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Tag: Jon Huntsman

The Candidate Who Should Have Been

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This month's Penn Gazette, the journal of the University of Pennsylvania, has an interview with Jon Huntsman, C'87, the one candidate in the Republican field who displayed reason and critical thinking skills during the GOP primaries. Of course, that meant that Huntsman, former governor of Utah and President Obama's ambassador to China, was one of the first candidates to drop out of the race,

In the interview, Huntsman has some stinging criticism for the state of politics in America and for his own party. He notes that his candidacy was doomed from the start because of "too much in the way of well thought-out and developed policy papers, and not enough in the way of pandering" to the extremists in the Republican base.

Huntsman remarked on the difficulty of getting a reasoned message out in the political and media climate of today. "Nobody in today's world really wants to have issues rolled out in the context of solutions or problems to be resolved. Everything today is...pitched in hues of politics based on personal destruction and vilification of your opponent."

A prime example Huntsman gave is climate change and global warming. "Climate change is one such area. It's fallen victim to politics. Yet when I look at Congress, I don't see a lot of physicists present. I don't see any climate scientists...If you let science do what science is supposed to do, they're going to render a good judgment that's peer reviewed and based on rigorous scrutiny, and we're going to have good information on which to base public policy."

Now that's a position that was bound to get you kicked off the stage during the GOP primaries. Some other remarks by Huntsman show just how far he's grounded in reality and how extreme his opponents were, and are.

Video: Jon Huntsman Says “Of COURSE Corporations Are Not People!”

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LOL, Huntsman's not going to win the Republican nomination (or even come close), but at least he can mock Willard "Mitt" Romney for the arrogant, out-of-touch, elitist, 1-percent fool that he is.

Why I’m Sorta Glad Jon Huntsman Flip-Flopped on Climate Science

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Republicans DebatePresidential candidate Jon Huntsman might be best known for tweeting his support for the science of evolution and climate change. But at a blogger event today at the polluter-funded Heritage Foundation, TPM reports Huntsman was flip-flopping his way back to the GOP presidential pack's consensus science denial:
Jon Huntsman attended a packed blogger sit down at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. TPM's Evan McMorris-Santoro attended, pressing the GOP presidential candidate about his position on climate change.

In August, Huntsman acknowledged the broad body of science pointing to climate change. Seated at an elite conservative think tank, however, Huntsman played a different tune, saying climate scientists "owe us more" information before we can decide if climate change is real.

"I think there's probably more debate to be played out within the scientific community," he said.

Obviously, it can't be considered a good thing when the leaders of a major political party are required to reject mainstream science. But then again, it wasn't exactly helping the scientific cause to have Huntsman be the only GOP candidate in the field to fully accept climate science ... while polling at 1%. And it was crazy to see reporters overlooking Huntsman's extremist plan to raise taxes on seniors, veterans & the poor to fund huge tax cuts for the 1%, calling him "moderate" solely based on his support for science.

What IS heartening is that the Republican field's climate science denial may actually be turning some voters into climate science believers. A Reuters/Ipsos poll showed the public's awareness of climate threats up in recent months. Meanwhile, majorities of Republican voters continue to say the world's temperature is going up, and that it's partly or mostly due to human activities. And a new Pew poll shows the GOP primary race hurting the party among independents, with 29% taking a dimmer view of the party, compared to just 10% with a more favorable view (the unmoved 61% is probably a testament to just how few voters are paying attention yet).

So do I wish Huntsman had stuck to climate reality? Sure. But his abandonment of the truth says a lot more about his own desperation to get in lockstep with an out-of-touch GOP field than it does about climate science.

Is George Allen More Liberal Than Jon Huntsman?

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Here I was, thinking that former Obama Administration official - not to mention former supporter (or is he still?) of taking action on climate change, former supporter (or is he still?) of an "individual mandate," etc. - Jon Huntsman was by far the most reasonable, moderate, sane, maybe even liberal Republican among the field of extremists currently running.  But now, I'm confused: supposedly liberal Republican Huntsman is embracing the Ryan Plan to dismantle Medicare (and guarantee deficits for decades to come), while supposedly conservative Republican George Allen won't say where he stands, exactly, on the Ryan Plan.

Of course, George Allen was also the one who voted 96% of the time with George W. Bush, including wildly irresponsible measures that turned budget surpluses into (massive) deficits. Allen also voted to grow government tremendously, not that we progressives have a problem with that, generally speaking.  Still, it's puzzling. Perhaps George Allen's actually the liberal, and Jon Huntsman's the conservative?  Or perhaps neither is a true conservative, but both are simply pandering to whatever they think voters want to hear?  Anyone have any better theories? Thanks.

P.S. This was mostly snark/tongue-in-cheek, just in case anyone thought I meant that George Allen might be liberal, progressive, or sane in any way.  To the contrary, the guy's a cowardly Republican hackazoid, bigot, ignoramus, and career politician, nothing more.

Video: Jon Huntsman Announces for President

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Whoops, wrong video, sorry about that! :) Actually, this is the video of President Obama introducing Jon Huntsman as his new ambassador to China, back in May 2009. A few months later, Huntsman wrote glowlying to Obama, "You are a remarkable leader - and it has been a great honor getting to know you." Yep, we'll see how that one plays in the Republican caucuses and primaries.

We'll also see how Huntsman's strong support for "a new energy economy, a green energy economy," his signature on the "Western Climate Initiative," and his recognition of climate change and that "we must put a value on carbon" (e.g., a carbon tax or "ultimately a cap-and-trade system") will play with the right wingnuts who vote in Iowa, South Carolina, etc. And, we'll see how Huntsman's support for an "individual mandate" will go over with the aforementioned wingnuts. And we'll see how the tea partiers like the fact that, as governor, Huntsman (according to the Cato Institute) "completely dropped the ball on spending, with per capita spending increasing at about 10 percent annually during his tenure."

I mean, put it this way: can a guy who people like Barack Obama and I think is moderate, even progressive in some ways, make it in today's off-the-rightwing-deep-end Republican Party? Will Huntsman have to completely reinvent himself, a la his buddy (lol) Mitt "Before It Before He Was Against It" Romney? For the sake of the once-great Republican Party, I sure hope the answer is "yes!" We'll find out soon enough.