Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Moderate Jon Huntsmans Record Scrutinized for 2012 Bid

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Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. (pictured), who served under the Obama administration as U.S. Ambassador to communist China, officially announced that he would be seeking the 2012 Republican nomination for President.  

While Huntsman is not very well known outside of political circles, his GOP bid received a big boost over the weekend when he placed second in the Republican Leadership Conference straw poll. Though Texas Rep. Ron Paul won in a landslide, establishment-media talking heads attempted to frame the news as a big victory for Huntsman’s campaign.

But despite the euphoria of Huntsman's strong straw-poll showing, analysts say his political stances over the years could prove insurmountable in a primary dominated by conservative voters and Tea Party activists. Indeed, many of his public-policy positions fly in the face of traditional conservative values and constitutional principles.

Consider: Huntsman has supported unconstitutional cap-and-trade schemes that would drive up the costs of energy; individual health-care mandates similar to the one under attack in ObamaCare; civil unions for gay couples; amnesty for illegal immigrants; sovereignty-destroying “trade” agreements; and many other measures opposed by rank-and-file conservatives. Another big liability for Huntsman is the fact that he served in the Obama administration.

While Huntsman regularly touts his moderate tax-cutting credentials acquired during his time as Governor of Utah, less well known is that state government spending increased wildly under his administration. According to a 2008 study by the liberty-minded Cato Institute, “Huntsman has completely dropped the ball on spending, with per capita spending increasing at about 10 percent annually during his tenure.”

His positions on discredited man-made global-warming theories and supposed “solutions” for the non-problem will represent a big challenge to overcome as well. In 2007, he appeared in a TV ad urging the U.S. government to impose an unconstitutional carbon regime on Americans. "Now it's time for Congress to act by capping greenhouse-gas pollution," he says in the advertisement, paid for by an extremist group known as Environmental Defense.

During his time as Governor of Utah, Huntsman also hitched the state to the Western Climate Initiative. The regional “cap and trade” scheme, involving various U.S. and Mexican states as well as some Canadian provinces, would dramatically increase energy costs in a supposed effort to battle “climate change.” Though Huntsman recently backed away from his global-warming alarmism, the stench of his record on the issues will probably be tough to shed.

In addition to negotiating the unconstitutional interstate climate compact with foreign authorities, Huntsman has impeccable “globalist” credentials in other areas as well. For example, he was a longtime member of the infamous, world-government promoting Council on Foreign Relations. He also served as a founding director of the Pacific Council on International Policy, an organization founded in 1995 in partnership with the CFR.

As Governor, Huntsman was responsible for the state‘s “Alliance for Prosperity” with the Mexican government. Among other schemes, the alliance sought to create pressure for “immigration reform” and "work on mobility of the work force." Apparently then-Mexican President Vicente Fox, who met directly with Huntsman, was very pleased with Utah’s adoption of “driving-privilege” cards for illegal immigrants.  

Huntsman also has a long record of working against American sovereignty through misnamed “free trade” agreements. Serving as deputy U.S. trade representative under the administration of George W. Bush, for example, Huntsman played a key role in bringing the communist Chinese dictatorship into the World Trade Organization.

As The New American reported in 2005, Huntsman spoke enthusiastically of "fulfilling [President Bush’s] vision for America in the area of international trade." Bush’s vision, which has become crystal clear over the years, involves an America integrated into a world system — a global regime dominated by supranational organizations with the power to overrule American laws and even the U.S. Constitution.    

Then there is the issue of Huntsman’s support for civil unions. In early 2009, he told The Salt Lake Tribune that he supported legislation that would legally recognize unions between homosexual couples. Now the statement is coming back to haunt him, with powerful socially conservative organizations calling the position a “deal breaker.”

Like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Huntsman also faces a serious problem due to some of his positions on health care. In a 2007 press conference, he was asked about his thoughts on a so-called “mandate” forcing individuals to purchase health insurance — a policy that has become extraordinarily unpopular (except with Obama’s political allies who managed to obtain waivers) since the passage of ObamaCare.

"I'm comfortable with a requirement — you can call it whatever you want, but at some point we're going to have to get serious about how we deal with this issue," Huntsman responded to the question about an individual mandate. His campaign has since distanced itself from the controversial stance.

Then there is the issue of working for the Obama administration. “I'm sure that him having worked so well for me will be a great asset in any Republican primary," Obama joked after Huntsman resigned from his post in Beijing. That fact alone could disqualify him for the Republican nomination in the eyes of many conservatives, analysts speculated.

But if that wasn’t bad enough, a handwritten note from Huntsman to Obama praising the President could be the final nail in the coffin. "You are a remarkable leader," Huntsman wrote in August of 2009, even underlining “remarkable" for added emphasis. "It has been a great honor getting to know you." In another leaked letter, Huntsman praised former President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary.

While establishment pundits refer to Huntsman as a “moderate” and a “centrist,” scores of conservative activists have a different term: RINO, or “Republican In Name Only.” The Associated Press acknowledged that Huntsman’s political positions — describing him as possibly the “most moderate” 2012 GOP contender — made him a “long shot” for the nomination. But a range of democratic “strategists” and administration mouthpieces were quoted as saying that Huntsman could perform well against Obama in the general election, assuming he could get the nomination.

After dropping out of high school to play in a band, Huntsman eventually went on to serve as a Mormon missionary in Taiwan. He later graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in international politics. As the son of a self-made billionaire industrialist, Huntsman has also done some work for his father’s chemical firm. A significant portion of his career, however, was spent in government.

Huntsman’s official announcement came on June 21 at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey, the same spot near the Statue of Liberty used by Ronald Reagan in 1980. The “moderate” joins a crowded and growing Republican field already including Rep. Ron Paul, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, Federal Reserve insider Herman Cain, Rep. Michele Bachmann, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt “RomneyCare” Romney, and former Sen. Rick Santorum.

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