Saturday, January 1, 2011

Newsweek: Jon Huntsman Jr. considering a run for the White House

If this story is accurate, it could pose serious problems for Mitt Romney. I don't believe Huntsman to be a serious contender for the nomination. However, as a former popular Governor of the state with the largest Mormon population, he could certainly make things difficult for Romney in Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, and Washington - all Western states with significant Mormon populations.
Now, it appears, the ambassador is ready to make some noise of his own. Sitting in the echo-y living room of his new Washington home, Huntsman, a tall, lean man with silver hair and impeccable posture, pauses only briefly when faced with the question of presidential aspirations. “You know, I’m really focused on what we’re doing in our current position,” he says. “But we won’t do this forever, and I think we may have one final run left in our bones.” Asked whether he is prepared to rule out a run in 2012 (since it would require him to campaign against his current boss), he declines to comment.

The winking response—about as close to a hat-in-ring announcement as you’ll get from a sitting member of the incumbent’s administration—could just be a hollow cry for attention. But sources close to Huntsman (who requested anonymity to speak freely without his permission) say that during his December trip to the U.S., he met with several former political advisers in Washington and Salt Lake City to discuss a potential campaign. “I’m not saying he’s running,” says one supporter who has worked with him in the past. “But we’re a fire squad; if he says the word, we can get things going fast.” What’s more, Huntsman tells NEWSWEEK that when he accepted the ambassadorial appointment, he promised his family they would “come up for air” sometime in 2010 to decide how much longer they would stay in Beijing. “I’m not announcing anything at all,” he says. But he sure seems to be hinting.


...and as a Mormon with ties to Utah, he would face tough competition from likely GOP candidate Mitt Romney as he milks their overlapping networks for donors and campaign talent. But neither obstacle is insurmountable. A Republican-primary candidate could do worse than publicly slighting the Obama White House. And Huntsman wouldn’t have much trouble financing the first leg of a presidential campaign on his own: his father, whose company invented the “clamshell” container for McDonald’s to package its Big Macs, is a billionaire.
Read the rest of the article HERE

Any Utah residents care to weigh in? If Huntsman throws his hat into the ring, where do you stand? Is there room for two Mormon candidates in the race?

Update: FYI: This may come as a surprise to some. Huntsman endorsed McCain over Romney.


Right Wingnut said...

I don't know much about Huntsman, but they sure love him in Utah.

Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. and Utah legislators did a good job in the just-finished 2009 general session, a new public opinion poll shows.

Huntsman comes out of the 45-day Legislature with an 84 percent job approval rating, found pollster Dan Jones & Associates in a new survey for the Deseret News and KSL-TV.

The Legislature gets a 64 percent approval rating, Jones found. (Senate Minority Leader Pat Jones, D-Salt Lake, is the wife of Dan Jones and a principal in Dan Jones & Associates.)

Both Huntsman's 84 percent approval rating and the Legislature's 64 percent approval rating are very good numbers. Historically, Huntsman has been loved by Utahns, with approval ratings above 80 percent

Doug NYC GOP said...

Seems to me, at lot folks (most notably Palinistas and Liberals)are putting in a lot of time and effort to make the point of how weak Mitt Romney is and all the problems he's going to face.

It leads me to believe perhaps Romney is not in as bad a shape as presumed, considering how desperate some camps want and perhas, need him out of the race.

Tracey said...

Huntsman supported cap and trade. Supported John McCain in the primary while almost everyone else in Utah supported Mitt during the primary. Had a chip on his shoulder because he wanted to "save the olympics" but that job was given to Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney did things that Huntsman would not have dreamed of doing.

I will be disappointed if he runs. It will be interesting to see if the conservatives that labeled Romney a RINO, will also give Huntsman the same label. Huntsman deserves to be called a RINO, Romney does not.

In the event Huntsman does run, Romney would easily win the western states in the primary.

Right Wingnut said...

Many in the Palin camp are talking up Huntsman for VP or SOS. Hmmmm....

Pablo said...

I like Huntsman, but there is no way he runs in 2012. There is not enough time for him to get organized. He has Romney to contend with. And he has spent the past couple of years carrying out Obama's foreign policy. He was the one that admitted human rights abuses (Arizona law) to Chinese officials which caught the ire of conservative pundits.

Huntsman 2016 (if Obama wins in 2012)

Right Wingnut said...

He was the one that admitted human rights abuses (Arizona law) to Chinese officials which caught the ire of conservative pundits. - Pablo


Not True. It was Asst Sec of State, Michael Posner.

Sapwolf said...

To even think Huntsman could run as a Republican, given he is a moderate at best, is ridiculous. Romney is a moderate and two moderate mormons would split the vote. If Huck didn't run, Palin would win the primary easily.

Also, Huntsman will not run as a Dem because is a white guy vs. the first black president. That will not go down with Dem voters, especially black ones.

This Newsweek column is just further evidence of how out-of-touch Newsweek is. The are in a very leftist east-coast urban cocoon and they don't get out much.

The GOP Primary winner will need half or more of the TPM support to win. 2012 will not be the year of the moderate in the GOP.

Pablo said...


Posner said that it was brought up several times in meetings with Chinese officials. Are you trying to tell me that Ambassador Huntsman was absent and unaware of what was going on during those meetings? I can't wait until Huntsman gets a question about the Arizona law and what he supported as Ambassador to China.

Tracey said...

Sapwolf said "Romney is a moderate and two moderate mormons would split the vote."

Not is Utah. Utahns know their is a big difference between Huntsman and Romney.

Romney is not a moderate. Romney never supported cap and trade. Romney is a strong, fiscal conservative. He has fought for fiscal conservatism as a Governor and while he lead the effort to get the SLC olympics back on track.

The Tea Party did not support Huntsman because he was actively supporting the RINO agenda in 2008. Hence, Huntsman supported John McCain in the primary and not Romney. Romney was much more conservative than McCain and Huntsman in the 2008.

FYI- Huntsman has his eye on Washington. He supported McCain and hoped he would have a shot at the VP slot. He took a job in the Obama administration because he believed that Obama would be a 2 term President. At that time, he was thinking that he would run in 2014. Now that Obama has crashed and burned he is having to rethink his strategy. I think he left his governorship in Utah because he was becoming less and less popular with the right in Utah. Huntsman is a true RINO. Romney is NOT.

Look at the facts. They don't lie. Romney is far more conservative than McCain and Huntsman. Romney will prevail in a race with Huntsman.

Tracey said...


2012 + 4 years = 2016. DUH!

Huntsman was going to run in 2016! Maybe he is rethinking his strategy now since Obama has failed miserably.

Bill589 said...

Maybe Romney is a conservative now, but he wasn’t one when he started socialized healthcare in Mass.

Chris Matthews said Romney was a liberal Republican (he meant it as a compliment), but that's actually evidence that maybe Mitt is a conservative if Chris said it.

And I don’t agree with Algore - sometimes a leopard can change it’s stripes.

Huntsman ain’t running anyway.

Right Wingnut said...

Tracey, Huntsman left office with an 84% approval rating among all voters. I'm not sure what Mitt's is in UT, but I highly doubt it's any where near that. Mitt couldn't even get the Rino, Bennett over the finish line.

J said...

I am fine with Romney or Hunstman runining in 2012. The biggest problem for them both will be the fact that they are Mormons.

However, as I wrote in my blog today, it shouldn't be a concern for Americans in general. Read the blog here:

Revolution 2010 said...

Huntsman has a snowballs chance in hell of getting the nomination.

The only thing he could do is siphon some votes away from Romney. Not enough I believe to hurt him in states like Utah.

Anonymous said...

If anyone cares to look up the Deseret News Utah Republican primary poll between the two of them, Romney BURIED Huntsman. It wasn't even close.

Anonymous said...

Huntsman would either be secretly working for the DEMS, or not to bright, if he thinks he could win the Republican nomination over Romney.

His dad needs to send him to "Time Out"!


Right Wingnut said...


If he runs, it will most likely be as a stalking horse to prevent Romney from winning the western states. Why would he do that? I don't know, but the fact that he didn't endorse Mitt last time leads me to believe their may some bad blood between the two. This is all speculation on my part, of course, but if you have a better theory, I'm interested in hearing it.

By the way, there could be something in it for him if he succeeds in blocking Romney in a few of the western states, if you know what I mean...

Right Wingnut said...

My guess is that he wants to be Secretary of State or VP. I doubt Mitt would be motivated to nominate him.

Tracey said...


Romney got 90%+ of the vote in the Utah primary. I think it may have been 97%.

As far as Huntsman's 84% approval ratings go I think there are many in Utah that are or were satisfied with the job he did but keep in mind he worked with a very conservative legislature and they kept him in check.

However, when all the financial mess happened in Washington, the Tea Party movement was born and they took aim at RINO's. They criticized Huntsman for supporting the RINO agenda.

In an article by Michelle Maulkin she writes "Huntsman was booed at a tea party rally. Tea Party protesters were as vocal in their criticism of Republicans as they were of Democrats. In Salt Lake City, Utah, a crowd of 2,000 repeatedly booed Sens. Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett, both R-Utah, who both supported the $700 billion TARP bailout, and protested Republican Gov. Jon Huntsman’s decision to accept $1.6 billion in porky stimulus funds."

Also, many in Utah were disappointed with Huntsman support of civil unions but by that point Huntsman was about to announce his decision to leave office. In the event he would have ran for a third term I DON"T THINK THAT ROMNEY COULD HAVE SAVED HIM EITHER. And I will not be surprised if Orin Hatch is finished in 2012.

Reflecting on the 2008 primary; It was not popular to be conservative. Yet Mitt Romney picked up the torch on many conservative issues and ran. He was a voice for the conservative movement at the right time in our history. Where was the Tea Party? Where were the social conservatives? Where were the Washington insiders? I guess they were all camping with McCain because that is who they nominated. And now they want to paint Mitt Romney as a moderate, Rino, liberal Republican. REALLY?

Utahns don't like Mitt because he is a MORMON. He is popular because Mitt Romney saved the SLC Olympics. The stories they tell of the things he did are phenomenal. Sure maybe this movement by the Tea Party, social conservatives to label Mitt Romney a Rhino will affect his popularity here in Utah to some degree but in the end Utah will go to Mitt Romney.

kelly said...

Daddy will disinherit him if he does this.

Daddy and Romney are friendly and Daddy isn't stupid if junior is.

Anonymous said...

Mountain out of a molehill here. Huntsman is not running in 2012, he didn't even come close to saying it but 2016 or 2020 is a different story

Right Wingnut said...

An interesting note from an LA Times article:

Huntsman, the eldest of nine, is married and has seven children, two of whom were adopted — one from India and one from China. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, he dropped out of high school in the late 1970s to play in a rock band. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor's degree in political science.,0,7045805.story

What if Palin had dropped out of high school to join a rock band? If he runs, will we hear much about it? Not likely. Would he be where he is without daddy's wealth and influence? Nope.

Tracey said...

@ Wingnut

Tracey, Huntsman left office with an 84% approval rating among all voters. I'm not sure what Mitt's is in UT, but I highly doubt it's any where near that. Mitt couldn't even get the Rino, Bennett over the finish line.

Mitt got over 90% of the Utah vote in the primary.

Huntsman is popular among Utah moderates. Keep in mind that Huntsman worked with a very conservative legislature and they kept him in check so I think that helped him with conservatives.

Towards the end of his term, he did several things that the conservatives in Utah did not like.
1."In Salt Lake City, Utah, a crowd of 2,000 repeatedly booed Sens. Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett, both R-Utah, who both supported the $700 billion TARP bailout, and protested Republican Gov. Jon Huntsman’s decision to accept $1.6 billion in porky stimulus funds."
2. He announced his support of civil unions.
3. He supported cap and trade and voted for John McCain in the Primaries. Proponent of "immigration reform." He appeared to support the RINO causes in 2008.

If Huntsman would have wanted to run for another term, I DON'T THINK THAT MITT COULD HAVE GOTTEN HIM ELECTED EITHER.

Tracey said...

Sorry for the double post. I got a message that it was too long and then I tried to shorten it.

Anonymous said...

I do not think he will run, but at least he did not impose mandates on Utahians.


Bill589 said...

I don’t think Mormonism has anything to do with it. Conservatism will. That puts Sarah Palin ahead of both.

If Mormons in Utah choose candidates based on religion, that's their problem, and their error.

Tracey said...

@ Bill
If Mormons in Utah choose candidates based on religion, that's their problem, and their error.

No one said that mormons choose candidates based on RELIGION. In my post above I said that Mitt Romney is popular in Utah because he saved the Olympics.

Right Wingnut said...


Mormons voted overwhelmingly for Romney in other states too. Religion is CLEARLY a factor.

Mormons almost unanimously supported Mitt Romney in his easy victory Saturday in Nevada's Republican presidential caucuses, a preliminary survey found.

Mormons comprised a quarter of those attending Nevada's GOP caucuses, and more than nine in 10 were voting for Romney, according to early results from the survey conducted for The Associated Press and television networks. Romney is a Mormon, and his religion has been cited as a problem by some Republican voters.

Anonymous said...

"Romney is a Mormon, and his religion has been cited as a problem by some Republican voters."

Probably backlash to rhetoric like that.

Right Wingnut said...


The only people I hear cite Mormonism as a problem are Romney supporters themselves.

The quote you cite is from an MSNBC article. The MSM was likely trying to create a wedge in the party. They will likely do it again.

The fact remains that Romney's support among the Mormon coummunity is similar in strength to Obama's support in the African American community. There's plenty of data to back up that claim. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that...

Anonymous said...

The quote I cited was from your post. You cited the MSNBC article in the first place, but if I reference the same quote from the same article that you did, its MSM mischief. Why spread it then?

Tracey said...

Bill said, "If Mormons in Utah choose candidates based on religion, that's their problem, and their error."

I never said that so where did Bill come up with that idea?

Then RNW says "Mormons voted overwhelmingly for Romney in other states too. Religion is CLEARLY a factor."

Then RNW provides polls stating that 9 out of 10 mormons support Mitt Romney for President. And expects her readers to believe that proves that Mormons voted for Mitt Romney because he is a Mormon.

The only way I would consider her argument is if she could find a poll that ask the question "Did you( a mormon) support Mitt Romney for President because he is a Mormon?" Then and only then could she provide data that supports her point.

As a Mormon, I am not willing to support a candidate for President just because he is a Mormon. (That should be clear by now, if anyone has bothered to read my post above.) I believe there are many Mormons who feel the same as I do because Orin Hatch wanted the LDS community to support him 10 or more years ago for his bid for the Presidency but he was never able to garner enough support from LDS community. So, that event alone tells me that being "MORMON" is not enough to get the LDS community to support you for President.

I believe that Mitt Romney's efforts to save the SLC Olympics is the event that endeared Mitt Romney to many "Mormons." It was through that event that many "Mormons" were introduced to Mitt Romney. It was through that event the Mormon community learned of his excellent leadership skills. It was through that event that many Mormons were willing to consider him as a candidate for President.

Right Wingnut said...

Look, regardless of what YOUR reasons are for supporting Mitt, I contend that his Mormonism is a more important variable to Mormons than it is to non-Mormons. Whether it's the olympics, or other reasons, it's a fact that Mormons voted in a block in 2008. Noboby I know has stated that they wouldn't vote for him for that reason. As I said, I believe the Mormon issue is exaggerated by the media (to build a wedge) and by Romney supporters hoping to gain sympathy for Mitt from fence-sitters. It's a non-issue.

Anonymous said...

Are we talking about the same thing. You seem to have changed the topic to something completely different.

I am simply saying that as a mormon I support Mitt Romney based on the fact that he is a competent candidate. I like the fact he is a moral individual.

I do not agree with you or Bill when you implied that mormons supported him because he is a mormon.

BTW I brought this topic up at dinner and the consensus in our extended family gathering was that it take more than religion for mormons to get behind a candidate.


Anonymous said...

Of course Mormons support Romney because he is a Mormon...not to say that he doesn't have other attractive qualities but please be real. It's like saying black people didn't support Obama because he was black...yeah that might not have been the only reason but it's one of the reasons.

I mean...3/4 of the Romney supporters on these blogs are Mormon. The real point is that it doesn't matter but at least be honest about it...people support people for various reasons and there is no shame in supporting someone because they share the same religious beliefs as you. Just be honest about it.

Tracey said...

I am being honest with myself. I don't agree for the reasons I stated above. It takes more than religion to get Mormons to consider supporting a mormon politician for Pres. There are a lot of mormon politicians that really turn me off. Mitt Romney main appeal for me is his "many other attractive qualities."

That being said ,as a mormon, I do like the fact that Mitt Romney has a strong moral character, his life reflects that and I firmly believe his religion has been a factor in helping him to develop that strong moral character.

I notice comments at C4P and here calling all Romney supporters "ROMBOTS", a name that implies we blindly follow Mitt Romney (like we are members of a cult). That is a false notion.

Supporters of Mitt Romney are passionate about Mitt Romney because he possesses many of the qualities and leadership skills we need in the next Pres. of the United States.

Can you show me a poll that says 3/4th of all the bloggers for Mitt Romney are mormon? Mitt Romney has strong base made up of people from many different religions. I have met many supporters of Mitt Romney that are not LDS on these blogs. I personally have thought that there are more non- mormons then mormons on these chat boxes etc but I have no data to confirm that. Therefore, I don't think you can confirm that 3/4th of all mormons are responsible for the blogs that support Mitt Romney.

Tracey said...

Cory left the following message at MRC.

Hi there. Just speaking for myself as a Romney supporter, I am not Mormon, but Jewish. Obviously, Mitt is going to have the support of many members of his Church, but I seriously doubt that anywhere close to 3/4 of his supporters on almost any blog could statistically be LDS.

Tracey said...

@RWN What would you say to someone who said that any Woman that supports Sarah Palin for President is supporting her because she is a woman?

Would you support Hillary Clinton for President?

Would you support Michelle Bachman for President?

Right Wingnut said...

No way.

Yes, She's my Rep. I know her. She's not running for President.

I'm a he not a she. Gender makes no difference to me.

dcarter8 said...

Read the VI Amendment please

dcarter8 said...

VI Amendment . . . but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

We've had to endure Harry Reid for goodness sakes... At least Romney can think, count add and subtract and doesn't lie everytime his lips move like Reid does