It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Jon Huntsman. At this point, I’ve basically made it a point to post anytime I see him in the news. He was recently interviewed by the English publication, The Telegraph. Some highlights:
Offering his prescription for the party’s renewal, Mr Huntsman said the early stages of the Republican presidential primaries rewarded extreme conservatives rather than “long-term competitive candidates” who could effectively take on the Democrats…
…Mr Huntsman said that his work for a Democrat president, his belief in climate change and his relatively liberal attitude on gay rights had obscured his conservative stances on budgets, gun control and abortion.
“You get caught up in a lot of the issues on which you’re easily dismissed without people giving you proper consideration,” he said.
However, the scale of Mitt Romney’s defeat in November has left the party reeling and may create a fresh opening for the socially-moderate but fiscally-conservative ideas Mr Huntsman espoused in the primary.
“The party right now is a holding company that’s devoid of a soul and it will be filled up with ideas over time and leaders will take their proper place,” he said.
Mr Huntsman urged the party to “reflect a little bit on our winning chapters” and face up to a demographic reality where white conservatives represent a shrinking portion of the electorate.
“We can’t be known as a party that’s fear-based and doesn’t believe in math,” he said. “In the end it will come down to a party that believes in opportunity for all our people, economic competitiveness and a strong dose of libertarianism.”
In case you think all does it take on his own party, he also had some thoughts on the Democrats:
Mr Huntsman cautioned that the improving economy would put Mr Obama’s Democratic successor in a strong position for 2016 but said that eight years of incumbency would take a toll on the President’s party.
“The one thing that is as sure as the rising tomorrow is that the Democrats will become lazy and they will take their off the ball,” he said. “We will see more crony capitalism in Washington as the state grows and that’s the kind of thing Americans hate.”