Time for Jon Huntsman to Go Away

If anyone in the Republican Party cared about Jon Huntsman’s candidacy, his would have been the biggest gaffe of the CBS/National Journal Saturday night “Commander-in-Chief” Presidential debate. Following an answer from Mitt Romney on possible World Trade Organization action against China, Huntsman said

First of all, I don’t think you can take China to the W.T.O. on currency-related issues. Second, I don’t know that this country needs a trade war with China. Who does it hurt? Our small businesses in South Carolina, our exporters, our agriculture producers.
We don’t need that at a time when China is about to embark on a generational position. So what should we be doing? We should be reaching out to our allies and constituencies within China. They’re called the young people. They’re called the internet generation. There are 500 million internet users in China, and 80 million bloggers. And they are bringing about change, the likes of which is going to take China down, while we have an opportunity to go up and win back our economic manufacturing muscles.
Got that? Huntsman thinks that China’s “economic manufacturing muscles” will be degraded by its young people partaking in greater freedom of expression.
Huntsman’s supporters like to explain his poor poll numbers by claiming that their candidate is too sophisticated and worldly for the Republican base: did you know he’s an ex-ambassador to China and fluent in Mandarin? But no exceptional diplomatic, political or leadership skill is evidenced by a candidate who uses his time in the national spotlight to make the claim that Chinese bloggers will help take their own nation down — a claim which bolsters the internal position of those China who believe that freedom of expression is dangerous at the expense of the young Chinese interested in its expansion.
And while Jon Huntsman’s mainly ex- and non-conservative supporters may find a worldly sophistication in the kind of political candidate who cavalierly views increased freedom of expression as a limitation on economic growth, the instinct of Republican voters to disregard him was proven correct on Saturday night.

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Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
10 years ago

It is Dan Rather’s opinion that Huntsman is the candidate that Republicans should coalesce around. I wonder, does Huntsman have a National Guard service record?

jparis
jparis
10 years ago

Mr. Huntsman was just mouthing the same tired regime change in China rhetoric that has been coming out of the U.S. State Department for at least a decade now — that the transformative and democratizing powers of the Internet will somehow trump the forces of greed and industry. It’s a nice idea, but that fact doesn’t make it any more true.
Too bad the conservatives won’t form up around Mr. Huntsman… other than Mr. Romney, he’s your only legitimate candidate in the general election.
But if anyone would like to make a case here for Hermain Cain, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachmann, or any of the others *in the General Election*, not just when pandering to the right side of the base, I’m more than happy to entertain that debate.
Otherwise, I think it’s pretty sad that you’d want the only other man who could sway independents and conservative Democrats away from Mr. Obama to get out of race.
That said, it’s funny. If Romney is the nominee, I am not voting for Mr. Obama. If anyone else is the nominee, I am voting for Mr. Obama, completely based upon my significant differences with the other GOP hopefuls.

David P
David P
10 years ago

Every four years the media identify a Republican candidate as their favorite in the primaries. That candidate usually responds by attempting to please his new constituency. This year it’s Huntsman. In 2008 it was McCain. But as McCain found out, if the media candidate actually gets nominated he will be astonished at how quickly the media turns on him. So long as McCain’s opponents were named Bush, Romney or Huckabee he was a maverick war hero who put country above party. As soon as he became the Republican nominee he turned into a senile relic, entirely inadequate to the task of addressing the nations problems, unlike the Anointed One with his extensive record of accomplishment.
If Huntsman were to somehow win the GOP nomination (perhaps if the other candidates all died in some freak accident) he too would find that his media love affair is over. He would instantly morph from the intelligent, sophisticated, nuanced moderate to a dangerous troglodyte who dares to challenge Barack Obama’s divine right to occupy the oval office.

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

People who rail against China typically have a little bit of economic knowledge, which is a very dangerous thing. They view them as competitors rather than trading partners. In reality, we would have nowhere near our standard of living if not for China. The currency manipulation myth is total hogwash. It makes no economic sense whatsoever.

ANTHONY
ANTHONY
10 years ago

Huntsman the Republican charlatan was Hussein Obama’s choice for China. Of course the lamestream media love him. He’s a ball-less RINO…..much like Missing Linc Chaffee.

jparis
jparis
10 years ago

It’s quite telling that no one wanted to take up my challenge (*yet*… there’s still the folks who read the blog in the afternoon) to find another GOP hopeful who has a chance in the General Election. Here’s hoping for all our sakes that Mr. Romney is the nominee then.
@Anthony: I find it absolutely hilarious that people like yourself still refuse to call our sitting President by his proper title, or even his first name. And then there’s the folks who use his middle name because they still don’t believe he’s American, lol.
That said, I gave liberals crap for calling Mr. Bush “Dubya” back in the day. They both won elections and held positions you and I wouldn’t want in a million years… they deserve your respect, but don’t require your support.
If you can’t come to that conclusion, remind me to ignore your posts. I think even Tommy Cranston gives Mr. Obama that level of respect, but I could be wrong.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
10 years ago

Posted by jparis
“Too bad the conservatives won’t form up around Mr. Huntsman… other than Mr. Romney, he’s your only legitimate candidate in the general election.’
I have noticed Newt GIngrich climbing in the polls. I am glad to see this, watching debates Iam frequently left with the impression “he is the smartest guy in the room”. I also think he can “talk” to the Americans.
I notice that even Salon is back tracking on his “personal problems” in an attempt to set the record straight. Although I would prefer that his personal life were without taint, I would vote for him over Romney. I admit he is an “old line”, perhaps “tax and spend” Republican and I would prefer a Tea Party Republican. He does write great “alternate history”, I commend his civil war series.

mangeek
mangeek
10 years ago

I also find it incredible how rabid a vocal minority are about Obama. I never liked Obama, nor did I vote for him, but I’d give him a ‘C’ as a grade so far. It’s not like he’s the baby-murdering, terrorist-assisting, high-taxing, socialist Antichrist he’s made out to be on talk radio.
I think Huntsman’s history in office tells us that he’s a capable and sensible conservative:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Huntsman,_Jr.#Governor_of_Utah_.282005.E2.80.932009.29
I would almost definitely vote Huntsman over Obama. If Romney gets the nomination and doesn’t completely wrap himself in fringe values, I might be tempted. All the other candidates have given me too many reasons to stick with the Devil I Know.

Max D
Max D
10 years ago

“I have noticed Newt GIngrich climbing in the polls. I am glad to see this, watching debates Iam frequently left with the impression “he is the smartest guy in the room”. I also think he can “talk” to the Americans.”
I’ll give credit where credit is due. He does sound like the smartest ‘guy’ in the room and that’s the problem. He thinks he’s smarted than everyone else too. That’s why he keeps getting into trouble.

mangeek
mangeek
10 years ago

“tax and spend”
I like how people think this is a bad thing. It’s better than both parties’ current philosophy of ‘borrow and spend’ or ‘spend, then tax’.

ANTHONY
ANTHONY
10 years ago

“@Anthony: I find it absolutely hilarious that people like yourself still refuse to call our sitting President by his proper title”
jparis… You are so correct that I do not respect nor support the intruder-in-chief. I applaud you for your intuition and alacrity. By the way this is another post you can ignore. Keep reading.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
10 years ago

Posted by Max D
“I have noticed Newt Gingrich climbing in the polls. I am glad to see this, watching debates I am frequently left with the impression “he is the smartest guy in the room”. I also think he can “talk” to the Americans.”
I’ll give credit where credit is due. He does sound like the smartest ‘guy’ in the room and that’s the problem. He thinks he’s smarted than everyone else too. That’s why he keeps getting into trouble.”
Max, you may have a point, and for the moment I am not terribly concerned with policies. I want someone who can “talk to the Americans”. I can remember the Carter malaise and the “misery index”. Say what you will of his policies, Reagan was such a relief. Although written by a woman buried in the basement of the White House, his speeches were uplifting; they made the Americans believe there was a future without a “misery index”. It seemed to work. Reagan must have struck a chord somewhere, he got two terms. I’ll try it again.
Back in his “Contract with America” days, Gingrich had quite a few ideas about making the government work that I really liked. Mostly, they were free. One I recall was his plan to make the Congress spend a day a onth considering, and correcting, the excesses of the big agencies IRS, ATF, Homeland Security. I get so tired of “oh well, those agenices are so big,we can hardly manage them”. He wanted to call this “Corrections Day”. What a great idea, almost too good to be true. And free! Force Congress to take responsibility for things like the SWAT raid on the guitar factory.

jparis
jparis
10 years ago

@WF: I have to say that ole’ Newt has a lot going for him these days as both a candidate and as a potential president. You’ve got me there. He rose to and fell from power for the same reasons, and he’s had more than enough time to learn from those mistakes.
That said, I don’t know where he comes down these days on the “wedge issues” that usually give GOP candidates viability in a general election (Pres. G.W. Bush was an exception to this rule in many ways).
I personally can’t imagine voting for him due to the farce of a Congress he presided over at the end — multiple years waste of the American peoples’ money and time on going after Pres. Clinton for the wrong reasons and on the wrong charges. Allowed Mr. Clinton’s man Rubin to quietly oversee the destruction our entire banking regulatory framework — which pretty much directly led to where we stand today. Those few years were an extremely sad chapter for both parties.
Just for giggles, could you link to a poll trend for Mr. Gingrich? I haven’t noticed a significant climb, but I might be looking in the wrong places.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
10 years ago

Posted by jparis
“Just for giggles, could you link to a poll trend for Mr. Gingrich? I haven’t noticed a significant climb, but I might be looking in the wrong places.”
politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/11/14/cnn-poll-gingrich-soars-cain-drops/?hpt=hp_t1

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
10 years ago

Posted by jparis
“multiple years waste of the American peoples’ money and time on going after Pres. Clinton for the wrong reasons and on the wrong charges.”
They may have been the “wrong reasons”, but they show Gingrich’s understanding of the realities of American politics. You don’t go to the people with facts, they don’t know the facts and are confused by them. You go to them with an emotional issue, that does not require they have any particular education, nor any grip on the facts.
This now haunts Gingrich. Few have any grip on “the facts” of his background, but they do have an emotional grip on his three marriages and extramarital affair.
I guess much depends on if you have a dog in the fight. Clinton supporters felt that his infidelity was “just sex” and not important to his ability to do the job. Gingrich opponents believe his moral failings disqualify him from the job. I admit Gingrich’s moral failings do cause me some concern.
Juanita Brodrick, Paula Jones, “Please call the office”.
Ma, Ma, where’s my Pa?
Gone to Washington, Ha, Ha, Ha

jparis
jparis
10 years ago

@ WF: Wow, that is a huge gain in a short period of time. It’ll be interesting to see if it holds — but totally gives me hope for the GOP, since the two most reasonable (moderate) candidates are leading the pack. As I’m often reminded on this blog, we are a *center*-right nation after all.
As for what Mr. Gingrich did as Speaker… again, I wish he would have used the “Contract with America” to protect Americans from Clinton’s deregulating buddies. That he knew how to go after Mr. Clinton effectively (by tackling a low-brow subject) just brought government to a standstill — it didn’t accomplish anything, and in part, it contributed to the mess we’re in today.
My one question for him would be: “Mr. Gingrich, considering the current housing and banking crises — in hindsight, would you rather have continued the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton, or launched an investigation into his Treasury Department, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae?”
If he gave what I consider to be the “right” answer, I’d consider voting for him.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
10 years ago

Posted by jparis
“My one question for him would be: “Mr. Gingrich, considering the current housing and banking crises — in hindsight, would you rather have continued the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton, or launched an investigation into his Treasury Department, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae?”
Bear in mind the times. Given a choice, you don’t go quail hunting where they are thin on the ground. Clinton’s behavior appalled most Americans who didn’t know politicians. Treasury, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were unknown to most Americans, most probably thought they were “good”. Probably most Americans were lost by early derivatives like “strippers” and were completely baffled by credit default swaps. As to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, few Americans had even heard of CRA. If they had heard of it, they probably thought of it as “nice” and “good”. Where was the emotional tug? Gingrich couldn’t have gotten a foot hold there. So, he probably selected the largest target of opportunity. A fish rots from the head.
Without doubt, the Clinton’s understood the emotionalism of politics and how to manipulate it. I don’t know how many housewives I knew who announced “I’d go down on him in a second”. He is now a “respected politician”. “Stand by your man Hillary” (last name delete) is now Secretary of State.
My opinion is swayed by a recent Blomberg report that Gingrich received $1.6 million on “consulting contracts” from Freddie Mac. That he received these after leaving office, does not interest me. The difference being that the allegation goes to his character, rather than his politics.

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