By Chris Ingram
The Tampa Tribune
Published November 4, 2011
OK, I admit it. I like Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman. If you haven’t heard of him, it’s because his campaign has yet to catch on with Republicans. Among GOP primary voters Huntsman is wrongly perceived as something of a squish — that’s a conservative code word for moderate. It’s also the kiss of death if you’re running in a Republican presidential primary.
But the facts are, as governor he was a fiscal conservative and a tax-cutter. He supports the Ryan budget plan, and he has said repealing Obamacare is a top priority if elected.
On social issues Huntsman is just as conservative as most of the field.
He is what I call “quietly” pro-life, having signed every piece of legislation restricting abortion that crossed his desk as Utah’s governor. But he hasn’t made the “life” issue a defining part of his campaign. On immigration he reluctantly calls for a border fence. On Second Amendment rights, the NRA said, “NRA would like to thank Governor Huntsman … for [his] continued support for the Second Amendment.” He opposes gay marriage but has supported the notion of same-sex civil unions.
As Politico’s Daniel Allot noted, “Don’t confuse Huntsman’s moderate disposition with moderate policy positions. Huntsman governed as a conservative. Though often expressed in a moderate tone, Huntsman’s vision is one most conservatives can support.”
Former RNC chairman and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said, “Jon Huntsman and I served together, and while we don’t agree on some issues, there’s no question that he’s a conservative. … So if you’re asking me if Jon Huntsman is qualified to be the Republican nominee for president of the United States, the answer is, of course he is.”
More of a statesman than a politician, on the stump Huntsman is (Click here to read the full column in today’s Tampa Tribune).
Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him at: Chris@IrreverentView.com.
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