Jon Huntsman: I’m Not Going To Kiss Trump’s Ring, Or Any Other Part Of His Anatomy

There’s been a war of words going on between the Hunstman camp and Donald Trump since the summer, mostly because Hunstman has seemingly delighted in mocking the spectacle of other GOP candidates going to visit “The Donald” in his New York office.

Suffice it to say, it isn’t over:

“I’m not going to kiss his ring, and I’m not going to kiss any other part of his anatomy,” Huntsman said. “This is exactly what is wrong with politics. It’s show business over substance. … The presidency of the United States of America is more important than these silly game shows and reality shows.

Nicely said, Governor.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, The Presidency, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Rob in CT says:

    Aside from the whole rejection of the 10-to-1 spending cut/tax increase question, Huntsman has done a pretty good job of staking out the rational conservative position.

    We’ll see if he has a boomlet coming. Various conservative pundits appear to be boosting him now (at little late, if you ask me, since they’ve run through so many others first).

    To me, Huntsman should be a scarier opponent for Obama than either Romney or Gingrich. Huntsman is what Romney is actually supposed to be (competant, reasonable conservative). To date, that hasn’t flown with the base (who seem to think Huntsman is some sort of librul).

    He *is* a conservative, of course, and furthermore a candidate is not the whole Party*. Thus, he wouldn’t get my vote in the general. But that’s me. There are plenty of folks who are moderate and/or low-info voters who might jump at the chance to buy what Huntsman is selling.

    * by which I mean to say that if Huntsman was really representative of the GOP, things might be different – I in that universe, I might consider the GOP a possible option. But he’s not, so I don’t.

  2. mattb says:

    For quite a while, I had hoped for Romney as the GOP candidate — not because I thought he’d be the easiest to beat, but because I felt that he would be the best president if he was to win. But lately I have to switch that support to Huntsman. There’s a lot about him that I don’t like in terms of policy, but it’s clear that he’s the true (paleo) conservative in this race. Its good to see that they still exist in top-tier politics. It’s too bad that he’s not doing better.

  3. ponce says:

    Donald Trump is the debate moderator the Republican party deserves.

  4. While I applaud Huntsman and Paul for declining to attend and hope the other candidates will as well, I also think that they shouldn’t pay Trump the honor of publically fighting with him about it (c.f. old saw about wrestling a pig). Much like the Trump-O’Donnell controversy a few years ago, this sort of on air tit for tat is exactly what Trump wants: more publicity.

  5. MBunge says:

    Before everybody falls in love with Huntsman, let’s ask a few questions.

    Why did he think he could become the GOP nominee after serving in the Obama Administration?

    Why did he think the campaign he’s run would work?

    It’s only in comparison to rest of the bunch that Huntsman’s arrogance and awesome political tone deafness seem less bad than they are.


  6. Ben says:

    As someone who voted for Obama in ’08, I’m willing to state right now that if Huntsman or Johnson is the Republican nominee, I’ll vote for him. If it’s ANYone else, then I’m voting for Obama again, while wretching and holding my nose. Thanks for giving me such a great choice, Republicans. Blechhh.

  7. anjin-san says:

    Why did he think he could become the GOP nominee after serving in the Obama Administration?

    Because Americans who are not brain dead conservatives think it is honorable to serve your country?

  8. Ben Wolf says:

    @anjin-san: I do wish Huntsman would get the nomination. I’d actually have an Obama alternative to consider.

  9. Just nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Ben: I have to say that I can’t understand why a person who voted for Obama would support either Huntsman or Gary Johnson. Is it a belief in lost causes (changing the way “Washington works”), the “outsider” effect, the “bi-partisan” leader myth? What is it.

    Obama ran as a pseudo progressive. Neither of those 2 guys is anything like Obama at all, except that they probably won’t turn out to be what they appeared to be either.

  10. Franklin says:

    @Just nutha ig’rant cracker: As someone who would likely do the same thing (voted for Obama in ’08 and would strongly consider Huntsman, at least, in ’12), I’ll just give you my reasons. I mostly voted for Obama because he seemed more likely than McCain to stop bombing every country in sight and be better at protecting civil liberties against our hyperactive post-9/11 mindset. So yeah, I was completely naive. (And then there was Sarah Palin, who I wasn’t naive about at all – she’s still just as ignorant as I thought.)

    But I’ve always been more fiscally conservative, which I believe Huntsman to be. He seems to be the most sane of the bunch when it comes to foreign policy as well. Well he’s probably to the right of me socially, he’s at least thoughtful about such issues. I thought Obama was the smartest candidate in 2008, and I think Huntsman may be the smartest of 2012.

  11. Ben says:

    I voted for Obama not because I thought he was going to be “The Great Progressive”. I voted for him because I believed he was a studious, wonkish centrist, who would be better than any of the Repubs on civil liberties (my number one hot-button), would be less of a hawk on foreign policy, and because I hoped he would bring us closer to a single-payer healthcare plan.

    He DID manage to get a really watered-down healthcare plan that was not at all what I wanted, but better than nothing. He has been less hawkish than any of the Repubs would have been (although still too hawkish for my tastes), and his civil liberties record is just as dreadful as any Repub would have been. So my support for him is not exactly glowing, but not enough to make me vote for Gingrich, Romney or any of the other stooges.

    Huntsman is another centrist, and his ambassadorial experience hopefully will make him even less interventionist, and he couldn’t be much worse than Obama on civil liberties.

    Johnson’s economic policies are too libertarian for my tastes, but he would be by FAR the best on civil liberties and foreign policy to me.

  12. MBunge says:

    @anjin-san: “Because Americans who are not brain dead conservatives think it is honorable to serve your country?”

    Can you think of another example of someone serving an appointed position in a Presidential administration of the other party, leaving that position and then running for the Presidential nomination of their own party in order to oppose the President under which they just served?

    What Huntsman has done is a really crazy and even in a non-crazy time with a non-crazy GOP it would be a major problem for Republican primary voters.


  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The presidency of the United States of America is more important than these silly game shows and reality shows.

    But Jon, you are talking about the Republican Party, “silly game shows and reality shows” are all it has left.

  14. anjin-san says:

    Can you think of another example

    I don’t need to. Personally, I simply don’t care. I don’t have a problem with Huntsman running against his former boss. Why is it “crazy”? Be specific.

    Bob Gates is one of the finest public servants any of us has ever seen. He did not have a problem working for Obama. He served his country well. So did Huntsman. Only Republicans have a problem with that.

    The only issue here is that the modern conservative movement is now a religion, and Obama is it’s Anti-Christ. We are not talking about rational thinking here. If you are looking for crazy, you are looking in the wrong place.