Jon Huntsman

Romney officially announces presidential bid

Mitt Romney made it official yesterday in Stratham, New Hampshire. He’s running for the Republican nomination for president:

Mitt Romney officially stepped into the 2012 presidential race here Thursday by casting himself as the one Republican with the skills to heal the ailing U.S. economy and rein in Washington’s runaway spending.

The former Massachusetts governor, betting that a pitch focused tightly on the economy will resonate with a broad swath of voters, kicked off his second presidential campaign by trumpeting his record as a turnaround specialist in business and as head of the 2002 Winter Olympics. Romney also unleashed a broadside against President Obama, charging that he “has failed America.”

“Turning around a crisis takes experience and bold action,” Romney said. “For millions of Americans, the economy is in crisis today, and unless we change course it will be a crisis for all of us tomorrow.”
“I am Mitt Romney, I believe in America, and I’m running for president of the United States,” he said, with a 250-year-old white barn and American flags behind him.

Romney maintains lead in Iowa

The first poll out of Iowa in over a month was released yesterday by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm. It shows Mitt Romney holding a lead in two different scenarios; with with Sarah Palin running and the other with her sitting it out.

  • Mitt Romney: 21%
  • Sarah Palin: 15%
  • Herman Cain: 15%
  • Newt Gingrich: 12%
  • Michele Bachmann: 11%
  • Tim Pawlenty: 10%
  • Ron Paul: 8%
  • Jon Huntsman: 0%
  • Other/Undecided: 8%

Romney’s support has increased from 16% to 21% since the last time Public Policy Polling surveyed the field in Iowa. But Palin’s support increased as well, from 8% to 15%. She, however, is tied with Herman Cain for second in the field. Also, note that Huntsman’s support came in at 0%. Public Policy Polling explains that he received one vote in the survey. That’s not a good sign.

But if Palin decides to sit out the race, Romney’s support increases slightly. Gingrich and Bachmann put themselves in a statistical tie for second with Cain, who doesn’t receive much a bump with Palin’s absence.

  • Mitt Romney: 26%
  • Herman Cain: 16%
  • Newt Gingrich: 15%
  • Michele Bachmann: 14%
  • Ron Paul: 11%
  • Tim Pawlenty: 10%
  • Jon Huntsman: 1%
  • Other/Undecided: 8%

Cain is concentrating his efforts in the state to prove that he can compete, although some believe he isn’t showing much ability to raise the money nor the organization necessary to make a serious run for the nomination.

The Ames Straw Poll, which will measure a candidates strength in Iowa, will be held on Saturday, August 13th (that’s this summer). The Iowa caucuses will be held on Monday, February 6, 2012.

Jon Huntsman will not be the GOP nominee

Why won’t Jon Huntsman be the Republican nominee in 2012? This video posted by Verum Serum highlights many positions Huntsman has taken, including support for cap-and-trade and the stimulus, that aren’t going to jive well with the Republican base:

Is Giuliani running for president? Maybe

Back in January, I mentioned in passing that Rudy Giuliani was considering another bid for the GOP presidential nomination despite performing poorly in 2008. But given the questions surrounding the Republican field, it appears that Giuliani is seriously considering it:

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose presidential campaign fizzled in 2008, is leaning toward another race for the White House, according to a close associate.  New York Republican Rep. Peter King, who has known Giuliani for more than 40 years, says the former mayor “is very close to saying he’s going to run.”

“If he were to make the decision today, he would run,” says King.

Speaking at a dinner with reporters in Washington, King, who was an enthusiastic Giuliani supporter in 2008, said the former mayor has been quietly lining up support and exploring strategy. Giuliani has also examined the mistakes his campaign made in ‘08, when he did not seriously compete in a contest until the Florida primary, by which time he was hopelessly behind in the race.

The recent CNN poll out of New Hampshire shows Guiliani tied with Newt Gingrich for third, behind Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, among Republican primary voters. But there are a lot of factors that Guiliani would need to consider before taking another plunge into electoral politics.

Is Jon Huntsman the new Charlie Crist?

Over at Slate, Dave Weigel offers up an interview by Neil Cavuto from early 2009 with Jon Huntsman, former Governor of Utah, Ambassador to China and likely GOP presidential candidate, where he not only expressed support in the concept of economic; but believed the package being pushed through Congress wasn’t large enough (emphasis Weigel’s):

CAVUTO: Were you against the stimulus, Governor?

HUNSTMAN: Well, if I were in Congress, I probably would not have voted in favor because it didn’t have enough stimulus and probably wasn’t big enough to begin with.

Huntsman has been playing down his support of the stimulus. For example, in a recent interview with George Stephanopoulos, Huntsman said that he wanted more in terms of tax breaks; including a corporate income tax cut. However, Weigel points to a post at Washington Monthly by Steve Benen, who breaks down that claim; posting video of Huntsman in his on words:

CNN Poll: Romney leads in New Hampshire

A new poll from CNN of Republican primary voters in New Hampshire shows Mitt Romney, who served as Governor of nearby Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, with a significant lead; though we still have months to go before voters from the Granite State will cast their ballots in January.

Even though they include Mitch Daniels, who recently opted not to run for the GOP nod, here are the results of the poll:

  • Mitt Romney: 32%
  • Ron Paul: 9%
  • Newt Gingrich: 6%
  • Rudy Giuliani: 6%
  • Sarah Palin: 5%
  • Michele Bachmann: 4%
  • Herman Cain: 4%
  • Mitch Daniels: 4%
  • Jon Huntsman: 4%
  • Tim Pawlenty: 4%
  • Rich Santorum: 2%
  • Gary Johnson: <1%
  • Other: 3%
  • No opinion: 17%

Of the names listed, an overwhelming 42% believe that Romney has the best shot at beating President Barack Obama next year. Guiliani and Pawlenty are tied for second at 4% in on particular question. Voters also chose Romney as the candidate has the best suited as far as experience and to handle the economy and budget.

It’s important to note that 43% of New Hampshire Republicans are either dissatisfied with the current GOP field. So again, we’re a long way off from voters making up their minds.

Mitch Daniels will not run for president

In a disappoint move for many looking for someone that could present a strong challenge to President Barack Obama, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has decided not to seek the Republican nomination for president:

Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana said early Sunday that he would not become a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, telling supporters in an e-mail message that concerns from his family were the overriding factor in deciding to stay out of the race.

“In the end, I was able to resolve every competing consideration but one,” Mr. Daniels wrote. “The interests and wishes of my family is the most important consideration of all. If I have disappointed you, I will always be sorry.”

His announcement answers one of the most highly anticipated questions about the 2012 Republican campaign, but introduces new uncertainty into the race. He is the latest in a string of prominent Republicans to decline a presidential bid, leaving the field without a clear front-runner less than eight months before the first voting could begin.

It looks like those concerns about whether or not Daniels supported some form of a requirement to purchase health insurance are now moot. By the way, it looks like he didn’t support an individual mandate.

Cap-and-trade still a problem for Huntsman

While it’s hard to find a Republican running for president that hasn’t supported cap-and-trade - although most of them have magically changed positions, Jon Huntsman, the former Governor of Utah and US Ambassador to China, still seems to support the concept, according to comments recently made in an interview with Time:

Cap-and-trade ideas aren’t working; it hasn’t worked, and our economy’s in a different place than five years ago. Much of this discussion happened before the bottom fell out of the economy, and until it comes back, this isn’t the moment.

So, “this isn’t the moment”? I guess we’ll wait until the economy improves to try it? Sorry, that’s not good enough. The proposal that has been put forward is not something to be so passive about. It would could cost American families a lot of money. The Obama Administration estimated that it would cost the average family nearly $2,000 a year; or as CBS noted, the “equivalent of hiking personal income taxes by about 15 percent.” The Heritage Foundation gave a much higher figure in terms of average costs over the long-term; nearly $7,000 by 2035.

Even if the economy improves, would you really consider implementing a policy that is clearly going to make energy more expensive? That is the question that Republican voters should be asking Huntsman.

Misfiring on Jon Huntsman

In case you missed it yesterday, Erick Erickson unloaded on Jon Huntsman, former Governor of Utah and Ambassdor to China, for planning a presidential run while serving his boss, Barack Obama:

John Huntman’s disloyalty to the President of the United States, regardless of the President or to which party the President belongs, should not be rewarded by any patriot of this country.

No, it is not his terrible record. It is not his lefty record on the environment. Nor is it Huntsman’s willingness to stand against 70% of Utah’s voters as Governor and come out for civil unions without anyone asking him. Nor is it his buddy-buddiness with Ahnuld and their global warming pact.

And no, it is not because Jon Huntsman’s Presidential bid is largely a creation and fixation of the media and backed by key John McCain advisers. The media, led by McCain’s old advisers, have collectively fawned over Huntsman since the end of the 2008 election.
The reason I will never, ever support Jon Huntman is simple: While serving as the United States Ambassador to China, our greatest strategic adversary, Jon Huntsman began plotting to run against the President of the United States. This calls into question his loyalty not just to the President of the United States, but also his loyalty to his country over his own naked ambition.

Another likely GOP candidate that supported cap-and-trade

Like Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), Mike Huckabee (R-AR) and Newt Gingrich (R-GA), Jon Huntsman (R-UT) has a past of saying nice things about cap-and-trade and a carbon tax. In fact, Huntsman chided Republicans for not supporting cap-and-trade, a job-killing proposal that died in Congress last year.

Here is Huntsman in his own words:

H/T: James Pethokoukis

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