Entries in Jon Huntsman (89)


Jon Huntsman 'Sexy' Despite Views on Entitlements

Jeff Kardas/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- He couldn’t get the votes for the Republican nomination, but Jon Huntsman has gained an accolade of a different kind.

His rock band past and his salt and pepper hair have earned former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman a spot on American Association of Retired Persons Magazine’s 21 sexiest men of 2012.  The former Utah governor shares the distinction with actor George Clooney and musician Yo-Yo Ma as part of the magazine’s “Men on Fire 2012″ series.  Huntsman was the only politician to make the list.

“Your inner strength is as important as your outer strength,” said Huntsman in his interview with AARP.

AARP is a group that defends the interests of 38 million retired Americans.  In the past they have fought for preserving both Medicare and Social Security.  Huntsman, described as a reluctant moderate in a profile posted to the AARP website, said that he would vote for the controversial Paul Ryan Budget, but is also quoted saying that the fervency of the debate is scaring older Americans.

“All I know is that we’re frightening the American people who just want solutions,” said Huntsman in a 2011 Tea Party debate.

Conservatives like Ryan have argued that changes need to be made in order to preserve Medicare and Social Security in the long run.

AARP made headlines last year when their policy chief suggested that Social Security should be part of the larger deficit reduction conversation.

Huntsman is married to Mary Kaye Huntsman and has seven children.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jon Huntsman Describes Mitt Romney’s ‘Trust Deficit’

Darren McCollester/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Jon Huntsman sounded more like an independent candidate for president (which he is not) than somebody who has endorsed Mitt Romney (which he has) in a speech Thursday at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

“The party is not in a good place right now,” Huntsman said, according to a write-up in The Harvard Crimson.

The former Utah governor and former presidential candidate cited the GOP's rhetoric on immigration in particular and a lack of leadership in general.  “Boldness is thrown out the window,” he said.  “Courage is not on display.”

“Here you are during a time of the great crisis for this nation,” Huntsman said, “and you say, this is all this great country can offer up?”

He didn’t mention Mitt Romney’s name, but was eventually asked about him and was less than enthusiastic.

“I think Romney will show leadership on the economy,” Huntsman said. “But on the trust deficit, I don’t see a whole lot of leadership.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Vanishing Huntsman ‘Is Not a Surrogate for Romney’

ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Don’t expect to see Jon Huntsman campaigning for Mitt Romney at all this year.

Huntsman, a moderate Republican who dropped out of the GOP primary after placing third in do-or-die New Hampshire, officially endorsed Romney but then criticized the front-runner’s China policy in an interview on MSNBC. Since then, he hasn’t been very visible, and he was even disinvited from a Republican National Committee party last month after saying, again on MSNBC, that a third-party candidate should jump in the race.

Now it looks as if Huntsman is gone for good. His daughter Abby Livingston, who also worked actively on his campaign, tells ABC News that the former Utah governor won’t be involved with Romney’s campaign at all in the general election against President Obama.

“My dad is not a surrogate for Romney and will not be out stumping for him in the general,” she said in an email. “He is enjoying private life.”

When he dropped out of the race and endorsed Romney in January, Huntsman said that “it’s now time for our party to unite around the candidate best equipped to beat Barack Obama.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jon Huntsman: Next Generation 'Screwed,' Calls for the Rise of a Third Party

ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman may have endorsed Mitt Romney, but he emphasized Thursday that he is, “not a surrogate for anybody.”

In an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Huntsman called for the rise of a third party, saying another option in presidential politics, “would be a healthy thing.”

“I think we’re going to have problems politically until we get some sort of third party movement or some voice out there that can put forth new ideas,” Huntsman said. “Someone’s going to step up at some point and say we’ve had enough of this. The real issues are not being addressed and it’s time that we put forward an alternative vision, a bold thinking. We might not win, but we can certainly influence the debate.”

When pressed as to whom the “we” referred to, Huntsman said, “a whole bunch of Americans out there that can’t find a place politically.” He was quick to rule out his own possible bid as a third party candidate.

“That ain’t gonna be me, by the way,” Huntsman said, pre-empting the inevitable question. “I’m not interested in that.”

But while Huntsman may have ruled out another salvo into presidential politics, his supporters have not. The former Utah governor is currently in second place, behind Ron Paul, in the Americans Elect online candidate drafting process, which began last month. Americans Elect will hold a web-based primary in March that will put a third presidential ticket on the ballot in all 50 states.

Huntsman, who ended his own presidential bid after a poor showing in the New Hampshire primary, did not rule out rescinding his Romney endorsement if a third party candidate emerged.

“I’m not a surrogate for anybody,” Huntsman said. “All I can say is I’m looking at the political marketplace and the duopoly is tired and we’re stuck in a rut.”

He said Romney was the best option given the lay of the land today.

“Until such time as we can fundamentally address the economic side we’re going to be in bad shape,” Huntsman said. “I think Mitt Romney’s the best person to handle that economic side.”

The former ambassador to China was extremely pessimistic about the current state of the economy and about his party’s ability to deal with the country’s big problems.

“Gone are the days when the Republican Party used to put forth big, bold visionary stuff,”  Huntsman said. “When you have 100 percent debt to GDP you’re sunk. I mean, the next generation is completely screwed, let’s put it that way.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jon Huntsman Criticizes Mitt Romney Over China Policy Despite Endorsement

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Jon Huntsman, who served as ambassador to China prior to his presidential bid, was blunt when expressing his disapproval of how Mitt Romney would handle relations with China. Huntsman said Romney was “wrong-headed.”

That’s unusual language considering Huntsman endorsed Romney’s bid for president last month.

In an interview Thursday, Huntsman was asked by MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell whether Romney’s approach to dealing with China is wrong.

“Well, let’s just say that it’s not unusual for candidates to be saying certain things about China,” Huntsman said. “I’ve seen a lot of candidates who later became president who used a lot of rhetoric. It’s much easier to talk about China in terms of the fear factor than the opportunity factor. I would disagree with some of what Governor Romney has said and it’s not surprising that Republicans disagree with each other from time to time.”

Huntsman attempted to clarify his support for Romney by saying he has the best credentials to reinvigorate the economy but continued to stress the difference in opinion he holds regarding U.S.-China relations.

“You’re going to disagree on issues from time to time. I happen to think that on the economy he’s best placed to do what needs to be done in terms of economic development and the creation of jobs,” Huntsman said.

“When it comes to China, I think it’s wrong-headed when you talk about slapping a tariff on Day One. That pushes aside the reality, the complexity of the relationship, you sit down at the table with somebody like Xi Jinping, and you say we’ve got North Korea. We’ve got Iran. We’ve got Pakistan. We’ve got Burma. We’ve got the South China Sea. We have trade and investment, and they all kind of interrelate one with another when you sit down and negotiate a deal. That’s just the way the U.S.-China relationship is and has been for 40 years.”

Huntsman’s disagreement with Romney over China came on the same day that Romney penned an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal that slammed the Obama administration’s policy towards China. Huntsman served as ambassador to China under President Obama.

Huntsman endorsed Romney when he dropped out of the presidential race, but Huntsman has yet to appear at any of Romney’s events or campaign on behalf of the candidate.

China’s Vice President Xi Jingping is currently on a tour through the U.S., making a visit to Washington, D.C., earlier this week and traveled to Iowa on Thursday.

But while Huntsman voiced his disagreement with Romney over China policy, there’s one candidate who considers Romney’s stance on China to be a key selling point: Donald Trump. “He’s the one person who speaks strongly about China because China is ripping this country like nobody is ripping this country,” Trump told reporters when he endorsed Romney earlier this month.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Huntsman Will Drop Out of Republican Race

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) --  Jon Huntsman will drop out of the Republican presidential race on Monday, a campaign spokesman told ABC News.

A source close to the Huntsman campaign said the former ambassador to China and Utah Governor was “proud of the race that he ran” but “did not want to stand in the way” of rival Mitt Romney, the current front-runner for the Republican nomination.

Huntsman plans to endorse Romney at an 11 a.m. press conference Monday in Myrtle Beach, SC.

After a disappointing third place finish in New Hampshire – a contest on which he had staked his candidacy – Huntsman vowed to fight on. In his concession speech in New Hampshire, he told his supporters:  “I say third place is a ticket to ride, ladies and gentleman! Hello, South Carolina!”

But just six days from the South Carolina primary, Huntsman has said goodbye to the Palmetto state after all.

A Huntsman aide tells ABC News that the decision came in the wake of the results in the New Hampshire primary.

“He has been discussing with his family after they woke up after a successful evening in New Hampshire. They felt good about their performance in New Hampshire, but he and his family had a discussion and this is the decision came to,” the aide said. “At the end of the day he decided he did not want to hurt the best chance of beating Barack Obama and that’s Mitt Romney. By continuing into South Carolina and Florida, that’s what he would have been doing.”

While Huntsman will be throwing his support to Romney on Monday, it was only a week ago that he told ABC’s John Berman just the opposite.

When asked if he trusts Governor Romney, Huntsman replied, “He has not put forth reason to give us a reason for us to trust him.”

Earlier this month, he told another ABC reporter that Romney is “completely out of touch.”

And as recently as Saturday, Huntsman was questioning Romney’s electability.

Reporters asked Huntsman if any of the Republican establishment  had reached out to him and asked him to tone down his criticism of Romney and his work with Bain Capital. Huntsman explained:
“Nope. And listen. I have said what I have said. My problem is really a political issue. And that is, when you have a candidate that talks about enjoyment in firing people, talks about pink-slips, who makes comment that seem to be so detached from the problems that Americans are facing today. that makes you pretty much unelectable. And I say, we want a nominee who can actually go on to win. That’s the issue…. the bigger issue is one of electability.”

Huntsman, 51, entered the race last summer to high expectations, but he struggled from the start to win over conservative Republican voters.

Huntsman is now the fourth Republican candidate to drop out of the campaign. Tim Pawlenty, the former governor Minnesota, dropped out last summer after a disappointing finish in the Iowa straw poll. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota dropped out just after the Iowa Caucus and businesman Herman Cain left the race in a storm of sexual harassment allegations.  With Huntsman’s endorsement of Romney on Monday as well as Pawlenty’s endorsement of Romney last summer, two of the four have thrown their support behind the former Massachusetts governor. The other two – Cain and Bachmann – have yet to endorse.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Huntsman Quits: Why it Matters

ABC/Donna Svennevik(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- Jon Huntsman’s campaign was running on fumes, down in the polls and out of money. So does it matter that he is dropping out and endorsing Mitt Romney?  Yes.

A few points to consider:

Huntsman’s departure is a significant boost to Romney because virtually every Huntsman vote comes from Romney. So even if he only got 4 or 5 percent of the vote in the South Carolina Republican primary, that could have cost Romney a victory. Now the more moderate wing of the party is united while the social conservatives remain divided.

Huntsman’s campaign was the most effective, by far, at exposing Romney’s record of flip flopping. They produced a series of devastatingly funny videos and websites (now taken down). They didn’t have much money, however, so most of this stuff didn’t make it on TV.

When I interviewed Huntsman seven days ago, he told me Romney was “completely out of touch.” He has also called him unelectable and suggested to ABC’s John Berman that he could not be trusted.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


New Hampshire Results: Candidates in Their Words

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- ABC News Tuesday projected just after 8 p.m. EST that Mitt Romney would win the New Hampshire primary. Within half an hour he had taken the stage at his victory party to rally the troops.

ABC Projects Mitt Romney Will Win New Hampshire Primary

Based on exit polls, Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman will finish 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

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Romney: Tonight We Celebrate. Tomorrow, We Go Back to Work

The N.H. primary winner criticizes Obama in speech, looks ahead to South Carolina.

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Feisty Ron Paul Says Momentum Can’t Be Stopped

Paul congratulates Romney on New Hampshire win; says, “We’re nibbling at his heels.”

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Jon Huntsman: Third Place Is a Ticket to Ride

2012 candidate says finish in New Hampshire primary guarantees he will move on to South Carolina.

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Newt Gingrich Says Campaign Will Go On to South Carolina

The 2012 candidate shut out of top three in New Hampshire primary.

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Rick Santorum: We Knew New Hampshire Would Be Tough

The 2012 candidate shut out of the top three in N.H.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mitt Romney Projected to Win New Hampshire Primary

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(MANCHESTER, N.H.) -- ABC News projects that Mitt Romney will win the nation's first primary in New Hampshire, marking the first time since 1976 that a Republican candidate has won the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary back to back.

Based on the exit poll data and ABC News' analysis of the vote in so far, Rep. Ron Paul is projected to be second and Jon Huntsman will place third.

Crowds at Romney's gathering in New Hampshire erupted in cheers as the results were announced.

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In a race in which electability was the top concern for voters, most picked the former Massachusetts governor as the GOP candidate most likely to beat President Obama. Underscoring GOP unhappiness with the current administration, exit polls showed that eight in 10 New Hampshire primary voters were either dissatisfied or downright angry with the Obama administration, mainly stemming from economic discontent.

Independents turned out in greater-than-usual numbers in the primaries, a trend that could bode well for Romney in November if he nabs the nomination. Independent voters are expected to play a crucial role in this swing state for both the incumbent president and his challenger. 

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Exit polls showed that concerns about electability, economic discontent and a less conservative but more divided base than in Iowa last week helped shape the New Hampshire primary.

Though experts say the race is far from decided, the Granite State has a good track record of picking the eventual nominee on the Republican side.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Huntsman Fails to Qualify for Ballot in Arizona

Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- Amid the growing speculation of Hunts-mentum, the Huntsman campaign was dealt a blow Monday night when the Arizona Secretary of State’s office announced that the former Utah governor had failed to qualify for the ballot in the state’s February 28 primary.

To qualify for the ballot in Arizona, candidates were required to submit a nomination paper, complete with their notarized, original signature, by 5 p.m. Jan. 9. Huntsman failed to qualify because the nomination paper submitted on his behalf did not include a notarized signature, which rendered it incomplete, according to a letter from Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett.

This is the third state in which Huntsman has failed to qualify for the primary ballot. He did not turn in any materials to the Virginia State Board of Elections on Virginia’s Dec. 22 filing deadline. He also failed to submit any of the 3,000 to 5,000 signatures necessary to qualify for the presidential preference ballot in Illinois by the January 6 deadline.

Each of these states have a sizable number of delegates up for grabs; Arizona rewards 29 delegates, Virginia rewards 49, and Illinois has 69 — although all of those 69 delegates are technically unbound going into the convention.

The Huntsman campaign is taking action to get the former ambassador to China on the ballot. In the case of Arizona, Huntsman campaign spokesman Tim Miller told ABC News that the campaign plans to challenge the ruling.

“We filed the paperwork, are challenging the ruling, and expect to make the ballot,” Miller said in an email to ABC News.

In Virginia, Huntsman has signed on to a legal challenge brought forth by the Perry campaign.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio