our obligations.  And, by the way, we can move forward with entitlement reform and we can move forward with a balanced budget amendment and ultimately competitive tax reform, which we absolutely need. I give the speaker high marks for his leadership.

Huntsman also repeated his criticisms from earlier this week regarding Rick Perry’s comments about evolution and Global Warming, warning that an being perceived as “anti-science” would ultimately work to the detriment of the Republican Party as a whole, even if it does lead to short term electoral success. Huntsman also joined other Republicans in criticizing Perry’s remarks about Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke:

I don’t know if that’s pre-secession Texas or post-secession Texas.  But in any event, I’m not sure that the average voter out there is going to hear that treasonous remark and say that sounds like a presidential candidate, that sounds like someone who is serious on the issues.

But it gets to a broader point of, you know, the fact that, you know, we’ve had so much hope and hype in politics the last little while.  We’ve found ourselves at the extreme ends of the political spectrum and people are crying out for us to get back to some level of sensibility.

And this just kind of perpetuates the name calling and the finger-pointing and the blame game where we want solutions.  We want to look to the future, we want somebody with vision.  We don’t want to look back.  We, as Americans, are the most optimistic, blue sky people the world has ever known.  We want to look forward and we want solutions.

And every time we have these sideshows take place, finger-pointing and name-calling.  It takes us that much farther off the ball, which is fixing our core in this country, is getting our economy fixed and creating jobs.

It would appear that this is part of Huntsman’s decision to establish himself as something of a Republican truth-teller:

Former Utah. Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) believes he has an opportunity to carve out his position within the GOP primary field as the “truth-teller.”

The former ambassador to China repeatedly has sought to distinguish himself as the relative centrist in the GOP race; he backed the debt-ceiling compromise in Congress when no other candidate did so, and he’s been unapologetic about his support for civil-unions for same-sex couples.

(…)

Miller said the campaign also received positive feedback from donors for Huntsman’s stances on the debt ceiling and civil unions, a sign his supporters are embracing his relative centrism and don’t see it as a detriment.

“Part of being authentic is telling the truth on issues that aren’t to your electoral advantage,” Miller said. “When the opportunities arise to demonstrate he’s authentic, he’s told the truth.”

At the risk of allying myself with yet another Presidential candidate who has absolutely no chance of winning, I’ve got to say that I’m liking what I’m hearing from Huntsman here.

Rejecting science, whether it’s the fundamental roots of biology or the widely accepted, among the science community, that human activity has contributed to climate change, is just a stupid idea, especially when it is mostly motivated by talk show hosts who have slandered respected scientists by suggesting that their lying and/or corrupt. If the GOP continues down this road, they’re going to continue to be marginalized in an America where science and learning are valued, not shunned. Huntsman’s criticisms of the way that the Michele Bachmann’s of the world acted during the debt ceiling fiasco is spot on as well, and the fact that he’s the only one willing to say that not raising the debt ceiling would have been an incredibly stupid, and ultimately disastrous, policy choice says a lot about the Republican field and the state of the Republican Party. Finally, the former Governor is absolutely right about the sideshow that American politics has become. In fact, I suspect we”’ll see that sideshow on full display after the interview airs and the usual suspects pen their usual responses.

Like I said, Jon Hunstman isn’t going to win the Republican nomination in 2012.  I’m sure if I delved far enough into his record, I’d find things I opposed. In this instance, though, and on these issues he’s absolutely right. Hopefully, someone is listening.

Update: Here’s the video of Huntsman’s appearance on This Week:

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Hopefully, someone is listening.

    Some people are Doug. Only problem is, none of them are Republicans.

  2. Ron Beasley says:

    I’ll repeat my comment from the Christie post:

    Both Christie and Huntsman are the setting themselves up to be the Phoenix that rises from the ashes after the Teavangleicals burn the Republican Party down.

  3. john personna says:

    I’m not sure it is Phoenix from the ashes time, but it would be nice if this did signal a sea change. It would be good for the Republicans if they could lose the nuts. It would mean the sane, but merely timid, can step up. No more playing dumb on evolution or global warming, for fear of the base.

  4. doubter4444 says:

    @Ron Beasley:
    Roger that.
    I like Huntsman – I went to the University of Utah (a looong time ago), andI love the state, and I have a respect for the people.
    They are conservative but straight forward, and for the most part, honest.
    While I don’t agree with Hatch on much, I’ve respected him and I think Huntsman would make a great president. In 2016.

  5. Dave says:

    Jon Huntsman seems like the EXACT type of moderate Republican Barack Obama promised us he’d appoint to his administration. Where are you Obama??? Why haven’t you lived up to your promises?!?!

  6. Stan says:

    @Dave: Ray LaHood is still in the cabinet, and Bob Gates was Secretary of Defense. David Petraeus is official non-partisan, but strikes me as a moderate Republican of the Eisenhower type. And then there’s Hunstman, who was ambassador to China.
    That’s not such a bad record, considering how few moderates there are in the Republican party.

  7. doubter4444 says:

    @Stan:
    Oh, and Huntsman, was, actually in the administration. And He tried to get Judd Gregg.
    So, kind of wondering what the hell the post means, except as some dig at Obama.

  8. Eric Florack says:

    The reason he’s not going to be the republican nominee is precisely because of the sentiments expressed in the “you post. He’s obviously running afoul of the majority of the country. As demonstrated by the last election, the country is no longer in the mood for GOP centrists. They want somebody in the office will actually stands for GOP principles. Huntsman simply does not qualify. Good riddance.

  9. anjin-san says:

    The reason he’s not going to be the republican nominee is precisely because of the sentiments expressed

    Correct. He is not interested in vacuum welding his lips to Limbaugh’s ass, and he is a rational guy who understands you don’t solve complex problems with bumper sticker slogans and Fox talking points.

    No place for him in today’s GOP.

  10. john personna says:

    Eric lives in a strangely parallel world 😉

  11. Thomas says:

    Umm, Doug…Why do you think there is so much doubt about man-made climate change? Could it be because of the leaked e-mails showing that data was cooked? The only people who are anti-science are the ones who hold onto cooked scientific data, like Dr. Mann’s “Hockey-Stick” graph

  12. I think Dave whooshed some of y’all.

    Huntsman is one of few candidates who would get my vote. Also Johnson. If I cannot vote *for* someone, I will not vote at all. I absolutely refuse to support a system that continues to steer the country along the wrong course.

  13. Ben Wolf says:

    @Thomas: What leaked emails showing fake data? The ones you’re making up?

  14. Eric Florack says:

    As an example…. far from being rational, Huntsman buys into the AGW fraud the left, Obama included, is pushing. . Someone with that degree of idiocy needs watching, not elective office. http://t.co/KHLkAgF

  15. Ben Wolf says:

    As an example…. far from being rational, Huntsman buys into the AGW fraud the left, Obama included, is pushing. . Someone with that degree of idiocy needs watching, not elective office.

    The planet is warming. We’re doing it. Get used to it.

  16. anjin-san says:

    Ah, I see bithead has returned from his flat earth society meeting.

  17. Laurie says:

    @Thomas: There is another side to climategate and the well known hockey-stick graph. I doubt your interested or open to a different perspective but I am providing a link anyhow,Climategate: What Really Happened because I found it a fascinating story.

  18. Eric Florack says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Nonsense. It warmed a few thousand years back too, according to the same people preaching warming now. Were we responsible then, too?

    It was all Bush’s fault, right?

  19. superdestroyer says:

    Who cares what his personal position on global warming is. What Huntsman should be talking about but will probably won’t is what should the policy positions be if he believes in global warming. How does Huntsman fit in private property rights, government takings, open government of standards, the Clean Air Act, etc in with his beliefs on global warming?

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Eric Florack: Yes, it is all a great conspiracy.

    @Dave: C’mon guys, Dave knows Huntsman was Obama’s ambassador to China.

    @Eric Florack: Let me see…. should I listen to bithead or a few thousand climate scientists…. Hmmmmm….

    Bithead.

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @superdestroyer: “And how the brown people are ruining America!!!”

  22. Fiona says:

    I too think that Huntsman is using his position as a media darling to prepare for a 2016 run. By sounding sane, he distances himself from most of the current GOP crop.

    I’m hoping the Tea Party, evangelistic elements of the GOP will finally flame out in the next few years and Rush Limbaugh will be driven into retirement in Costa Rica. We need sane, moderate Republicans to help get this country back in order and tackle our real problems.

  23. anjin-san says:

    Nonsense.

    Hey bit, why don’t you tell us again how you are the only person we know with a dedicated music server? That was a classic.

  24. Ben Wolf says:

    @Eric Florack: Guess what enhanced the warming? I’ll give you a hint: it involves one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms.

    Also, you’re remark about George Bush pretty much shows everyone you don’t understand the science. If you did you’d be making a scientific argument instead of a political one. But from what I’ve seen there’s nothing in existence that is not inherently political to you.

  25. Eric Florack says:

    Let’s see how long it takes for Huntsman to switch parties after it becomes clear to him he’s going nowhere.

  26. john personna says:

    @Eric Florack:

    It’s like your goal is to be The Last Republican.

  27. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Fiona:

    Let’s see how long it takes for Huntsman to switch parties after it becomes clear to him he’s going nowhere.

    Sorry to say, don’t hold your breath Fiona…

  28. superdestroyer says:

    @Fiona:

    Who says that there will still be a Republican Party in 2016. Given the La Raza Republicans support for open borders and unlimited immigration along with maintaining racial and ethnic set aside programs has ensured that all non-whites vote overwhelmingly for Democrats.

    Eventually there will not be enough middle class, private sector employed whites to maintain a conservative party in the U.S.

    My guess in that 2016 Huntsman will be the kind of elite who splits his time between the U.S. and some other country that still be more to his liking.

  29. superdestroyer says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    If Huntsman really believe that global warming model and wanted to lessen the impact or even reduce the environmental footprint of the U.S., he would support zero immigration, the deportation of all illegal aliens, and no birthright citizenship. An illegal aliens in the U.S. has a larger environmental footprint and contributes much more to global climate change than if they remain in their home country.

    It seems that global warming has come down to two things:

    1. Status seeking by progressives who want to impress everyone by claiming that global warming is real.
    2. Social engineering to force the middle class in the U.S. out of their homes, cars, and jobs while doing little if anything that will actually help the environment.

  30. @superdestroyer:

    If Huntsman really believe that global warming model and wanted to lessen the impact or even reduce the environmental footprint of the U.S., he would support zero immigration, the deportation of all illegal aliens, and no birthright citizenship. An illegal aliens in the U.S. has a larger environmental footprint and contributes much more to global climate change than if they remain in their home country.

    Last time I checked, “their home country” was still part of the globe.

  31. Ben Wolf says:

    @Chris Frashure: For SS the solution to any problem involves cracking down on people with dark skin. Thst’s why we don’t take anything he says seriously.

  32. michael reynolds says:

    @Ben Wolf:
    I think you meant SD not SS . . . On the other hand, yeah, SS will do.

  33. superdestroyer says:

    @Chris Frashure:

    If you look up the pounds of greenhouse gases created per capita, the U.S. is the largest. A resident of Mexico has a much smaller environmental foot print, on average, than a resident of the U.S.

    You may want to review the per capita greenhouse gas emissions by country. The per capita U.S. is five times what it is in Mexico.

    If Huntsman is serious about global climate change, he would support the reduciton of immigration to a very small number instead of supporting open borders and unlimited immigration. .

  34. superdestroyer says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    It is hard to take anyone seriously about global climate change or lowering the greenhouse gas emissions of the U.S., it they refuse to deal with immigration.

    What should the U.S. do to lower per capita greenhouse gas emissions if you are going to maintain open borders and unlimited immigration? What should middle class suburbanites have to make all of the sacrafices while the rich maintain their multiple homes, fleet of personal cars, and private jets and immigrants flood across the border?

  35. john personna says:

    @superdestroyer:

    That’s kind of crazy. I mean sure, if someone vaulted to US median lifestyle they’d have higher GHG emissions than a median Chinese … but the Chinese are moving at a much higher rate on their own.

    China car sales top U.S.

    It’s pretty clear then that immigrants to the US aren’t keeping up.

  36. Fiona says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Eventually there will not be enough middle class, private sector employed whites to maintain a conservative party in the U.S.

    I don’t see much of anything genuinely conservative about the Republican party as currently constituted. Nor do I think conservatism is exclusive to white private sector employees. Perhaps if Republicans hadn’t spent so much time race-baiting over the past couple of decades, it wouldn’t be seen as the party of angry old white folks.

  37. superdestroyer says:

    @Fiona:

    Any conservative party is going to be made up of pirvate sector employees since public sector employees are going to want more spending, bigger government, and new programs at all times.

    Minorities (other than maybe Asians) have zero interest in any conservative party because blacks and Hispanics are two of the most liberal groups in the U.S. Since they benefit from government set aside programs and benefit from transfer programs, they have zero interest in being conservatives.

    Upper middle class blacks vote just as much for liberals as poorer blacks. Unlike whites, Hispanics or blacks do not become conservatives when they move up economically.

  38. Eric Florack says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: So we should ignore that taht science they’re basing their findings on, has been clearly shown to be an outright fraud?

    And you know this stuff….

  39. john personna says:

    @Eric Florack:

    That’s bunker thinking, Eric. It doesn’t work outside.

  40. michael reynolds says:

    @Fiona:
    Their definition of “conservative” is solipsistic. They’ve called themselves conservative, therefore anything they believe is ipso facto conservative.

    The fact that they are not remotely conservative, but are in fact radicals, means nothing to people like SD because they are trapped within their own collapsed world view. It’s sort of the political equivalent of schizophrenia: consensual reality becomes mere fodder for the delusional reality.

    In SD’s case he’s trapped inside his delusion of membership in an embattled tribe surrounded by enemies. In his imagination he’s at Rorke’s Drift, part of a hardy band of white people, surrounded by Zulus. And he can’t be argued out of it because any and all data is immediately subverted by the delusion. Like when you say to a crazy person, “You can take off the tinfoil hat, there are no aliens,” and they say, “See? It works!”

  41. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I have written many times that the Republicans have failed to be a conservative party. Increasing government spending, creating new entitlement, and creating new departments is not conservative. Getting involved in wars without an object or an exist strategy is not conservative.

    However, refusing to think about the influence of demographics on policy is a mistake that both political parties have made in the past and continue to make today.

    You live in a state where demographics have eliminate the influence of any conservative politicians. the U.S. is on the same trend as California. You can make all the snarky comments you want but that does not stop whites for working hard to avoid blacks and Hispanics. Do you really think it will change in the future as whites become a minority group?

  42. An Interested Party says:

    You can make all the snarky comments you want but that does not stop whites for working hard to avoid blacks and Hispanics.

    So in your little world, white people do everything they can to avoid other ethnic groups? You really shouldn’t project so much…

  43. superdestroyer says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Why do you think that the public schools in DC are 5%, in NYC are 10%, in Boston are 15%. Why do you think that upper class whites in NYC spend more than $30K a year for private schools. Why do you think that Rahm Emanuel is sending his own children to a private school instead of Chicago Public Schools. You should look at the Two-income trap by the progressive favorite Elizabeth Warren. Many middle class white families go broken trying to buy”good schools” and “good neighborhoods.”

    Why do you think that there are so few whites living in Baltimore, Detroit, Newark, or Los Angeles these days. There is no projection as much as understanding demographic data and realizing what white progressives love Portland but hate Houston.

  44. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:
    You are not a conservative, SD: you’re a racist goon.

    Despite the GOP’s best efforts, there is still a difference.

  45. Hey Norm says:

    Huntsman and Obama are both conservative moderates. In either case the Teavangelicals are going to be so disappointed.

  46. john personna says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Unlike whites, Hispanics or blacks do not become conservatives when they move up economically.

    No, they become old and demented on a different timescale entirely.

  47. Ben Wolf says:

    I continue to have hope that someday people of color will gain enough political power to save this country from the narcicism and greed of its current white masters. But we can also see that SuperHyperMegaSmasher and his fellow travellers (I’m sure with similarly masculine pseudonyms) won’t go into minority status quietly.

  48. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Thanks for reinforcing what conservatives believe about progreswsives: when faced with inconvient facts, you will play the race card. Are you really going to claim that Elizabeth Warren is a racist because she points out that whites will pay a lot to live in a neighborhood that has few if any blacks or Hispanics?

    To quote her she wrote

    ,,,ferocious bidding war for housing and decent schools” meant to propel their children into equal or better middle-class lives. And in order to attain these ultra-desired homes in good neighborhoods and quality school districts

    Want to guess what good neighborhoods and quality school district means?

    There is no projection when progressives always manage to live in the “good neighborhoods” and send their children to the quality school district and use the excuse” it is for the children.”

    Maybe the real racist are the progressives who want to bus blue collar whites into majority black or Hispanic schools while they sent their own children to very white private or suburban schools. But at least I do not call someone like Rahm Emanuel a “racist goon” for doing it.

  49. superdestroyer says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Are you really going the U.S. will be better off when it is run like current day Detroit, Baltimore, DC, St Louis, LA, etc? Is your hatred of whites so intense that you want everyone except a few elite master to live like third-world refugees.

    Will you really feel better when whites have the same crime rate, unemployment rate, family formation rates that blacks have today?

  50. Contracts says:

    This is the first time that I haven’t liked the comment system. Because of the downvotes, I almost missed Dave’s joke.

    On the other hand, it was only hilarious (as opposed to somewhat amusing) because I got to see twelve people on here make complete fools of themselves simultaneously.

  51. latin cupid says:

    A more satire quotes every predecessor. Goes machines whatever made contrast into the coke. This microwave disgusts Huntsman. Around the alphabet talks Huntsman. Huntsman shines behind Goes.

  52. Eric Florack says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Don’t hold your beath…

    HAve you seen Howard Dean’s comment?

    So, if Howard Dean thinks Huntsman is liberal enough to amke a good Democrat, how are we supposed to see him, do you suppose?

    R
    I
    N
    O

  53. Eric Florack says:

    I continue to have hope that someday people of color will gain enough political power to save this country from the narcicism and greed of its current white masters. But we can also see that SuperHyperMegaSmasher and his fellow travellers (I’m sure with similarly masculine pseudonyms) won’t go into minority status quietly.

    You apparently missed the memo about Black Conservatives being the fastest growing part of the block voter population.