Election 2012

Why Jon Huntsman Has No Chance

ThinkProgress has compiled a list of policy positions supported, at least previously, by Jon Huntsman. Positions which are heretical to the GOP and which leave him with absolutely no chance, in my opinion, of winning the nomination.

Argued stimulus package was too small: When the economic stimulus bill passed, Huntsman criticized fellow GOP governors who refused to take stimulus money for engaging in “gratuitous political griping.” Later in 2009, he added: “I guess in hindsight, we can all say that there were some fundamental flaws with it. It probably wasn’t large enough” – an argument advanced by, among others, liberal economist Paul Krugman.

Supported a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants: Huntsman supported comprehensive immigration reforms during his time as governor, including a path-to-citizenship program for undocumented immigrants who came to America for work-related purposes and a plan for young immigrants that sounds eerily similar to the DREAM Act: “A lot of these kids were either born here or certainly were not in a position in their earlier lives to have any influence over the outcome of their journey,” he said. “They were brought here. Does that mean we disregard them and we kind of cancel them out from achieving the American dream?”

Supported cap-and-trade: Huntsman supported a cap-and-trade policy to limit the country’s carbon emissions. He signed Utah onto the Western Climate Initiative that would lead to a cap-and-trade system, and during the 2008 gubernatorial debate, said, “Until we put a value on carbon, we’re never going to be able to get serious about dealing with climate change.” He also touted the University of Utah’s status as a leading center of innovation on carbon capture programs and advocated moving toward a “greener economy.” He recently reiterated his belief in climate change, saying, “All I know is 90 percent of the scientists say climate change is occurring. If 90 percent of the oncological community said something was causing cancer we’d listen to them.”

Supports civil unions: While governor, Huntsman supported expanding civil unions to same-sex couples, for which he was criticized by conservative Republicans. Huntsman told the Deseret News: “I’m a firm believer in the traditional construct of marriage, a man and a woman. But I also think that we can go a greater distance in enhancing equal rights for others in nontraditional relationships.” He stood by his support yesterday in an interview with Time.

Doesn’t irrationally fear China: Huntsman doesn’t seem to partake in the conservative angst about the impending doom of the United States at the hands of the Chinese. While he believes China will surpass the U.S. in “sheer output” over the next few decades – making it the world’s largest economy – he notes that the Chinese are perhaps a century away from catching the U.S. in per capita GDP, a more relevant economic statistic.

To top all of that off -- he worked for the Obama Administration! That alone is enough of a dis-qualifier, but to combine it with the fact that he supports positions which the GOP and their lobbyist overlords have paid good money to discredit, leaves me wondering who could have possibly advised him that entering the race was a good idea.

As recent events involving Newt Gingrich have shown, you're not even allowed to be against privatizing Medicare in this Republican Party. And in a party where Gingrich is seen as a left-winger, what hope does a candidate like Huntsman have?

This is not your grandmother's Republican Party. They will not elect a moderate or anyone who is found guilty of supporting coherent policy.