Former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.: 'I'm open' to running again for president

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  • sophron247 boston, MA
    March 31, 2015 10:47 a.m.

    As an Independent voter, who really make up at least a third of the Countries voters, Jon Huntsman is the only viable moderate GOP candidate on a National Stage. The rest truly come across as rabid as they fight to outdo who is more conservative, thus shrinking their appeal further on a National Stage. Jon Huntsman has the aplomb, smahts, and experience on the National and International level to make a great POTUS.

  • Copacetic Logan, UT
    May 12, 2014 5:33 p.m.

    @ GaryO:

    After reading your outlandish comment bringing Hitler and Nazism into this topic conversation, it truly seems you've become a lost cause. Sorry, but your strange line of reasoning speaks totally for itself.

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    May 11, 2014 2:43 p.m.

    No mainstream Republican can win a national election. the GOP must offer someone with mainstream appeal who can win over independents who are pro-business (e.g., won't shut government down in the name of ideology), recognize the value of science (e.g., understanding the threat of climate change, value of renewable energy), and are pragmatic on social issues (e.g., immigration reform, need for increased minimum wage, gay marriage rights, etc.).

    Hilary will be tough to beat in 2016, and no Republican -- not Christy, not Jeb Bush, not Rick Perry, not Cruz or Mike Lee -- will be able to draw women, minorities, or independents to win at the national level.

    Huntsman really is the only GOP with bipartisan appeal.

  • morganh Orem, Utah
    May 9, 2014 4:24 p.m.

    John Huntsman Jr. is not a conservative. Pro-life Republicans like myself who support traditional marriage will not vote for him. When he ran in 2012 he refused to sign the National Organizational of Marriage's pledge to protect traditional marriage. His views on this issue does not fly with the religious conservatives who make up the Republican Party.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    May 8, 2014 3:47 p.m.

    He was one of the finest Govenors Utah has ever had and left with high approval ratings (the very opposite of Mitt Romney's track record in Mass) but he has no chance. Additionally, like Al Gore, he could probably accomplish much more by never winning.

  • Don Bugg Prince Frederick, MD
    May 8, 2014 2:46 p.m.

    I'm finding it kind of hilarious how many commenters here call Huntsman arrogant. For saying he's open to the idea of running but frankly admits he doesn't know how he would be able to get through the early primaries? For offering candid praise for the competency of the leading democrat? If that's arrogance, then what would humility be?

  • Don Bugg Prince Frederick, MD
    May 8, 2014 2:32 p.m.

    And once again, the extremists of the GOP will prevent the party from putting forth a candidate who could actually be elected and could actually serve as an outstanding president.

  • @Charles not from utah, 00
    May 8, 2014 11:08 a.m.

    I love all the complaining about the "extreme right" or Tea Party folks by the likes of Furry and others. They want a centrist from the Repubs to make the nomination who will eventually be elected.

    Have you not been paying attention? Centerist exhibit 1 is John McCain. Exhibit 2 is Mitt Romney. They didn't fare too well in the elections now did they. Huntsman is even further Left than those 2.

    What we need is an actual Conservative to run for POTUS so we can have a clear line in the sand to vote for Socialism or come back to the Constitution. I choose the latter.

    But thanks for your advice on what to do with the Repub party, even when you laughably claim to be a member of it.

  • TheWalker Saratoga Springs, UT
    May 7, 2014 11:23 p.m.

    I thought he was a Democrat!

  • Interloper Portland, OR
    May 7, 2014 10:47 p.m.

    Huntsman has no chance of being nominated for 2016 because he cannot make it through the primaries. The Neanderthals would have his head on a stick. If he wants to be President, he should prep for later, running for another office and serving in it before 2020.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    May 7, 2014 9:56 p.m.


    “I never used that phrase at all.” Sure you did. Remember? . . . Something about my credibility going “out the window.” . . . Doesn’t matter.

    Personal competence and Party affiliation are both important. Hitler was pretty competent (aside from being a little to overly optimistic, completely paranoid, and out of touch with reality), but his Party affiliation just wouldn’t do it for me. I would refuse to vote for him purely on the basis of his Party affiliation.

    The Modern Republican Party being what it is, I would feel extremely uncomfortable with either a Republican or a Nazi President of the United States, regardless of competence.

  • mattrick78 Cedar City, UT
    May 7, 2014 6:06 p.m.

    I think he was the only decent candidate. The only candidate (besides Paul) really if you took out all the ones that weren't pandering.

  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    May 7, 2014 5:42 p.m.

    "Of course you would be uneasy about a Republican president. We don't yet know who will be on their ticket and yet you still make that kind of blanket statement. That proves you're all about party affiliation and care nothing about personal competence. That kind of attitude is a big part of why we currently have such a disaster in Washington. Sadly, too many voters won't simply judge candidates on their own personal qualification merits." -Concinnity

    I don't know why you are having such heartburn over GaryO's approach to partisan politics; switch "Republican" to "Democrat" and add ", state level, or local level" to "national level" and you've just described the approach to partisan politics of 70%+ of Utah voters who refuse to vote for competent, ethical, responsive candidates who don't happen to have an "R" following their name. Instead, we get the likes of John Swallow, Kevin Garn, and the late David Gardner (or such characters as Curt Oda, Carl Wimmer, and Chris Buttars). Unless you can honestly affirm that you haven't voted "straight-ticket" Republican in the last however-many partisan elections, I'm afraid that your complaint rings hollow.

  • Justmythoughts Provo, UT
    May 7, 2014 3:41 p.m.

    Everyone keeps saying that no conservative Republican will ever be elected....? When was the last time it was tried? Romney, McCain, Dole, Bush Sr., Bush Jr....hardly conservative.

  • Concinnity Meadow, UT
    May 7, 2014 3:29 p.m.

    @ GaryO:

    Actually, you didn't help much. It just SEEMS to you that you did. Where does your "out the window" comment come from? I never used that phrase at all.
    But I do agree with you about it being a good thing you're not running for public office. You would get eaten alive in your very first person-to-person debate. That's deferring to reality.

    Of course you would be uneasy about a Republican president. We don't yet know who will be on their ticket and yet you still make that kind of blanket statement. That proves you're all about party affiliation and care nothing about personal competence. That kind of attitude is a big part of why we currently have such a disaster in Washington. Sadly, too many voters won't simply judge candidates on their own personal qualification merits.

    BTW... Few Republicans still claim Huntsman, nor has he done anything in a long time to affiliate himself with their party. He's even exploring running as a 3rd party candidate. So why be so adamant about him being a Republican?

    Yes, reality does trump all. But you seem to be hiding from it.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    May 7, 2014 2:55 p.m.

    Hi Concinnity –

    Thanks for reaching out.

    Right “out the window” huh? Well, it’s a good thing I’m not running for public office,.
    As a “true Moderate,” I agree with everything I said. And I didn’t say that “Huntsman is competent.” I said he SEEMS reasonably competent. That’s a big difference.

    However, I know that Huntsman IS in fact a Republican. And Republican politicians, by and large, are just NOT good public servants on the national level. That was not always true, but it is true now.

    And since reality trumps all, I defer to reality . . . And yes, I would feel extremely uneasy about having a Republican as President of the United States . . . Even if it SEEMS he might be a good choice.

    I’m glad I could help.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 7, 2014 2:46 p.m.

    IF he runs... it will only be because he wants to insure the Republican doesn't win (and I wouldn't put that past him).

    Because he has literally no chance of winning as a 3rd party candidate.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 7, 2014 2:44 p.m.

    A Joe Liebermann - Jon Huntsmann 3rd party ticket would be interesting. Because it would take votes from BOTH parties (not just one). But Democrats wouldn't like that so much. Doesn't insure THEY win.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 7, 2014 2:41 p.m.

    Don't bother. It's a waste of time and money. You won't win. You don't have your party's support so you won't win the party primary.

    If you run as a third-party candidate... you stand no chance of winning. The only thing 3rd party run can do is be a distraction, and influence the election by taking away some of one party or the other's votes.

    Until they can WIN... they are a waste of time, and just end up insuring the party they are least like... wins (because they take the least votes from that candidate/party least like them).

    So they end up insuring the party they are LEAST like... wins.


    Huntsman running as 3rd party only insures any Democrat will win (hint... that's why Democrats are all for it).

    He would get about 10% of the Republican\Independent vote... but that's enough to insure the Democrat wins.

    The margin of victory has never been more than 10%, so IF you can keep 10% of Republicans or Independents from voting Republican.... Democrat will win every time.

    That's why taking the Womens vote was so important last time.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    May 7, 2014 1:55 p.m.

    Hey Redshirt -

    "Hey liberals, I hate to break it to you, but the fact that you love Jon Huntsman Jr. so much only shows that he is not a viable canidate."

    You are ABSOLUTELY Right.

    The American people DESERVE a clear choice.

    They should have a clear choice between a Liberal/Commie/Democrat like Hillary Clinton and a Great American Tea Party TRUE CONSERVATIVE like Ted Cruz.

  • The_Laird Patchogue, NY
    May 7, 2014 1:24 p.m.

    Wouldn't a little intelligence and wisdom be a nice change from the usual Klown Car nonsense? Win or lose, Huntsman would bring a little of that.

  • Herbert Gravy Salinas, CA
    May 7, 2014 1:14 p.m.

    Ben Carson would be a much better candidate and a much better President than any others whose names have been mentioned thus far, either Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 7, 2014 1:09 p.m.

    Speaking of Day Dreaming out loud...

    How about a Clinton/Hunstman ticket?

    That would garner 90% of the votes...
    Democrats - Indpendants - Left - Center - and Center Right.

    vs. what?

    Beck - Palin - Perry - Gingrich - Bachmann - Huckabee - Trump?


    The GOP has morphed into a Cartoon.

    BTW -- to all you : "Huntsman had a chance and lost" types --
    Romney took 3 times to squeeze into the nomination, only to get trounced in the General Election.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Chihuahua, 00
    May 7, 2014 12:30 p.m.

    Please not this Bildberg attendee again. He and Romney should be arrested for treason for attending this meeting of Gadianton Robbers.

    May 7, 2014 12:04 p.m.

    What a sight it would be if he teamed up with Hilary as her VP choice, because that's the only way he will ever be elected. He is to fair minded for the GOP we have now.

  • Concinnity Meadow, UT
    May 7, 2014 11:59 a.m.

    @ GaryO:

    You and those of a similar attitude could learn much from a centrist like Huntsman. Your current and obvious over-the-top bias against conservatives is indicative of what turns many people against democrats and gives them a bad image among true moderates as well as conservatives.

    It's sad that in one breath you claim that Huntsman is competent, and then in the next breath state that you would never be comfortable having him as president because of his Republican heritage. It truly doesn't get much more biased than that. It little wonder things are terrible in Washington when party affiliation (past or current) becomes more important to some voters than a candidate's level of competency to serve.

    What credibility I may've previously had in your general acumen went out the window with your latest comment.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    May 7, 2014 11:51 a.m.

    Hey liberals, I hate to break it to you, but the fact that you love Jon Huntsman Jr. so much only shows that he is not a viable canidate. McCain and Jr. are about the same, and McCain had to get a conservative VP so that he had a chance. Jr. isn't smart enough to get a conservative VP.

    Those of you saying that he is a conservative are wrong. At best he is a moderate, neither liberal or conservative. In reality he is more liberal than anything else.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    May 7, 2014 11:28 a.m.

    Huntsman is not conservative? No rational person would say that. No, he doesn't throw out red meat to the rabid, but he is definitely a conservative. Apparently in today's Republican party, you are not considered "conservative" unless you ONLY talk about: 1. Benghazi, 2. your desire to overturn the ACA and replace it with...well something, and 3. Obama the socialist who is purposefully trying to become the dictator of the country, but is too weak to scare anybody anywhere ever. Used to be there was a 4th one -- your pledge to make sure no laws were passed that treated gays equally in any way, but that one has gone by the wayside lately.

  • Shawnm750 West Jordan, UT
    May 7, 2014 11:06 a.m.

    @bikeboy - I think they're referring to her political charisma. It was well-documented (especially early in his presidency) that people often questioned who the real politician was in the Clinton family. Bill's campaign manager and later adviser told him that whenever he was trying to push one of his initiatives he needed to send Hillary away on some kind of good-will assignment, or off on a trip so she wouldn't outshine him. If she didn't have Benghazi hanging over her head, she'd have a decent shot.

    Huntsman's a centrist. I don't think he'll ever be president, but he could be Secretary of State...

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    May 7, 2014 10:48 a.m.

    @Cats 6:57 a.m. May 7, 2014

    I don't think he has a snowball's chance of getting the nomination. Besides, when you're the Democrats' favorite Republican, that says a lot about where you are politically.


    Yes, it does say a lot about him politically. It says he is right where a proper candiddate for president should be politically properly to represent all the people in the country. He is center-right politically, and that makes him a true conservative who is Republican but can also seek and get support from Democrats. He is just what the country needs.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    May 7, 2014 10:35 a.m.

    @BB 8:32 a.m. May 7, 2014

    Jon Huntsman is NOT a conservative, which is very disappointing.


    Jon Huntsman is a true conservative, not an extreme far right wing fringe-dwelling RINO. Having him as a candidate for President would be a good thing for the Republican Party and the United States. having him in the White House would be a very good and encouraging thing for all concerned. Howver, since the far right fringe-dwellers probably wouldn't vote for someone who was rational, reasonable and centrist at the nominating level, I find it unlikely that he could make it to the general election. And that's sad.

  • bikeboy Boise, ID
    May 7, 2014 9:54 a.m.

    He feels that Hillary has more "charisma" than Bill? THAT, if nothing else, should prove that Mr. Huntsman doesn't see things the way most people do. I'm not particularly fond of either of the Clintons, but Bill's forté is his charisma! Hillary has as much charisma as a wet blanket.

    Is the Republican party doomed? The Democrats seem to do better at reconciling the differences between the leftist/socialist and "moderate" Democrats. The "moderate"/RINO Republicans and conservative/tea-party types seem to have much more distance between them.

    If NOBODY in D.C. is fiscally conservative, I don't hold out much long term hope for our government or the way of life we've grown accustomed to. At some point, there will be much weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth when the House of Cards collapses.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    May 7, 2014 9:24 a.m.

    Huntsman should run again, following the Ross Perot method. Use your own money and your own party. Maybe the No Labels Party, huh?
    That way he can draw from the GOP and the Democrats. Who knows? Maybe he can get 4% of the vote that way.

  • 1978 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 7, 2014 8:57 a.m.

    I enjoy all of the advice from liberals on who the Republicans should nominate.

    I remember hearing that Reagan was an extremist and could never get elected then he won two landslide victories and was so popular at the end of his term that he helped George Bush get elected.

    Keep the advice coming it is always good for a laugh.

  • Danish American Payson, UT
    May 7, 2014 8:56 a.m.

    Moderate Republicans are Democrats. Everyone says the Republicans won't compromise--why don't they say the same thing about the Democrats. Look what compromise has gotten us--17 Trillion of debt, entitlements out of control, bigger and bigger government, imperial presidents, a left wing judiciary, an EPA that's totally out of control.

  • BB Santaquin, UT
    May 7, 2014 8:32 a.m.

    Jon Huntsman is NOT a conservative, which is very disappointing.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    May 7, 2014 8:16 a.m.

    The Republican party has lost its marbles. News flash: No right wing neo-con is going to win a general election! Every time you put one of these guys (or girls) up, what you're saying is we forfeit.

    The Republicans are going to have to compromise and nominate a centrist like Huntsman - the alternative is 8 years of Hillary Clinton.

    But Republicans are still in this thought pattern where they will cut off their nose to spite their face.

  • bobidaho SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    May 7, 2014 8:15 a.m.

    He has no shot because he is an intelligent and honest person that realizes that most Americans are a little to the left or a little to the right of center, and that the republican party is determined by the morons that love Hannity and that is who you have to have on your side to win the nomination. Bush won as a "compassionate conservative" because he had the power brokers with him from his father. Do not expect another republican president until a moderate can win a primary.

  • Betcha Waltham, MA
    May 7, 2014 7:19 a.m.

    Wow the arrogance is amazing, and i agree, Why would he go for the GOP, he is way more a Democrat. And maybe they won'e even want him because he is so wishy washy. Be a Man and donate the money to people in need and don't waste it on your self.

  • Makid Kearns, UT
    May 7, 2014 7:00 a.m.

    Why is it anyone who doesn't tote the line of extreme conservatism but calls themselves a Republican is labeled as a RINO?

    For years, Sean Hannity said he wasn't a Republican, but is a Conservative. He did this with the understanding that a party has many layers and not everyone in the party think and feel the same way about every issue.

    That's how parties used to and should be. Unfortunately, there are those that are trying to oust anyone who isn't as far right as they are from the Republican Party. These people are the cause of the headlines stating that Republicans are racists, hate women, oppose science, etc..

    For the Republican party to win National Elections, it must be inclusive, not push more people away. With an increasing amount of people in the country saying they like some or most of the Democratic platform and less saying they like the Conservative Republican platform, a Conservative Republican will be fighting harder and harder to get even 40% of the vote.

    Mitt Romney couldn't get Independents to vote for him. Don't stop the Republicans only hope because of RINO'ism.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    May 7, 2014 6:57 a.m.

    I don't think he has a snowball's chance of getting the nomination. Besides, when you're the Democrats' favorite Republican, that says a lot about where you are politically.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    May 7, 2014 6:54 a.m.

    If he somehow made it past the primaries, Huntsman would have a real shot at becoming President.

    "I can't tell you how I get through those early primary states . . . "

    No he can't. That's because Right Wing Extremists dominate the Republican Party, and they won't nominate anyone who could actually win in the General Election.

    When it comes to Presidential races, the Republicans are their own worst enemies, and maybe that's for the best.

    Even though Huntsman seems reasonably competent and level-headed, his Republican pedigree (with all the nonsense that entails) makes him too great a risk; and I wouldn't be comfortable with him occupying this nation's highest office.

    But since the extremist Right-Wing base of the Republican Party ensures us that no ELECTABLE Republican presidential candidate will ever make it past the primaries, we won't have to worry about a Republican candidate being elected president.

    Thank you Extremist Republicans. Thank you for being you.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    May 7, 2014 5:59 a.m.

    A lot of snarky comments - especially from the far right. The GOP is so warped right now that only extremism gets their votes. The right wing is the way of failure, in terms of political candidates and their view of what they want America to be. They warn of a downfall, and then promptly lead us there. I'm not particularly a Huntsman supporter, but he recognizes the folly of conservatism that deviates from right of center.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    May 6, 2014 9:46 p.m.

    Actually - Huntsman would be a more reasonable Democrat than Hilary. But not much more.

  • Piper Scio, OR
    May 6, 2014 9:43 p.m.

    To get the middle 60% Clinton is going to have Huntsman be her Vice President. Many Americans are weary of the partisanship, so this compromise will be a huge selling point: A Democrat for two terms and then it will be Republican Huntsman's turn to be President. It hasn't been done for over a hundred years, but they'll be looking to shake things up. It just might work...

  • David Centerville, UT
    May 6, 2014 9:41 p.m.

    Huntsman isn't positioning himself to run for president again. Rather, he believes the election math again favors the Democratic nominee, & he believes the most likely Democratic nominee will be Clinton. His intention, by putting his name out there with his praise of Clinton, is to try & gain a position in a Clinton presidency. He knows he doesn't have a shot at winning the Republican nomination, nor gaining a position in a Republican administration, if the GOP were to recapture the presidency. He is casting himself with Democrats.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 6, 2014 9:02 p.m.

    Wrong type of republican, could win the Presidency, but has no chance of winning the nomination.

  • U-tar Woodland Hills, UT
    May 6, 2014 8:44 p.m.

    Please, for the love of Pete......say it ain't so!

  • Aggie5 Kuna, ID
    May 6, 2014 8:35 p.m.

    Arrogance has no limits.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    May 6, 2014 8:32 p.m.

    I hope he doesn't run again. At best, he would try to be a spoiler. I don't think he has a chance at all in the Primary. I personally think he likes to keep his name in the headlines!

    Republican? No! Democrat disguised as a Moderate Republican (RINO? Probably.

  • BigRich Orem, UT
    May 6, 2014 8:25 p.m.

    Good grief. Didn't he get the message the first time?

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    May 6, 2014 8:11 p.m.

    I love watching people who have more dollars then "sense", waste money. Please please run again, just for the entertainment value. Such a do nothing genius, the guy has zero chance! Unless he switches parties, where they would happily welcome his left wing politics.

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    May 6, 2014 8:03 p.m.

    After Hillary gets finished answering the questions about Benghazi - the democrats MIGHT want Huntsman since Hillary won't be electable.

    Huntsman's probably a little better than Biden. But not by much.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 6, 2014 8:03 p.m.

    run as a Democrat Jon - the GOP is done with you.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 6, 2014 7:46 p.m.

    The big question on another possible Huntsman candidacy is:

    Which party will Huntsman run on? He sure is not a Republican, or at least in line with any of the Republican platform positions.

    Huntsman was a mediocre governor (at best), although a very good Ambassador. He should quit while he is ahead, and find some charitable operation or educational institution to fiddle with.

    He is not fit to be President, even though I voted for him as Governor.

  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    May 6, 2014 6:37 p.m.

    I think Jon Huntsman's assessment of the 2016 campaign situation is spot-on. The ultracon/tea party wing of the Republican Party would never let Huntsman, a comparatively more moderate conservative, or anyone like him, get anywhere near the RNC nomination. They apparently have more contempt for those they consider RINOs than they even have for the Democrats. The smear that Gov. Christie got hit with is a pretty good indicator of what would happen to Jon Huntsman if he managed to get any traction in the primaries.

    On the other hand, if he were somehow able to win the nomination, he would almost certainly have broad appeal among mainstream Republicans, moderate Republicans, a large percentage of unaffiliated voters, and even a significant number of conservative and moderate Democrats who may not be thrilled with the prospect of Hillary Clinton becoming "Madam President". It is very possible that he could run away with a general election . . . if he could win the nomination; but the ultracons will end up foisting someone like Ted Cruz on the Republican Party, and the result will be four years (more likely eight) of President Hillary Clinton. And that's okay by me.

  • slcdenizen Murray, UT
    May 6, 2014 6:32 p.m.

    He's too smart for the nat'l GOP, but would make a great centrist Dem.

  • franc Kirkland, WA
    May 6, 2014 6:29 p.m.

    Please don't bother, Huntsman ... you would not MAKE it through the Primaries. Period.

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    May 6, 2014 6:21 p.m.

    It would be a shame to waste all that money just to lose again. He has no shot...none. Thankfully.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    May 6, 2014 6:19 p.m.

    Oh joy!
    Be still my heart.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    May 6, 2014 6:04 p.m.

    Oh please, it was miserable then and nothing has changed since.

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    May 6, 2014 6:01 p.m.

    How many years would he be willing to stick with the job? It would be a stepping stone to what?

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    May 6, 2014 5:39 p.m.

    With Huntsman in the race, the Republicans would finally have a candidate who could win the White House. Him running for president would be good news for the Republicans and the USA.