Though Frank Luntz says that Jon Huntsman will “rub conservatives the wrong way,” on core issues, Huntsman thinks he can sway those opinions because Huntsman believes he has the answers, describing himself as “a conservative problem solver” to Sean Hannity Tuesday evening.
“I think he (President Obama) has failed in a number of ways, both in terms of economic governance and stewardship and also internationally” said Huntsman who announced today that he was jumping into the 2012 GOP presidential primary.
Hannity was all ears while Huntsman laid out the reasons that he was running against a president he had once described as “remarkable”. When Hannity asked Huntsman straight out if he still held that opinion of Obama after having worked with him, Huntsman bluntly said, “No.”
Under his governance of Utah, Governor Huntsman’s state was honored by Pew Research Center as “The Best Managed State in America”. Huntsman resigned as Governor of Utah to serve President Obama Huntsman has served in the administrations of four United States presidents, including as for President Reagan, and as Deputy Assistant Commerce Secretary as well as a one year term as U.S. Ambassador to Singapor for President H.W. BushDeputy and the United States Trade Representative in the George W. Bush Administration.
Following are some positions on issues as defined by Huntsman to Hannity:
On China’s opinion of the U.S: Huntsman confirmed, “They do believe that we are in decline…they want to see us strong, believe it or not. There is only blue sky ahead for them..”
On his speckled conservative record: Huntsman described himself as a “conservative problem solver” saying, “I’m very, very proud of my record.”
On his flip-flops on cap and trade: Although Huntsman was for it before he turned against it, he told Hannity that he can’t support anything that will stand in the way of jobs and in his opinion, cap and trade will thwart job creation.
On civil unions vs traditional marriage between a man and a woman: Huntsman is a strong advocate for gay civil unions but not for gay marriage.
The Tea Party movement: Huntsman described his impression from “watching the tea party from ten thousands miles away,” it’s a outcome of the outrage in our counntry over policies that aren’t serving America.
Obama’s leadership: Huntsman spoke of Obama’s “scorecard” as one of failure despite the fact that he’s “a good family man” and earnest, saying that under his leadership, “America is economically in a failed position and internationally, we’re in the worst shape we’ve ever been in.”
After the interview, Frank Luntz described Huntsman as having “Reaganesque qualities” but sees Huntsman out of the mainstream of one third of conservatives – those who have firm stands on social issues. The issue for Jon Huntsman, claims Luntz, is that he is , perhaps the centrist who can beat Obama, but he isn’t the man who can win the GOP primary with the solid support of conservatives who want at all costs, two things in a candidate:
- First and foremost they want a candidate who they believe can defeat Barack Obama
- Secondly, conservatives want someone who won’t give in on core issues they think are important but on some of the core issues, Huntsman will “rub conservatives the wrong way,” says Luntz.