It's Substance, Not Civility, That's Huntsman's Problem

Michael Medved

6/30/2011 3:12:33 PM - Michael Medved

Prestige pundits praise GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman for emphasizing civility, but say this focus will doom his chances. These commentators are half right: yes, Huntsman has little chance for the nomination, but not because of civility. Actually, all major GOP contenders have run civil campaigns so far, criticizing the president on policy, not personality. The two contenders who stridently savaged the president—Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich – have both effectively taken themselves out of the running. The problem for Huntsman isn’t the GOP’s lack of civility, but his own lack of substance. His announcement of candidacy gave no hint of program or policies and amid all the empty platitudes only the civility theme seemed newsworthy.  Unless Huntsman gets more specific and burnishes his own conservative credentials, he’ll make no progress in the Republican race.