Jon Huntsman Jumps Into GOP Race

Posted: Jun 14, 2011 11:53 AM

Former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China under the Obama Administration, Jon Huntsman, will officially join the current GOP Presidential field on June 21. From National Review:

“We have basically decided as a family that we are very comfortable moving forward."

Although he believes his own diplomatic experience would be “a real asset” in the presidency, Huntsman does not expect foreign policy to play a large role in the race: “I’m guessing most people will see a need to do a little nation-building here at home.”

Huntsman was not present at the debate last night in New Hampshire although he was in the state at the time. Huntsman has a pro-life record and opposes ethanol subsidies, which will impact his decision about whether to spend a ton of time in Iowa.

In early 2009, Huntsman told the Washington Times, “I don’t even know the congressional leadership” and “I don’t listen or read whatever it is they say because it is inconsequential — completely.” Asked how Boehner and Cantor are doing now, Huntsman said he didn’t “have any real feel for that” but praised them for “backstopping things like the Ryan plan.” The reason for the contrast in the tone of his remarks, he said, was that “we’re in a much different set of circumstances.”

Huntsman reiterated that he is not likely to run in the Iowa caucuses because of his opposition to ethanol subsidies. That position makes it hard to compete there, he says, unless “you are a next-door neighbor and you’ve developed political ties there.” That’s a reference to former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, who is running hard in Iowa but opposes ethanol subsidies.

In another contrast with Pawlenty, Huntsman does not believe the government should set a growth target. “The market will do that. . . . What a government should do is create the environment for growth,” he said. Like most Republicans, he opposes the Fed’s quantitative easing: “We don’t need any more money pumped into the economy, we don’t need any more bailouts.”

See Guy Benson's post about Jon Huntsman's pro-life record.