I’m on the record for supporting Newt Gingrich and at this point I stand my by endorsement. I won’t repeat why I support Gingrich, you can read about that here.
During the NBC debate Jon Huntsman said nine words that got my attention: This country is divided because of comments like that”. He was smart to turn it into a campaign ad, it made me take a second look at him.
He comes across wooden, he doesn’t really energize and has a habit of trying comedy leaving you wondering whether you should laugh or cry.
But when you look beyond the superficial and look deep into the substance, Jon Huntsman’s record is quite compelling. I don’t agree with him on everything. In fact, I disagree with him on many issues, but to his credit, he is upfront with the issues I do disagree with him and he doesn’t try to spin it. That should score him some points right there. However, when it comes to fiscal issues he’s got a solid good conservative record.
As governor of one of the most conservative states in the country, among his many accomplishments, he simplified the tax structure and cut taxes by more than $400 million, the largest tax cut in the state’s history. Under Governor Huntsman, Utah weathered the economic storm and grew jobs while the rest of the country saw substantial job loss.
He cut waste and made government more efficient. As a result, Utah held its AAA bond rating and earned national accolades for debt management. Under his leadership, Utah ranked number one in the nation in the job creation and was named the best-managed state by the Pew Center.
He also has extensive foreign policy experience. When he was 19, he embarked on a two-year mission trip to Taiwan, where he learned to speak Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese Hokkein. He was later named U.S. Ambassador to Singapore, becoming the youngest head of an American diplomatic mission in a century. As U.S. Trade Ambassador under President George W. Bush, he helped negotiate dozens of free trade agreements with Asian and African nations.
Some people have gone after him, even calling him a traitor, for accepting the job of ambassador to China under Barack Obama. What his motives at the time were I do not know, he says he did it to rise above partisan politics and serve his country. Until someone proves me otherwise I’ll take his word for it. Huntsman addresses it well in the ad.
Huntsman could and should use it to his advantage. He could argue that accepting that position makes him the most viable candidate to beat Obama. How is Obama going to go after him after calling him a distinguished public servant?
The script for the ad has already been written by Obama himself:
I know that Jon is the kind of leader who always puts country ahead of party and is always willing to sacrifice on behalf of our nation. That’s what Jon has always done. Throughout his career, Jon has shown a willingness to move beyond the old ideologies and stale debates that all too often bring progress to a standstill. Time and again, he’s brought people together across party lines to overcome our common challenges and to move our nation forward.
Is Obama going to concede that he was lying through his teeth? Is he going to say he made a mistake asking him to serve in his administration? That would write the script for an entire series of new ads.
The Romney camp are well aware of the challenge Huntsman would be and that is why they are more than willing to hand Obama the response. And big mouth Chris Christie was more than willing to do the dirty work.
This is what he had to say on the issue:
I would be kind of pissed if I were Barack Obama. I mean, I give this guy a job he’s over in China supposedly representing my administration, when you know that the whole time, you know, at least part of the time, he’s planning to run for president. This thing didn’t come up organically, that’s not the way it works. And all of a sudden he lands back in the United States and their is a presidential campaign all there waiting for him, I’m sure he knew nothing about that when he was over in Chine. So I wounder a little bit about Huntsman’s integrity, my issue is not that he worked for the president but I understand why Mitt thinks it’s an issue, my bigger issue is why was he being disloyal to the president while he was working for him.
Really Chris, are you really that dumb? Why the heck do you think Obama hired Huntsman in the first place? It surly wasn’t because he had the urge to reach across the isle. The only reason Obama picked Huntsman was because he saw him to be a serious threat for 2012, so he sent him off to China to neutralize him. Basically for the same reason you are “pissed” that Huntsman left the job.
Huntsman can effectively argue that when Obama got elected he was willing and ready to give the president a chance and was even willing to help him. But being sort of on the inside, seeing the damage Obama was doing he saw no alternative but to step up to save the country. With his message that the country is so divided he has the proof that he can reach across the isle. The people will love it.
Besides, if the integrity of a person comes into question when they seek a higher office while still holding another job, then there goes Chris Christie’s Vice Presidential aspirations. Would he be my Governor, I would be pissed that while working for me, he’s sitting around thinking of running for president or vice president.
Some people have written off Huntsman simply because he speaks Chinese. At a time when Chine is screwing the united states and are on the verge of overtaking the USA economically, having a president that can walk into a room with the Chinese president and speak to him one on one directly in Chinese without the need of a translator, might be exactly what we need right now.
As I said, for now I have my candidate and I’m not about to throw my support behind him yet. But Jon Huntsman definitely deserves a serious second look. I hope he does well in New Hampshire and whether he progresses or not I hope he remains in the race for a while, his expertise, knowledge and record ought to serve well in the debate and should he pull off an upset and go all the way, a president Jon Huntsman would serve America well.