Mitt Romney

Jon Huntsman to Drop Out, Endorse "Panderer-in-Chief" Mitt Romney


Former Utah Governor and prog-rock keyboardist Jon Huntsman will drop out of the GOP primary race on Monday, various media outlets are reporting this evening.

According to The New York Times, Huntsman will endorse Mitt Romney later in the week. An inspired choice, considering that Huntsman accused Romney of making himself "completely unelectable," and called him a "perfectly lubricated weather vane" and "panderer-in-chief." 

Business Insider's Michael Brendan Dougherty, an early chronicler of the Huntsman campaign, has a good post mortem

Huntsman should have been a contender. 

He was an extremely popular two-term governor, who won re-election with almost 80 percent of the vote. He could check off every position on a default Republican's wishlist. He signed more pro-life legislation than his competitors. He expanded gun-rights. He lowered taxes in his state historically. 

And as his campaign was anxious to remind everyone: he had lots of foreign policy experience. He served as Trade Representative, and three times as Ambassador. 

But Huntsman and the media defined his candidacy as that of a moderate. And at times, his tweeting seemed to antagonize the Republican base rather than rally it. Rather than coming out of his post as America's ambassador to China under Obama as a whistleblower, he promised a "civil" campaign. 

Reason's own Brian Doherty measured Paul and Huntsman earlier this month and found the latter wanting: 

Why do I think Huntsman can't pull Paul's people? (Huntsman won't even be on the ballot in Virginia or Arizona.) Paul, unlike Huntsman, has a coherent, wide-ranging, principled worldview about politics, a worldview expressed and acted on in a variety of existing institutions, books, news and commentary sites: Paul has a political movement. To paraphrase something Thomas Woods, author of the New York Times best-seller Meltdown promoting the Paulite view of Federal Reserve responsibility for the economic crisis, said Saturday night at a mini-Paul rally in a Manchester pool hall: no one says that discovering Jon Huntsman changed their whole view of the world and sent them on a life-changing intellectual odyssey through a coherent and thrilling world of books and ideas. (Woods said it about Romney. It applies equally to Huntsman, considered against Paul.) Even Huntsman's supposed anti-interventionism is more confused and weak than Paul's.

What Paul has that Huntsman does not have is, well, libertarianism. That's something, believe it or not libertarians punchdrunk from decades of being a hated tiny minority, that now has great electoral power. Enough electoral power yet to win the GOP nomination, or even caucuses or primaries? Doesn't seem like it yet, but I've learned over the past five years to not underestimate the strange electoral power of Ron Paul.

In November, Steve Chapman asked, "Why not Huntsman?" 

His centrism is mostly a matter of temperament. His record in office stands up well by conservative standards. He pushed through big cuts in income and sales taxes. He cut state employees' retirement benefits.

In the libertarian Cato Institute's 2008 fiscal ranking of the nation's governors, he came in fifth—tied with Rick Perry. He also can argue that he knows how to foster a sound economy. During his time as governor, by one measure, Utah ranked first in the country in job creation, while Romney's Massachusetts ranked 47th.

He hasn't had to spend a lot of time fighting off major parts of his record. The phrase he uses to describe Romney—a "perfectly lubricated weather vane"—doesn't apply to Huntsman.

He did, however, have the gall to say, "I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming." He also has parted with GOP dogma on civil unions for gays and granting in-state college tuition to foreign-born children brought here illegally by their parents.

But those are mild deviations compared to, say, Romney's Obama-like health care program, Cain's wild incoherence on abortion or Newt Gingrich's sale of his soul to Freddie Mac.

More offensive to rabid Obama-haters is that Huntsman accepted when the president asked him to be ambassador to China. Never mind that firsthand acquaintance with our biggest creditor and most formidable potential military rival (he even speaks Mandarin) would be an asset in a president. Never mind that his service would appeal to independent voters who distrust fierce partisanship.

Never mind, either, that he has attacked Obama for his policy on Libya, which was "not in our core national security interest," and on Afghanistan, which he regards as "nation-building." Republicans wary of extravagant, open-ended foreign entanglements now have an alternative to Ron Paul.

And who else has had the nerve to say what should be obvious about our most questionable ally? "I'm here to tell you, folks," Huntsman declared at one event, "we can't do a damn thing about Pakistan. Only Pakistan can save Pakistan."

More Reason on Huntsman here

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  1. Another one bites the dust.

  2. Feck Huntsman and feck Romney. Drink! Girls! Arse! And feck off, cup!

    1. Someone hast just seen Father Ted for the first time.

      1. A truly brilliant program.

  3. So much for my Cesar Franck meme. It just never got off the ground, much like the Accursed Huntsman’s campaign.

      1. I never click those.

  4. as with a lot of folks, it was not the substance but the style. Every time Huntsman spoke, my hand instinctively went for my wallet to make sure it was there. Shit like the contrived answer to “what would you be doing if not debating tonight” question. There are six other days in the week when he could be calling his Navy sons; how about “hanging out with my hot wife”, or something that sounded like what a normal person might do.

    1. What makes you think would-be presidents are normal people?

  5. Huntsman is smart, principled, effective, experienced and a genuinely nice person. Apparently Republicans aren’t used to that.

    1. You forgot thrifty, brave kind and reverent.

      1. ……thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

        Articulate is not a requirement.

    2. and dreamy. Thats what Lewis meant to say.

    3. Yeah, that’s probably why they are scared to death of Ron Paul taking the nomination and ACTUALLY changing this corrupted government.

      Ron Paul is planting the seed for an intellectual libertarian movement that will last much longer than Ron Paul can. His supporters are passionate, young, and thirsty for freedom, and are willing to put forth the energy and enthusiasm to spread the message of Liberty.

      RON PAUL > Obama
      RON PAUL > Romney
      RON PAUL > Corporations

      RON PAUL 2012

    4. You also forgot purple, obsequious and clairvoyant…

      1. Now go into the closet and suck eggs.

  6. And who doesn’t love some SE Cupp?…..-1.1005912

    1. That’s a bad picture.

      This is a better one.

      1. More like DD Cupp.

  7. no one says that discovering Jon Huntsman changed their whole view of the world and sent them on a life-changing intellectual odyssey through a coherent and thrilling world of books and ideas. (Woods said it about Romney.

    We’re electing a president, not a Reading Rainbow host.

    1. Sez you.

      Levar Buron 2012!

      1. There you go. It’s time to elect a real black president. One with roots in this country.

        1. One with roots in this country.

          I see what you did there.

    2. Doherty has completely lost touch with how 90% of America looks at elections. He has no idea and no idea that he has no idea.

      1. It’s not surprising, since he doesn’t vote and discourages other libertarians from voting.

        How ironic that he’s writing a book about a libertarian whose success came from strong electoral showings.

        1. You’re not a politician and yet you keep writing about them. Does that make your actions even more ironic?

          Or perhaps, shockingly, people can say nice things about people they disagree with, or even objectively biograph them!

  8. Too bad. I really thought he had a chance. Everythings on Ron Paul now.

  9. It’s easy to be a popular governor with conservative low-tax, low-reg economics in Utah. Not so much in Mass.

    I have a hard time seeing President Huntsman being tough enough to deal with the shit the Congressional Dems are sure to pull on his watch.

    1. The country as a whole is more liberal than Utah. So I guess we should just suck it up and let Mitt run it Mass style.

      1. Mitt’s style is to cave in to the civil service and the legislature, and let them do what they want.

        Gosh, that sort of leadership style reminds me of some one. His name sounded some thing like O’Mana, Rana? It’s on the tip of my tounge! I wish I could remember it!

  10. Why are people lamenting “too big to fail” Huntsman dropping out? Slimy personality aside, anybody who’s telling me banks need to be broken up has already lost my vote. That guy had some pluses, but he seemed all over the map to me.

    1. His only plus seemed to be that it didn’t seem like he couldn’t wait to start the next war.

    2. He was dog shit, people are deluding themselves into thinking the republican field isn’t as shitty as it really is. Minus Ron Paul obv.

  11. Damned by MSM praise, I think. He was seen by Republicans as the guy being pushed by the media, which in Republicans causes instinctive distrust.

    Plus it wasn’t his turn!

    1. As opposed to Romney, Cain, and Santorum, the other guys being pushed by the media.

  12. A VP deal? I still think Romney will need the trifecta

    1. yeah, a Romney/Huntsman ticket should get the base enthused.

    2. I could see Santorum in the bottom slot, though.

      1. +1 – I sincerely hope you intended the double entendre I read into that. a+ work.

  13. No surprise here. Who wouldn’t endorse their own clone for the nomination?


    1. Huntsman is the clone. Romney’s the template. Or maybe he’s the first clone and Huntsman’s the second and each clone generation is more degenerated somehow like in the Spiderman Clone Saga…

      1. …like in the Spiderman Clone Saga…

        Don’t you ever mention that again. I will kill your family. NOTHING is “like” the Clone Saga, unless the comparison is to an AIDS-infected shit sandwich, in which the pieces of bread are also made out of pieces of shit.

        1. Hey, fuck you buddy, my character was awesome.

          I’m even getting my own series! In Texas!

          1. Every character introduced during that period was crap. And the King Turd on top of Mt. Shit was…bringing Norman fucking Osborne back?!

            1. Between the Spiderclones and the Civil War, I gave up on Marvel a few years back. No longer buy Marvel titles. I don’t even pay to see their movies — I wait until they come out on the cable networks for which I am already paying.

              I get a lot of crap for that from my circle of friends, because I won’t queue up to see the latest X-folk flick or whatever, but fuck it, I’m exercising my right not to assemble.

    2. I swear it was just last week that Huntsman was on the radio saying how he doesn’t trust Romney and we shouldn’t either. I guess now we can’t trust Huntsman either. (Not that I necessarily did before.)

  14. Rock keyboardist? This is my only foray into rock: Bohemian Rhapsody by Freddy Mercury.

    I prefer Chopin and Rachmaninoff any day.

    “There’s no need to fear. Underzog is here!”

  15. Who do you think the libertarian fruitcake Ron Paul will endorese when he drops out?

    1. Roger Federer.

    2. I doubt he’ll drop out, so you don’t have to worry about that.

      1. Ron Paul will endorse Wheaties. Then get on his bike and ride 20 miles on his bicycle before delivering triplets and getting home in time to read an economics book cover to cover AND UNDERSTAND IT.

        1. I want to start an internet campaign to get Ron Paul on a wheaties box. Spread the word.

          1. How’s this:


            It’s just gravy that there was a gold like medallion on the front of the box.

            1. Now that is funny!

    3. Paul > Tebow

    4. endorese [sic]

      Really? I thought you were supposed to be the most brilliant linguist on the planet?

      1. Really? I thought you were supposed to be the most brilliant linguist on the planet?

        He told you cunilinguist

        1. That’s what he told me! And he delivered!

      2. Endorese: it’s the technical term for when you get endorsed by Martin Scorsese, you backwoods hick.

        Also, it is the language spoken by Ewoks.

    5. Ron Paul doesn’t drop out, he lifts the election swiftly and forcefully above his head before letting go.

      1. What Tulpa said

    6. Paul won’t drop out. He is the only other one on all the ballots and the money to see it through. His message of individual liberty, sound monetary policy, and a return to sensible foreign policy may seem fruitcakey to some people, but for a lot of others it make sense. Expect old Ron to hang in there….he ain’t going anywhere.

  16. Huntsman was polling 5% in SC according to Real Clear Politics.

    I doubt his endorsement means most of his his voters switch to Romney, but who gets them?

    His post primary-day metrics so far seem to show he drew mostly on moderates and independents and even Democrats, so I’m guessing it’s not Santorum.

    1. Quite a few of them may just not bother with the GOP primary at all. Maybe a few will vote Romney.

    2. I’m guessing Romney and Paul split his support with the moderate types going for Romney and the rest going to Paul. Unfortunately I think most of his support were moderate safe types.

      1. A lot went to Paul already, the remaining majority are moderates or they would have left already I would think.

  17. Just watched Full Metal Jacket again.

    Animal Mutha sez, “No more boom boom for you, Huntsman san…”

    1. Are you quitting on me? Well, are you? Then quit, you slimy fucking walrus-looking piece of shit! Get the fuck off of my obstacle! Get the fuck down off of my obstacle! NOW! MOVE IT! Or I’m going to rip your balls off, so you cannot contaminate the rest of the world! I will motivate you, Private Pyle, IF IT SHORT-DICKS EVERY CANNIBAL ON THE CONGO!

  18. In related news, some in the LDS are defecting to Ron Paul:

    Press releases here and here

  19. This is bad news. We needed someone on the national stage criticizing US interventionism without adopting Dr. Paul’s naive view about Islamic extremists.

    1. Please explain said naive view.

      1. It’s naive to think that if we bomb people, they will hate us.

        It’s naive to think that if you treat people decently, they will be biased to treat us decently in return.

        It’s also naive to think that when people experience freedom after living in totalitarian regimes, they will largely embrace freedom and become its most passionate defenders.

        1. Your fatal mistake, tarran, is to think that these are people, individual people, even, when clearly, such is not the case. You need to brush up on your generalization/dehumanization skills.

          1. Islamists love their children, too.

            1. Except when they don’t of course.


              It’s naive to think that if you treat people decently, they will be biased to treat us decently in return.

              Uh, yeah, depending on the culture yuo are dealing with, that can be kind of naive. Treating a person not of your clan “decently” can be taken as weakness.

  20. Are you guys about ready to give up the ghost yet? We’re gonna need ALL your support in November.

    I get that Romney is not conservative enough for your liking. But, the so-called conservative candidates in the that are in the race aren’t just flawed. They’re broken.

    It might have been different if, say, a Mitch Daniels had entered the race. But, that didn’t happen (besides, there’s no way of knowing how a Daniels would perform under national scrutiny– the string of candidates who faltered under the spotlight in this race demonstrates how difficult it is to run for president).

    And as much as it is an anathema to the right, Romney’s moderateness is ideally suited to attract the middle in the election. He may not win– let’s disspell the fallacy right now that “anyone can beat Obama”; Obama enters this election as the favorite for a number of reasons, despite the economy (and that may be improving just in time for him). But, every national and battleground state poll confirms that Romney is the only one who can even make it competitive.

    A silver lining for conservatives: since the GOP brand is still in the toilet nationally (33% approval rating) thanks to Bush and the public spectacle that the Tea Party became, a successful Romney presidency could redeem the GOP’s image with Americans, make the word Republican safe again. This could then pave the way for Americans to accept a more conservative Republican candidate in 2020.

    1. “a successful Romney presidency could redeem the GOP’s image with Americans”

      How about a bowl full of NO with a nice tall glass of NO.

    2. Lyon are joking right? I find it hard to believe anyone could be this dillusional…why have a primary then? Why not just let the media pick the nominee and get it over with? LOL.

    3. I get that Romney is not conservative enough for your liking.

      No, Romney is plenty conservative for our *NOT* liking.

      The problem is that he is not a libertarian. What he is is to hard to discern, since he never holds the same ides from one minute to the next.

    4. The above is further evidence, as if we needed any, that the term “libertarian” is being watered down. I guess in 5 years “libertarian” will just mean that you’re in the right wind of the GOP. Ugh. I want my label back!!!!!!!!!!!

    5. I’m a fallback Romney supporter myself, and your comment still made me vomit.

    6. Um, why the fuck do we care, or should we, about the GOP brand?

      Oh, right, because the GOP is the natural ally of the Libertarian.


  21. It appears Gingrich will stay in the race as the anti Paul/anti Romney choice. I think he will then drop out after earning enough delegates to tilt the nomination to Romney. This will give Romney the nom without needing to placate Paul’s followers too much at the convention.

    1. I can see Huntsman stealing some votes away from Ron Paul as some voters interviewed in New Hampshire mentioned (so him dropping out is good for RP) but not Gingrich.

      Gingrich is competing for the same votes as Perry and Santorum.

  22. FOAD. I voted republican straight from 1968 til 2000. I finally caught on. You “conservatives” can crawl back into whatever mud pit you came out of. AUH2O.

    “…make the word Republican safe again…”. Like WOW!! That’s my dream!!

    1. @ gagz|1.16.12 @ 1:06AM|#

      1. MURDERER

        1. ryback’s cook

          Wasn’t Ryback the cook?

    2. @ rsi: “Like WOW!! That’s my dream!!”

      I don’t know if you’re being serious or not. If you’re not, and based on your statement to “conservatives” (I’m not one either; but I’m not going to down-talk a group of people who hold a legitimate ideological view that just happens to be different than mine), it seems as if you’re not being serious.

      So what’s the point of posting a reply? I was trying to point out to conservatives the potential mitigating benefits of a President Romney. It sounds like you have no intention of supporting anyone other than Obama.

      That’s your choice and you should be welcome to post here, but I just wonder why you seemingly sarcastically called it your “dream” to “make the word Republican safe again”. Of course, you don’t want to do that if you now back Democrats. So it just seems an odd choice of conversation to inject yourself in the middle.

      1. “..That’s your choice and you should be welcome to post here..”

        Gee thanks!!

        Ever hear of the Libertarian Party?

      2. gagz,

        This is not a republican forum. In fact, the majority of regular posters here tend to be just as disgusted with team red as team blue.

        I don’t think the problem is that Romney isn’t conservative enough. I think the problem is that Romney is terrible with individual liberty, and a nation-building, world-policing war monger, as is every other major candidate currently running except for Ron Paul and Gary Johnson.

        The reason your post inspired ridicule is because you assume this is a conservative forum and that the posters here would be interested in ‘(making) the world republican safe again’.

        The fact of the matter is, if the Republicans aren’t willing to run a candidate that is good on individual liberties, then they don’t deserve a safe political environment.

        1. grammar nazis have at it

  23. Is it too late to endorse a Bachmann/Cain ticket?

  24. Have you tried casualmingle dot ‘c o m, a wonderful place where you can find the right one for you or just dating or one night stand thing. It is all up to you, come on and sign up free, nothing loose if you do not like it.

  25. Have you tried casualmingle dot ‘c o m, a wonderful place where you can find the right one for you or just dating or one night stand thing. It is all up to you, come on and sign up free, nothing loose if you do not like it.

  26. fucking fuck.

    yeah, the nyt had to say stupid shit about something i cared about again:

    It’s hard to believe that anyone but scholars of modern literature or paid critics have read W.H. Auden’s dramatic poem “The Age of Anxiety” all the way through, even though it won a Pulitzer Prize in 1948, the year after it was published. It is a difficult work ? allusive, allegorical, at times surreal. But more to the point, it’s boring. The characters meet, drink, talk and walk around; then they drink, talk and walk around some more. They do this for 138 pages; then they go home.

    yeah? And it happens to be fucking readable compared to the crap youve congratulated over the decades since then. fucking twat.

    the guy then goes on to self-analyse himself in public. the only thing i got out of it was his bullshit shout-out of a good poem. what a fucking retard. some people read the goddamn thing and understood it, shithead. its not rocket science. perfect example of a writer who never fucking understood anything he was was ever confronted with, and never told so. just blindly, obnoxiously, assuming he has a better grip than others… when he’s no better than he was at age 20. punk bitch. get a real job.

    1. My name is Boris Balkan and I once translated The Charterhouse of Parma. Apart from that, I’ve edited a few books on the nineteenth-century popular novel, my reviews and articles appear in supplements and jour?nals throughout Europe, and I organize summer-school courses on contemporary writers. Nothing spectacular, I’m afraid. Par?ticularly these days, when suicide disguises itself as homicide, novels are written by Roger Ackroyd’s doctor, and far too many people insist on publishing two hundred pages on the fascinat?ing emotions they experience when they look in the mirror.

      -Arturo Pervez-Reverte, The Club Dumas

    2. I have read it. I love Auden. He is fucking brilliant. But he writes things like The Unknown Citizen that kind of go against the NYT’s fairy tails.

      1. Tails is a pretty hilarious typo.

        Krugman has a fairy tail, nah naw-naw!

    3. A poem about nothing? Who would like that.

      1. A poem about nothing? Who would like that.

        Nihilists! Fuck me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Tulpa, at least it’s an ethos.

  27. Dude is just not making any sense at all man. None.

  28. Would it be too much to hope that someone dropping out of the GOP race would endorse Ron Paul??? (the answer is, Yes, yes it is.)

  29. Its simple really. Mitt wins the nod, republicans and indpendents get bored with the nomination by June and Obama wins without having to lift a finger in November.

    The republicans should focus their energy on winning key senatorial seats this year. The presidency is simply out of reach.

  30. Better get comfortable with the “Panderer in Chief”….He’s gonna b da president.

    The WHITE-RINO, WHITE-OBAMA will probably win.

  31. Jon who? Oh yeah, Huntsman, that guy.

    He sure won’t be missed much, even by the people who knew that he was there in the first place. But the good news for him is he’s cemented his spot on the Beltway Cocktail Party Circuit.

  32. John check your AOL email please

  33. There is a contest to create your own Obamney meme here:

    Would anyone care to join?

    1. I don’t do facebook, but here are some bumper stickers for you.

  34. Mitt wins the nod, republicans and indpendents get bored with the nomination by June and Obama wins without having to lift a finger in November.

    This is hardly implausible.

    I am sick to fucking death of this shit already, and it has barely even started yet. I continue to expect the Republicans to nominate some odious unelectable imbecile for President. The cast of characters keeps changing, but the result is pretty much guaranteed; the Rethuglitard establishment will, in a matter of weeks, circle the wagons and anoint their chosen (presumably Romney) NOT-PAUL candidate and proceed to alienate vast swathes of the American voting public.

    I see the absolute best outcome I can hope for to be another Rand Paul somehow getting elected to the Senate.

  35. Time for RP to set one goal: prevent Santorum from being named the Veep nominee. The last thing libertarians need now is for Santorum to be involved
    in running the country and setting the GOP’s direction for, possibly, sixteen years. Better to vote for the LP and possibly defeat Romney/Santorum than to abdicate the 2016 and beyond leadership to Santorum.

  36. Getting out just in time to avoid scrutiny of huntsman Corp profiteering in china while he was ambassador.

  37. The state that started a rebellion is now the state that saves the status quo’s asses in every fucking presidential election of the last twenty years.…..away-in-sc

    Sickening beyond belief.

  38. Ron Paul is consistent & honest and has my vote. I’m hoping for a strong finish in South Carolina and polls seem to show him surging somewhat.…..g-in-hell/

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