Campaign2012

Jon Huntsman

Jon Huntsman

The scion of a hyper-wealthy family and former two-term Republican governor from one of the reddest states in the union, Huntsman has made a surprising habit of sometimes bucking the establishment.

Huntsman did so again when he accepted the nomination as U.S. ambassador to China offered by Democratic President Obama. A former deputy assistant secretary of Commerce for East Asia and the Pacific and ex-U.S. ambassador to Singapore, Huntsman learned to speak Mandarin while on Mormon mission to Taiwan during college. He used his language skills to great effect while leading trade trips to China as governor.

Distinguishing himself from the pack is nothing new for Huntsman. Two years after flouting religious and familial allegiances to endorse Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for president over fellow Mormon Mitt Romney (R) in the 2008 presidential primary, the reliably conservative Huntsman finds himself under fire from his own base for shifting rhetoric on same-sex unions.

Meanwhile, the former Utah governor has gone on record as trashing the performance of congressional Republicans and in 2009, welcoming with open arms the very stimulus dollars that fellow GOP governors threatened to reject.

Key Campaign Moments for Huntsman

Huntsman on Issues

  • Economic policy  economic-policy icon

    Would raise the debt ceiling as long as there was corresponding cuts in spending, and wants to consider a balanced-budget amendment. A former Bush Commerce...

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    Jon Huntsman on Economic policy  economic-policy icon

    Would raise the debt ceiling as long as there was corresponding cuts in spending, and wants to consider a balanced-budget amendment. A former Bush Commerce under secretary, overhauled Utah's tax code as governor, instituting flat-tax of 5 percent and $30 million in tax incentives for industries like renewable energy.

    In His Own Words

    I would vote to increase the debt limit if there was a corresponding level of cuts. And if there was some serious talk about a balanced budget amendment, which we as governors always had to deal with.

    Jon Huntsman, May 20, 2011
  • Energy policy  energy-policy icon

    As governor, supported regional cap-and-trade system aimed and encouraged energy-efficient vehicles and renewable fuels. Reversed course on cap-and-trade...

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    Jon Huntsman on Energy policy  energy-policy icon

    As governor, supported regional cap-and-trade system aimed and encouraged energy-efficient vehicles and renewable fuels. Reversed course on cap-and-trade in 2011, saying it hasn't worked and these are tougher economic times.

    In His Own Words

    It hasn't worked and our economy's in a different place than five years ago

    Jon Huntsman, May 12, 2011
  • Foreign Policy  foreign-policy icon

    Obama's former ambassador to China, says a drawdown of U.S. troops from Afghanistan is inevitable, but hasn't said when that should occur. Opposed U.S...

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    Jon Huntsman on Foreign Policy  foreign-policy icon

    Obama's former ambassador to China, says a drawdown of U.S. troops from Afghanistan is inevitable, but hasn't said when that should occur. Opposed U.S. military intervention in Libya because of cost.

    In His Own Words

    We have to evaluate very carefully our presence in Afghanistan. And my inclination would be to say that it is a heavy and very expensive presence we have on the ground...what we have in Afghanistan today is not consistent with how we ought to be responding.

    Jon Huntsman, May 20, 2011
  • Health Care  health-care icon

    Favors repeal of the 2010 health-care law. As governor, signed a health-reform law in 2008 that he favorably compares to the Massachussets plan under...

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    Jon Huntsman on Health Care  health-care icon

    Favors repeal of the 2010 health-care law. As governor, signed a health-reform law in 2008 that he favorably compares to the Massachussets plan under Romney, which didn't include individual mandates, anathema to many conservatives, and established a health-insurance exchange aimed at helping small businesses provide coverage to employees

    In His Own Words

    If I had a chance to repeal [2010 health-care reform], I would. But then you have to say what goes in its place, and I think the answer to that is look at what all the states are doing.

    Jon Huntsman, May 20, 2011
  • Medicare Reform  medicare-reform icon

    In May 2011, clearly stated he would've voted for Ryan budget if he were in House, contending that bold proposals need to be considered because of the...

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    Jon Huntsman on Medicare Reform  medicare-reform icon

    In May 2011, clearly stated he would've voted for Ryan budget if he were in House, contending that bold proposals need to be considered because of the burgeoning federal deficit.

    In His Own Words

    We’ve got to be bold, and we’ve got to have, I think, proposals on the table that perhaps in years past would’ve been laughed out of the room. And we’ve got to look seriously at them. We don’t have a choice. We’ve hit the wall.

    Jon Huntsman, May 20, 2011
  • Social Issues  social-issues icon

    Against abortion rights, making illegal as governor second-trimester abortions, informing women about fetal pain before undergoing the procedure and creating...

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    Jon Huntsman on Social Issues  social-issues icon

    Against abortion rights, making illegal as governor second-trimester abortions, informing women about fetal pain before undergoing the procedure and creating legal defense fund to defend a state abortion-ban campaign. In 2007, endorsed civil unions and legal rights for cohabitating homosexuals.

    In His Own Words

    I believe in the traditional definition of marriage, but I also believe that we can do a better job in enhancing equal rights for more of our citizens.

    Jon Huntsman, February 11, 2009

Huntsman Coverage

  • I’m sick and tired of the divisiveness and if I go down in defeat talking about it, so be it…I feel pretty passionately about it. We lack a sense of respect and humanity in our debates in this country.

    London Daily MailJune 9, 2011
  • Look at my record. Labels and tags are going to be thrown around in politics; they always are. In some cases, you have to peek beneath the veneer. You have to look at one’s history and one’s record.

    The Washington PostMay 20, 2011
  • I did serve President Obama. I served my president, my president asked me to serve, in a time of war, in a time of economic difficulty in this country. I’m the kind of person, when asked by my president to stand up and serve my country, when asked, I do it.

    The Washington PostMay 20, 2011

Jon Huntsman’s secret past — as school safety patrol officer — revealed

Presidential hopefuls can expect for everyone who knew them when to come out of the woodwork. An elementary school classmate of Jon Huntsman breaks his silence.

Huntsman’s best leadership trait

Huntsman’s best leadership trait

Huntsman’s supporters are looking for bridge-builders, yes. But they’re also responding to someone who has one of the most fundamental of leadership traits.

Huntsman, Romney faced off over 2002 Olympics

The two GOP contenders have a history of rivalry — as well as of close family ties.

Is Jon Huntsman a one-state wonder?

Is Jon Huntsman a one-state wonder?

The former Utah governor is doing well in New Hampshire. But can he keep it up in South Carolina?

Path to the nomination

Can Jon Huntsman do it?

Huntsman has a shot

Huntsman has a shot

There might be room for a moderate.

A GOP hidden gem

A GOP hidden gem

Huntsman: a serious resume and considerable political skills.

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