Bill Clinton: 'I'd Vote for Huntsman'

Kate Hicks

12/21/2011 2:00:00 PM - Kate Hicks

GOP presidential longshot hopeful Jon Huntsman can add another notch into his endorsement belt: Bill Clinton. On FoxNews' "O'Reilly Factor" last night, the former president spoke highly of Huntsmans -- and touted his overlooked creds as a conservative.

"I also like Huntsman, you know, and if I voted for him, I'd be in the 1%, but he arguably has the most consistently conservative economic record of anybody running."

On the one hand, this is just adding fuel to the fire of all those conservatives who complain that the liberal media and Democrat party want Republicans to nominate Huntsman. But Clinton does have a point: as governor of Utah, Huntsman did replace the six-tiered tax system with a 5% flat income tax rate, job creation jumped to 4.8% (or 5.9%, depending on what information you use), and unemployment sank as low as 2.3% -- the lowest in the country.

Huntsman's biggest problem -- and the impetus behind conservatives' resounding rejection of him -- stems from his early messaging, which was clearly designed to attract independent voters or liberal-leaning Republicans. Many describe him as smug and dismissive of the Tea Party -- and what's worse, they recall the now-infamous tweet he issued early in his campaign, which revealed his ambivalent stance on global warming climate science.

Although more of his conservative record has come to light of late, he's getting quite a bit of love from Democrats, and that's unsettling to Republican voters who, understandably, don't want to feel their candidate was handpicked by the left. On the other hand, Bill Clinton is one of the most popular politicians in America. Could this "endorsement" help? Probably not. It's more likely to reinforce Huntsman's RINO image.