Jon Huntsman’s Primary Woes Explained

r-AMBASSADOR-JON-HUNTSMAN-large570Daniel Larison writing for The American Conservative explains why Huntsman failed to gain any traction in the 2012 Republican primaries.

Republican rejection of Huntsman wasn’t because of his record on social and cultural issues, which was actually quite conservative and arguably more conservative on social issues than most of the Republican field that year. He wasn’t rejected because of the domestic agenda he proposed during his presidential run, which included economic proposals that satisfied The Wall Street Journal and his early endorsement of Ryan’s budget proposal. On almost every issue, Huntsman was as far to the right (conventionally defined) as his competitors, and sometimes he was to the right of almost all of them. No, he was mostly rejected on account of his non-confrontational style and diplomatic political persona, his support for withdrawing earlier from Afghanistan, and the fact that he was appointed ambassador to China by a Democratic president. If Huntsman had been judged on his record and the substance of what he was proposing to do, presumably many conservatives dissatisfied with the available choices would have rallied behind him. Of course, just the opposite happened. Hawks absurdly dismissed him as being “to the left” of Obama on foreign policy, and despite being the only Republican candidate with meaningful foreign policy experience he was written off because he failed to conform to everything that Republican hard-liners wanted. Huntsman’s experience is a reminder of the overwhelming, built-in opposition inside the party to any advocacy for foreign policy restraint, no matter how mild it may be.

More on Jon Huntsman here.

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4 Responses to Jon Huntsman’s Primary Woes Explained

  1. superdestroyer says:

    Huntsman’s issue that many in the media refuse to think about is that he seems to be the kind of Repubicans who would gladly throw Republicans under the bus to impress the leftist in Washington and NYC. Huntsman seems more interested in impressing liberals at cocktail parties in DC and NYC and doing anything that would benefit conservatives. Huntsman’s position on immigration should be enough to demonstrate that he is not a conservatives and cannot count.

    • Thanks for commenting, but I have to ask if you even read the critique the article contained. Your thoughts on Huntsman were exactly what the author was critiquing. He doesn’t conform to everything the far-right wants, however, like the article points out, his conservative record speaks for itself.

      Your comment is a perfect example of style over substance.

      • superdestroyer says:

        It is easy to judge Huntsman on his record. He push legislation to give illegal immigrants drivers licenses. Almost immediately high school and college students figured out they could get a driver licenses with no documentation and were able to purchase alcohol while underaged. Huntsman talks about global climate change and then purchases a huge house in DC to go along with his huge house in Utah, his vacation homes, and his apartment in New York.

        Once again, Huntsman demand actions and lifestyles of others that he would never ask of himself. Any Republican that supports amnesty, comprehensive immigration reform, and a massive increase in H1B visas will always get the backing of the Wall Street Journal even though it hurts the middle class whites who are the backbone of the Republican Party.

        All progressives know that if they accuse Huntsman of being a racist or homophobe he will roll over and do what they want.

  2. johnhaskell says:

    I think it was (perceived) willingness to work w/ Obama that rankled the GOP. Since 1/20/09, they have been on a mission to practice ‘obstructionist governance’ and were building their party platform on that basis.

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