The Fix: Jon Huntsman

Ranking the Republican presidential candidates: The best and worst

Ranking the Republican presidential candidates: The best and worst

The Republican primary is now over. Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum’s decision to end his bid on Tuesday means that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney will be the Republican standard-bearer against President Obama in the fall.

The end of the race means a time for reflection in Fixworld. (We are nothing if not introspective.) And, regular readers know the Fix loves looking back at the campaign that was and deciding who did it best and, more deliciously, who did it worst. (Some people call this back seat driving; we call it “analysis”!)

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Jon Huntsman discussed World Bank post with Harry Reid

Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and discussed the possibility of his being named the head of the World Bank, according to multiple sources familiar with the conversation.


Republican presidential candidate and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman departs the Huckabee Forum 2, a televised event, in Charleston, South Carolina, in this January 14, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Jason Reed/Files
Whether Huntsman urged Reid to push for his appointment or dismissed the idea is a matter of considerable disagreement, however.

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Jon Huntsman and what might have been

Jon Huntsman and what might have been

Any time a candidate for office comes up short of winning, there’s always a game of “what if” that goes on. After all, no one gets into a race — sacrificing their life in the process — if they don’t think they can win.

Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman’s decision to end his presidential campaign today is sure to stoke talk of whether there was ever a way for him to be a relevant force in the race.

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Exiting Jon Huntsman can take over super PAC

Exiting Jon Huntsman can take over super PAC

Jon Huntsman is dropping out of the presidential race.

So what happens to the super PAC supporting his campaign?

Well, pretty much anything. Including Huntsman himself taking it over.

As The Post’s T.W. Farnam reported when Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) dropped out of the presidential race a couple weeks back, there is little in the law that describes what can happen to a super PAC when the candidate it’s supporting drops out, in large part because super PACs are a brand-new creation of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

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Jon Huntsman tries to hide Mitt Romney attacks

As he exits the presidential race, Jon Huntsman is expected to endorse rival Mitt Romney.

Huntsman has been one of Romney’s vicious critics on the trail, attacking the former Massachusetts governor on health-care mandates, taxes, abortion, foreign policy — you name it, Huntsman cut a Web video on it.

The former Utah governor’s campaign pulled multiple anti-Romney videos and Web sites off the web Sunday night, but Huntsman attacked Romney so many times that there’s plenty of evidence left online. Here are some of the most damning attacks.

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Jon Huntsman to quit presidential race, endorse Mitt Romney

Jon Huntsman to quit presidential race, endorse Mitt Romney

Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman has decided to end his presidential candidacy and will formally exit the race on Monday, according to two sources briefed on his thinking. He is expected to endorse former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

“This was his decision alone,” said one former adviser. “Alone.”

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Jon Huntsman’s “Worst” week

Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, after a less-than-expected third place finish in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, won our “Worst Week in Washington” award for the week.


Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman celebrates his third place finish at his election night party January 10, 2012 in Manchester, New Hampshire. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT

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5 storylines to watch in the New Hampshire primary

5 storylines to watch in the New Hampshire primary

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Polls will close across New Hampshire in three hours time and we should start getting results (rubbing hands gleefully) shortly after that.

Need to while away the hours until the polls close and the Fix live chat goes, um, live? Us too! Below is a look at a few storylines to keep an eye on tonight as ballots get counted. Have storylines of your own we need to watch? The comments section awaits.

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Is Jon Huntsman a one-state wonder?

Is Jon Huntsman a one-state wonder?

Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman appears to be the momentum candidate in New Hampshire ahead of today’s Republican presidential primary vote.

Tracking polls conducted in the race show him moving up, he put in his best debate showing of the race thus far on Sunday, he’s up on television and he even won the endorsement of the Boston Globe in recent days.

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Jon Huntsman borrows from John McCain

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) may have endorsed Mitt Romney, but it’s Jon Huntsman who has his campaign slogan.

A new ad 60-second called “Country First” features a clip from the Sunday NBC News debate in which the former Utah governor defended his work as ambassador to China for the Obama administration.

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Huntsman gets assist on TV in New Hampshire, but could be too little, too late

Huntsman gets assist on TV in New Hampshire, but could be too little, too late

Jon Huntsman’s presidential campaign is getting a little help on the airwaves in New Hampshire, as the candidate confronts a make-or-break moment in the state’s Jan. 10 primary.

But is it enough?

A super PAC supporting the former Utah governor is going up with a new TV ad that attacks Mitt Romney for being a “chameleon” who will say anything to get elected.

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Jon Huntsman, conservative alternative?

Jon Huntsman, conservative alternative?

For the entirety of the Republican presidential race to date, former Utah governor Jon Huntsman has been a side story.

Huntsman’s biography (he returned to run straight from a gig as the Obama Administration’s ambassador to China), his centrist stances on issues like climate change and his generally moderate tone all seemed to be a fundamental mismatch for a Republican Party seething with white-hot anger at President Obama.

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Afternoon Fix: Gingrich and Huntsman to debate

Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman will debate, Cain is meeting with top supporters tomorrow, Lisa Murkowski is backing Romney and Jon Corzine has been subpoenaed.

Make sure to sign up to get “Afternoon Fix” in your e-mail inbox every day by 5 (ish) p.m.

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Jon Huntsman’s strange viral video strategy

Jon Huntsman’s strange viral video strategy

In their latest video, three daughters of former Utah governor Jon Huntsman rap insults about the rest of the GOP presidential field to the tune of Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack.” Seriously, watch it.

It’s funny, although not as good as their mustache-heavy parody of the smoking Herman Cain ad last month. The videos have gotten lots of attention.

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What the Union Leader means for Newt Gingrich (and what it doesn’t)

What the Union Leader means for Newt Gingrich (and what it doesn’t)

The endorsement by the New Hampshire Union Leader of the presidential candidacy of Newt Gingrich provides the former House speaker with a boost in the Granite State and likely solidifies him as the conservative alternative to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

“The endorsement gives Newt credibility with New Hampshire voters, and conservatives especially, just when he needs it most,” said Mike Dennehy, who managed the New Hampshire presidential campaigns for Arizona Sen. John McCain in 2000 and 2008. “As with McCain in ‘08, the [Union Leader] has brought to life the comeback for Newt Gingrich.”

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CNN Republican debate: Winners and losers

Another day, another Republican presidential debate. We live-blogged the whole thing but also took note of a few of the night’s winners and, yes, losers.

Our thoughts are below. Have your own winners and losers? The comments section awaits.

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CNN national security debate: What to watch for

Eight Republican candidates will gather for the billionth — oops, sorry, twelfth— time tonight in Washington, D.C. for a debate focused on national security.

The festivities get started at 8 p.m. on CNN — we will ramp up the Fix live-blog around 7:30 p.m. — but in the meantime we thought we’d offer a few things to keep an eye on in tonight’s debate.

As always, your thoughts are welcome in the comments section.

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Jon Huntsman super PAC launches N.H. ads

Jon Huntsman super PAC launches N.H. ads

Things in the country are bad. No, terrible. And only former Utah governor Jon Huntsman can fix them.

That’s the message in the first ad from Our Destiny PAC — a so-called super PAC supporting Huntsman — that will begin running in New Hampshire on Tuesday.

“Are we the next Greece,” asks one man in the ad. “The world is literally collapsing and no one has shown up we can trust as a conservative,” says another as — hint, hint — foreboding music plays in the background.

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GOP presidential debate: What to watch for

GOP presidential debate: What to watch for

Eight Republican presidential candidates will gather tonight at 8 p.m. at Oakland University in Michigan for their tenth debate of the primary season.

We’ll be live-blogging the proceedings — natch! — but thought we’d provide a viewer’s guide to keep you occupied in the hours before things get started in earnest.

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Afternoon Fix: Huntsman’s daughters mock Cain ad

Jon Huntsman’s daughters get into the parody video business, Gary Johnson had a near-miss, and new polling on the Ohio referendum.

Make sure to sign up to get “Afternoon Fix” in your e-mail inbox every day by 5 (ish) p.m.!

EARLIER ON THE FIX:

2012 redistricting update: Republicans and Democrats fighting to a draw in battle for new seats

The contenders and the pretenders of the Republican race

Mitt Romney: Unstoppable in New Hampshire?

WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* Jon Huntsman’s three daughters (who run a group Twitter feed) have cut a parody video of the “smoking” Herman Cain ad, complete with fake mustaches. No, they don’t smoke. “We are shamelessly promoting our dad like no other candidate’s family ever has,” they say in the video, so there’s probably more like this coming.

* Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is no stranger to the flip-flopper charge, and yesterday he gave his critics more ammunition. “We don't know what's causing climate change,” he told a Pittsburgh crowd yesterday; in June he said he believed humans contributed to climate change. Romney has steadily moved away from his past support for curbing emissions.

* Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) is wading — or jogging — into the upcoming special election for the seat vacated by ex-Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.). The congressman is reairing his 1996 “Running” ad, needling Republican candidate Rob Cornilles for putting out a very similar spot. Cornilles is the frontrunner in the Nov. 8 primary.

* Gary Johnson paid extra to file in New Hampshire, nearly missing his chance to not win the first-in-the-nation primary. Having missed the deadline to file by proxy, the candidate was forced to jump on a plane to the Granite State and submit his paperwork in person.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

* Romney picked up a former Perry supporter today — New Hampshire Republican state Rep. Norman Major. He also won the support of social conservative activist Maureen Mooney, who went to Austin to talk to Perry but never actually endorsed him.

* Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is courting a new hire in South Carolina — Republican consultant Wesley Donehue. Donehue, whose firm has done work for Sen. Jim DeMint (R) agreed to help the campaign through the weekend and then see what happens from there.

* In New Hampshire today, Texas Gov. Rick Perry joked about skipping debates but did not say what he was planning to do. “I don't know whether or not we're gonna forego any debates or not," he told reporters. “Shoot, I'm gonna be a good debater before it's all over with.”

* Another poll — this one from the University of Akron’s Bliss Institute — shows Ohio’s anti-collective bargaining law in trouble. Less than two weeks before a vote on a referendum to repeal the law, registered voters support repeal 37 to 25 percent. Voters favor Issue 3, which would block health-care mandates, 34 percent to 18 percent. Unlike a recent Quinnipiac poll, this one asked about the actual ballot measures rather than describing the policies, which helps explain why so many more respondents are undecided.

THE FIX MIX:

You have plenty of time to make this costume.

Making of the Camera Costume from Tyler Card on Vimeo.

With Rachel Weiner and Aaron Blake

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Las Vegas Republican debate: What to watch for

Las Vegas Republican debate: What to watch for

For the fifth time in the last six weeks and the eighth time in 2011 — neither of those are typos — the Republican presidential field will gather on a debate stage with Las Vegas providing the backdrop to tonight’s tete a tete.

Unlike the last several debates there will be seven not eight men and women on stage as former Utah governor Jon Huntsman is boycotting the debate in solidarity with the New Hampshire Republican party, which is upset with the Silver State for scheduling their presidential caucus on Jan. 14, 2012. (Follow all of that?)

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Afternoon Fix: Jon Huntsman deep in debt

Jon Huntsman is in debt, Clint Eastwood could have been vice president, Herman Cain has joined the Nevada boycott and Ben Nelson is slipping in the money race.

Make sure to sign up to get “Afternoon Fix” in your e-mail inbox every day by 5 (ish) p.m.!

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Huntsman needles Perry on Mormonism flap at GOP debate

Former China ambassador Jon Huntsman was full of one-liners in Tuesday night’s Washington Post/Bloomberg News debate. In one memorable exchange, he took a dig at Texas Gov. Rick Perry for his association with a controversial pastor.

Asked to pose a question to one of the other candidates, Huntsman chose former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

“Since this discussion is all about economics, Governor Romney, I promise this won’t be about religion,” Huntsman said. He paused, then added, “Sorry about that, Rick.”

Perry has taken heat for refusing to disavow the comments of evangelical pastor Robert Jeffress, who introduced the governor at last weekend’s Values Voter summit and later called Mormonism a “cult.”

Both Huntsman and Romney are Mormons.

Romney called on Perry to “repudiate” the remarks earlier today.