Word is out that Governor Huntsman is dropping his bid for the republican presidential nomination and is set to endorse who else, but Mitt Romney today.
I have felt the full spectrum of emotions concerning Huntsman. Early in the election cycle, I wrote a piece titled, “Huntsman is a fraud.” I was ignorant. Huntsman has grown on me a lot. He seems like the kind of guy who, unlike Mr. Obama, truly understands what it takes to get both sides talking. Huntsman would do a great job turning around the economy, fixing healthcare, maintaining a responsible foreign policy and bettering trade relations around the world.
However, my chief concern with Huntsman has always been that he is not a “true believer.” What I mean is that, Huntsman was never a grassroots conservative that believed in the issues that most of us hold dear, leading to him running for office. The goals of his presidency would not be the goals of republicans. He is passionate about civility, and that is good. Especially for a POTUS. He seems passionate about jobs, the deficit, the economy, staying ahead of China and restoring what he calls, “the trust deficit.”
But where is he on things that the republican base cares about? He has a decent scorecard but he doesn’t seem passionate about stopping abortions. That is a big one. He doesn’t seem passionate about right-to-work, family unity, conservative justices, civil liberty, religious liberty and welfare reform. After four or eight years of Obama, we can’t afford to have a Mitch Daniels or Jon Huntsman that wants to start fresh. Unfortunately, we need someone who is going to turn back the tide and reverse a lot of what Obama has done. I get the impression that Huntsman views the religious right and the tea party as less useful than democrats and that is what scares me.
That brings us to his endorsement of Mitt Romney. After bashing him in the debates, Huntsman had decided to blaze his own pa–WRONG. No, rather than make his own endorsement, Huntsman has fallen in line with his establishment colleagues and endorsed Mitt Romney who doesn’t have a conservative bullet point on his resume. Sure, Huntsman doesn’t want to be on a loser’s side, but he should also want to be on the right side. Huntsman has been out there lambasting Romney for a year. Why the change of heart? He is probably looking for that 2016 endorsement.
These Republican governors thinking of running in 2016 should listen very carefully, Chris Christie, Jon Huntsman, we see who you stand with and we see who you stand against. Governors like Bobby Jindal who embraced Rick Perry early have gone up in my book while these establishment guys have not.
A word to the wise. Take a page from Jim DeMint’s book. I know it is difficult, but if you would help the grassroots fight back against the establishment, you will have endeared yourselves to the grassroots and netroots. If you have our back now, we’ll have your back when you are ready to run.
Jon Huntsman, farewell. Thanks for endorsing Romney I hope when you start running for president in a couple of years that you run as a conservative rather than a moderate. But let me warn you, being 0-2 with McCain and Romney may not lead us into the mood to split the conservative vote for another moderate next time, assuming that is how you want to run.