Skip to comments.The GOP's front runners: Bad and worse (George Will pegs Huntsman as most principled conservative).
Posted on 12/02/2011 9:53:00 PM PST by St. Louis Conservative
Jon Huntsman inexplicably chose to debut as the Republican for people who rather dislike Republicans, but his program is the most conservative. He endorses Paul Ryans budget and entitlement reforms. (Gingrich denounced Ryans Medicare reform as right-wing social engineering.) Huntsman would privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (Gingrichs benefactor). Huntsman would end double taxation on investment by eliminating taxes on capital gains and dividends. (Romney would eliminate them only for people earning less than $200,000, who currently pay just 9.3 percent of them.) Huntsmans thorough opposition to corporate welfare includes farm subsidies. (Romney has justified them as national security measures food security, somehow threatened. Gingrich says opponents of ethanol subsidies are big-city people hostile to farmers.) Huntsman considers No Child Left Behind, the semi-nationalization of primary and secondary education, an unmitigated disaster. (Romney and Gingrich support it. Gingrich has endorsed a national curriculum.) Between Ron Pauls isolationism and the faintly variant bellicosities of the other six candidates stands Huntsmans conservative foreign policy, skeptically nuanced about Americas need or ability to control many distant developments.
Romney might not be a Dewey. Gingrich might stop being (as Churchill said of John Foster Dulles) a bull who carries his own china shop around with him. But both are too risky to anoint today.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Who the Hell is George Will, and why should I give a damn about what he has to say?
Kind of funnily shows how some of these syndicated pundits are way off in left field.
Did you read what he said? Where specifically do you think he’s wrong? Have you seen Huntsman’s platform?
He may very well be the most consistent candidate, I will not argue against that.
Doesn’t mean he’s the most consistent Republican candidate.
Huntsman’s platform is basically to be a political whore who was willing to be Obama’s errand boy to the ChiComs. Since when does a “principled conservative” sell-out to kiss the bum of someone who made Ted Kennedy look like a moderate Democrat?
I’ve heard that Huntsman had a really good record running Utah.
Fax me some of that stuff you’re smoking.
George Will misses on both counts.
I won’t defend his ambassadorship under Obama. All I can say is that I have looked at his record as governor, and I’ve looked at his platform in detail. I’ve also looked at the other top tier candidates, and there’s no question that Huntsman is the MOST conservative of the bunch. I would encourage you to do some reading and some thinking on this.
The choice will come down to Newt, Mitt, or Huntsman. It’s that simple. Out of those three, Huntsman is the most conservative, and has by FAR the best chance to decisively beat Obama in the general.
The choice is between Gingrich and Romney and George Wills' frustration does not change that reality one millimeter. By focusing his solution on a fringe candidate, George Will squandered whatever opportunity he sought in this column to influence conservatives' choice.
If his platform is represented by what he articulates in the debates, then yes.
Huntsman seems like a nice guy, but Will must be smokin’ some weed to think that we ignorant, anti-science Republicans are going to go out of our lazy-ass way to support his prescient pick.
Nope... Not interested in a Mitt light. He’s in it to help Mitt win.
The last thing we need is a trust fund billionaire who belongs to a religion that many people don't understand and could be twisted to make him look strange. And that is just Romney. Huntsman also has the benefit of working for Obama at one time.
If only he didn’t work for 0bama, he might deserve a consideration. As it is, it’s difficult for conservatives to consider him to beat his (former?) boss, regardless his position on issues.
Seriously, dude. What ARE you smoking ? (C)Huntsman ? Zero’s meat puppet Ambassador idiot-savant ? Tell me this is parody.
I’m sympathetic to the personal challenges Will has kindly shared with the World, but I have yet to experience the insightful, political ‘Wow’ he’s alleged to convey. Perhaps my cynicism has eclipsed the beltway rumors.
So have I.
It's all academic. Obama will be CIC until Jan 20, 2017.
Just out of curiosity, how is a guy who calls conservatives "anti-science" and refers to himself, not as the conservative, but as the "center-right" candidate, somehow become "THE option" for conservatives ?
I'm not even knocking him for working in the Obama administration, I'm more curious how someone who portrays themselves as a moderate (his words, not mine) and "center-right" or "right of center" (again his words not mine) becomes the option for people who are conservative ?
Even better, how is he supposed to pull this off after insulting conservatives directly ?
George Will needs to take his meds and eat his soup.
George Will has on occasion seemed like a Conservative only due to the contrast from the 5 Leftist usually arrayed against him. He’s an inside the beltway idea of a ‘Conservative’. Will is a useful idiot and pure Statist/Prog.
I’m delighted that you have decided to support Jon Huntsman.
Ultimately, this is going to come down to whether we want to ‘vent’ or whether we want to ‘win’.
Romney is utterly vulnerable against Obama for reasons that the Huntsman campaign is already exploiting and are well documented on this site. Even Newt’s staunchest fan would admit that he brings a fair amount of baggage to the table.
When you brush away all the image stuff, when you brush away the tangential fluff, and you get down to a candidate’s record and his policy positions, Huntsman seems the wisest choice every time.
Huntsman has tried to eschew the moderate label. He isn’t too keen on any ‘label’ that the media might bestow. If anything, he is trying to portray himself (accurately as his record shows) as a consistent conservative. Have a look at the ads his campaign have created against Romney’s flip-flops, and the ad that his Super PAC broadcast in New Hampshire. They’re all about being a conservative.
Comparing his policy positions and past to that of Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, it is difficult not to conclude that Will, on this topic at least, has a point.
As for your other point, if you felt insulted, then I don’t blame you for not warming to the guy. I didn’t take his comments that way. I agree with his basic premise that the Republican Party cannot allow itself to be painted by the Democrats and the media, as the ‘anti-science’ party. Because that’s the spin they are taking. Now THAT I find insulting.
George Will has squandered our patience for years now as conservatives, I don't even listen to him anymore. His last great call before anyone saw it ( 3 or 4 yrs before it happened if my memory is correct) was that GM was going to go broke, not Europe. Funny thing is Europe is their now...
This is why I stopped reading George Will long ago.
Years back Will was the one eyed king in the valley of the blind. There were no other “conservative” writers around and he looked like Reagan. Now he just looks like .... well George Will a man willing to make a fool of himself to meet a deadline.
With FReepers like you, O will be elected for life. We need to go out and DEFEAT the MARXIST. I'm not a Huntsman supporter, but if it's him or O, I'llvote him.
Also, Huntsman’s admitted strategy in New Hampshire is to get Democratic voters to raid the primary and vote for him.
Will’s been in Washington DC so long he’s become addicted to the Kool-Aid. No better way to get invited to parties on the Beltway than to bash conservatives.
I don’t have a problem with Huntsman’s views. Unfortunately Huntsman has made it clear he has a problem with my views.
With Romney faltering, time to turn to Huntsman I guess. Anything to stop a conservative from winning the nomination.
Stop. Just stop.
The is nothing at all “conservative” about Huntsmann. His big govt statist solutions on everything from Bank Regulation to the myth of global warming expose him as just another Democrat Lite RINO.
Then Georgie Will has gone senile.
The is nothing at all conservative about Huntsmann. His big govt statist solutions on everything from Bank Regulation to the myth of global warming expose him as just another Democrat Lite RINO.
Simply posting your emotional opinion over and over will not magically change this fiction to fact.
I’m sorry, but NOTHING at all conservative about Huntsman? Really? Nothing?
He’s just another pro-life, pro-gun, tax cutting, Ryan Plan supporting, liberal, I guess? Dang. He almost fooled me with that cunning disguise....
Read his own issues, page. There is nothing even remotely “conservative” about Huntsman
The only way you can see Huntsman as “conservative” is if you change the definition of “conservative” to mean Democrat Lite RINO.
I agree that the anti-science remark was triggered more out of desperation from a candidate looking to catch a break in the media at that point than out of disrespect or hostility to anything or any one in particular, It served his purpose by widening the case with moderates and Independents but came across as so tone-deaf in right wing circles you will notice it wasn’t a mis-step that was repeated.
The fact remains there is no way to put together a winning base without appealing to ex-Obama supporters FED UP with the state of things (and there are TONS of them). What has to be kept in mind is that Huntsman is looking to scale up the concepts instituted in Utah without pandering or running away from his record. (Although I wouldn’t mind if he flip-flopped on global warming which isn’t going to fly as a political wedge issue.)
So because Jon is an old-school conservative, his indictment of the problems the party faces in continuing to be out of touch with mainstream America is obviously not an indictment of traditional free market conservative philosophy. It may not be a popular line to take, but if the country were interested in radical solutions by a less than qualified right wing theorist we would be on the verge of a Pres Bachmann, Pres Santorum, Paul, Perry etc., no ?
“The minute the Republican party becomes the anti-science party, we have a huge problem”
We’re not going to win a national election if we become the anti-science party,
He’s right that he has an actual conservative record—about two-thirds of the time. But he was a big spender in Utah, he’s a squish on foreign affairs (no Ron Paul mind you, but about as bad as an over-interventionalist in the other direction), and most egregiously he’s terrible on illegal immigration.
I still think he’s no worse than Gingrich or Perry or Romney at this point, but he’s sent me back examining again Bachmann or Santorum or what Palin said in her two interviews this week.
Except of course, that is not the case. I know Huntsman’s positions very well. You can mistrust him for working for Obama if you wish, if you don’t like his stance on evolution and climate change, that’s fine too. These are legitimate reasons for concern, but you can’t genuinely say there is nothing at all conservative about the guy, and keep a straight face, surely?
Isn’t being so consistently pro-life and pro-gun, conservative?
Isn’t having a record as a tax-cutter as governor of one of the most conservative states in the nation, a little touch of conservatism?
Surely supporting the Ryan Plan is something that a conservative would recognise?
What about school vouchers in Utah?
There is actually a reasonable case to put forward that Huntsman is the most electable conservative candidate in this election. Certainly more conservative than Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.
Perhaps you don’t agree with him. That’s fine. But, my goodness, how far have we gone astray, how small to we want this party to be, if someone with such a conservative record on most issues like Jon Huntsman is dismissed as a ‘Democrat Lite RINO’?
Can you REALLY not see any conservatism in his record and positions, at all?
Fair enough. Nobody’s perfect. If you ultimately decide that you prefer Rick Santorum or Michele Bachmann as the Republican nominee for the presidency ahead of Jon Huntsman, then good luck to you.
The choice is between Gingrich and Romney...
You think people like Gingrich and Romney?
Or for that matter, do people really like the personality of Paul or Santorum or Bachmann or Perry?
Cain started out as the most likable in part because he had so little competition, but even he has worn out his welcome.