Entries in Jon Hunstman (9)


Romney Campaign Attacks Obama

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(WASHIGNTON) -- Mitt Romney’s campaign is out with a fresh Monday morning attack, but it’s not aimed at any of Romney’s rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, but rather on President Obama.

“With each passing day, it is becoming increasingly clear that President Obama and his Democrat allies are fixated more on Mitt Romney than on turning around our struggling economy,” Romney campaign spokesman said in a statement.

“If the past is any guide, we expect this obsession will grow. A Romney Administration will be focused on reviving the economy and adding jobs, not consumed by campaign politics.” The campaign circulated a press releasing with news clips showing what they say is the Obama team's “obsession with attacking governor Romney.”

In response, Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt tells the ABC News: “Mitt Romney is attempting to declare his record off limits -- he wants no discussion of his time as a finance executive focused on investors’ profits with no regard to the impact for middle class families, his tenure as Governor when MA ranked 47th out of 50th in job creation, and he certainly doesn’t want a light to be shined on the litany of positions on key issues he has now changed on everything from climate change to troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.”

And at least one Republican campaign is still aiming right for Romney’s jugular.

Team Huntsman is out with a new web video Monday, titled “Trade War,” contrasting Romney and Jon Huntsman’s views on China.

Huntsman's campaign spokesman Tim Miller said in a statement, "Mitt Romney has indicated that he would be willing to drive the U.S. further into recession by pandering on China for political advantage. Moreover, his proposed ‘solution’ is not possible and was widely panned by observers and international economic experts."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Exclusive: Cain Scandal Distracts from the Issues, Huntsman Says

ABC/Donna Svennevik(NEW YORK) -- Herman Cain’s sexual harassment scandal is an unwelcome distraction that he needs to address, fellow Republican candidate Jon Huntsman, the former governor of Utah, said in an ABC News/Yahoo interview Tuesday.

“Herman Cain can deal with it however he chooses to deal with it, but I’m worried about the 13 or 14 million unemployed, I’m concerned about those who are worried we’re losing our position in the world,” Huntsman said. “It takes all of the oxygen out of the room. Far be it from me to give Herman Cain any advice, but eventually he’ll address these issues.”

Huntsman said this weekend on Meet the Press that the recent sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain were “taking up most of the bandwidth in the discussion” of the presidential campaign. On Tuesday he told ABC News that he views it as a distraction.

Though Huntsman was appointed by President Obama to be the ambassador of China and was a popular governor of Utah, his poll numbers nationally are only at 1 or 2 percent. He said Tuesday that that will all change soon.

“Believe it or not, people are just tuning in. Sit around for a couple months and you’re going to see different numbers,” Huntsman said.

Huntsman said he’s experiencing a steady and substantive rise in New Hampshire. He believes the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 10 will be good day for the campaign. Huntsman has worked hard in the state — he’s made more than 100 appearances there so far and plans to do at least 100 more.

“It will happen in New Hampshire, failure is not an option,” Huntsman said. “If I didn’t feel it in my bones, if I didn’t sense a connection with these people, I’ve been out there and they’re seeing my vision. They say ‘Hey, this crazy Huntsman guy, he’s got a track record.”

In the last quarter the Huntsman campaign reported raising $4.5 million and spent $4.1 million, however $2.2 million was given by Huntsman himself.

“I put some into begin with, you’ve got to get the machine going,” Huntsman said. “I don’t have the luxury of having run for president for four or six years. You’ve got to start from scratch and the fundraising has followed suit. As we do well in New Hampshire, people will see that and we’ll become that undervalued stock.”

As for the question of Huntsman being too moderate, he says his record as governor shows he is a conservative candidate.

“People should not confuse a moderate temperate with a moderate record,” Huntsman said.

Huntsman also added that he’s just waiting for people to see what he can bring to the presidential race as the other candidates rise and fall in the polls.

“I’m getting a little whiplash watching everyone go up and down. Now we have to go to the ballot box and decide who can actually do this job,” Huntsman said.



Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Is Huntsman Campaign in Disarray?

ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- There are reports that Jon Huntsman's campaign is in trouble, plagued by infighting and fundraising problems.

Things came to a head recently when former top Huntsman aide David Fischer complained publicly that campaign strategist John Weaver is making life miserable for staffers, leading to the exit of campaign manger Susie Wiles, among others.

Allegations have also surfaced that the campaign is struggling to raise money and that Huntsman is reluctant to tap into his own vast personal fortune because much of it is tied up in trusts.

The former Utah governor-turned former U.S. Ambassador to China insisted Thursday that all is well, and expressed confidence in Weaver, who was bounced from John McCain's camp in 2007 when the Arizona senator was finding it hard to gain traction in his quest for the 2008 GOP nod.

Still, Huntsman trails far behind in all polls of Republican White House hopefuls, and his message that frontrunner Mitt Romney is a weak candidate has failed to resonate with voters.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Jon Huntsman Sidesteps Question Regarding Obama Impeachment

LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, the 2012 GOP contender with arguably the most foreign policy experience, has been one of the fiercest critics of the Obama administration’s decision to intervene in Libya.

As he was preparing to unveil his presidential campaign in May, Huntsman, the former U.S. Ambassador to China, told ABC News in an exclusive interview that the U.S. not should have become involved in the conflict.

“I would have chosen from the beginning not to intervene in Libya,” he said. “I would say that is not core to our national security interest.”

Less than a month later he echoed those comments in an interview with Esquire magazine, saying “we just can’t afford” military involvement in the North African country ruled with an iron fist for decades by dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

And this week, when asked by a New Hampshire resident whether President Obama should be impeached over Libya, Huntsman refused to say, telling the voter that he’d “let Congress make that decision."

Representatives from Huntsman’s campaign declined to clarify the former ambassador's remarks when asked by ABC News.

The Obama Administration has argued, over the protestations of some members of Congress, that continuing U.S. involvement in Libya does not violate the War Powers Act because, as White House Counsel Bob Bauer put it in June, “we're not engaged in sustained fighting...We don't have troops on the ground. We don't risk casualties to those troops.” This flies in the face of the facts that American service members are flying bombing runs over the country, and performing a myriad of support tasks associated with the NATO mission there.

The clip of the exchange was uncovered by the trackers at the Democratic “super PAC,” American Bridge 21st Century, which is aiming to hold the Republican presidential candidates accountable throughout the election cycle.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Huntsman Kicks Off New Hampshire Tour, But Avoiding Iowa

LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Jon Huntsman kicked off his three-day, 11-stop tour of New Hampshire over the weekend to appeal to voters in the state holding the nation’s first primary.

Voters in Iowa, on the other hand, will not be awarded the same face time, as Huntsman says he probably won’t be spending a lot of time there since he doesn’t believe in subsidies that support corn, soybeans and ethanol, according to published reports.

Huntsman’s decision to avoid the Hawkeye state stands in direct contrast with presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, who is also decisively anti-ethanol. Pawlenty is logging countless hours in Iowa, petitioning voters one-by-one to support his campaign.

At Friday night’s Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Washington DC, Pawlenty said, “There’s people who say, ‘you know Tim, if you tell the truth as you’re running for president, you may lose an election.’ I’m afraid that if we don’t tell the truth we’re going to lose our country.”

“When I started my campaign, I went to the all-important state of Iowa and said even for people in Iowa there’s some real truths we’re going to have to tell. That means we’re going to have to phase out the ethanol subsidies,” said Pawlenty.

Huntsman has not formally declared his candidacy, but he has already mapped out a campaign strategy to connect with voters in key primary states, and says he plans to compete vigorously in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Jon Huntsman Meets the Granite State

ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images(HANOVER, N.H.) -- Only three weeks since returning stateside, the first day of Jon Huntsman’s visit to New Hampshire served as a coming out party, of sorts, in what could become the most vital state in his possible presidential run.

“We are the quintessential margin of error: potential candidate,” Huntsman declared to a packed room at Jesse’s Restaurant in Hanover, New Hampshire.  “And I understand New Hampshire loves margin-of-error candidates."

“They came up with a campaign motto,” Huntsman joked, pointing to his wife Mary Kaye and two of their daughters.  “Live free or die.”  The same is New Hampshire's official state motto.

Huntsman’s trip to New Hampshire, where he will attend various meet-and-greets as well as deliver a commencement speech to the University of Southern New Hampshire, is his first time practicing politics since leaving his Obama-appointed post as ambassador to China in April.

Huntsman’s success in New Hampshire is crucial because he remains one of the least-known 2012 presidential contenders.

“We are in the early stages of due diligence,” Huntsman told the Hanover crowd, “where you get around and have conversations with good people, where you share a bit in the way of ideas, you reflect upon where your country happens to be.  And that takes you into the future, where ultimately you make a decision we never thought we would be making.  We are humbled even to be standing here with the possibility that we might make that decision in the weeks to come -- that of running for presidency of the greatest country in the world."

Following the event, Huntsman met with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos for his first network television interview since his return.  It will air Friday on Good Morning America.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Top Democrats: Jon Huntsman Would Be Toughest to Beat in 2012

LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Top Democrats in and outside the White House, speaking on background so they could be more candid, suggest that former U.S. Ambassador to China and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman would be the GOP candidate President Obama would least like to face in 2012 -- but they think he can't win the nomination.

The very qualities that make Huntsman formidable in November 2012 -- his centrism and bipartisanship -- will work against him in Iowa and South Carolina, Democrats say.

White House senior adviser David Plouffe was years ago quoted saying the notion of a Huntsman candidacy made him "queasy."

Another possible tough contender would be Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, they say, while also envisioning ways that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney or former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty would mount tough campaigns.  Many top Democrats say they anticipate Romney will be the nominee since the Republican party has a history of giving the nomination to the next guy in line.

Even though the president is enjoying a bounce in his job approval ratings after the successful mission against Osama bin Laden, White House officials say this will be a tough re-election.

The president has told friends he "caught lightning in a bottle" in 2008, and even catching every break, Obama only won with 53 percent of the vote, while 47 percent of the country voted against him -- a number Democrats say isn't going to go down in 2012, with an economy still on the mend, high unemployment and skyrocketing gas prices.

With all that said, top Democrats say they have very few metrics with which to measure the GOP field.  At this point in the 2008 campaign there had been fundraising competitions and debates involving the major candidates; that is not the case with the Republicans this year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


First GOP Presidential Debate Lacks Star Power

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(GREENVILLE, S.C.) -- Those expecting a real barn-burner when GOP presidential hopefuls hold their first debate Thursday in South Carolina shouldn't hold their breath.

Virtually every high-profile Republican mentioned as a possible candidate for the nomination next year is skipping the event at the Peace Center in Greenville.

The South Carolina Republican Party and Fox News, which is producing the debate airing on its network at 6 p.m. ET, say among the few who've accepted invitations are Texas Congressman Ron Paul, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

None of the invitees have officially declared their candidacy for president.

Meanwhile, the list of Republicans who won't be there is pretty impressive: former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Ambassador Jon Huntsman, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

None of the non-attendees have officially declared their candidacy for president either.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Jon Huntsman, Rick Santorum Launch Presidential Exploratory Committees

Former U.S. Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman. ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman took his first tangible step toward exploring a run for president by setting up a federal political action committee on Tuesday.

Tim Miller, a spokesman for the new committee, called "H PAC," tells ABC News that the move is “an organizational step that will allow him to travel the country, discuss issues that are important to him, and support Republican candidates.”

And despite the fact that Huntsman has had something of a shadow campaign up and running for months, the new PAC is not an official acknowledgement that he’s running.

“If he decides to run for president,” Miller said, “ he'll make an announcement at that time.”

Huntsman’s first major public address is this Saturday in South Carolina, where he’ll give a commencement address at the University of South Carolina. In late May, he will make a foray into New Hampshire. Coincidentally, South Carolina and New Hampshire are two of the four early primary states.

Huntsman, the former governor of Utah, returned to Washington this past weekend after serving since August 2009 as the country's top diplomat in China. News of the formation of Huntsman's exploratory committee was first reported by Politico.

Also on Monday, former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., who had already announced he was “testing the waters,” said he has established a presidential exploratory committee.

Forming an exploratory committee was one of the requirements for participation in Thursday’s Republican debate in South Carolina sponsored by Fox and the South Carolina Republican Party.

While Santorum has kept a schedule that looks like that of candidate -- he’s made multiple visits to New Hampshire, South Carolina and Iowa -- he still won’t officially declare that he’s running for president.

"I am pleased that we have taken this important next step in the process to potentially become a candidate for President of the United States," Santorum said in a statement on Monday. "The debate this Thursday is a unique opportunity to put forth ideas and solutions to bring our economy back on track, and with Osama bin Laden's death, I look forward to also discussing in depth ways to tackle our many national security challenges."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

ABC News Radio