Barbour: Of course Jon Huntsman is more conservative than Obama

posted at 8:42 am on May 20, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour may have dropped out of the POTUS primary race, but that doesn’t mean he’s evaporated from presidential politics. During an appearance on the John King show he faced the question of whether or not potential candidate Jon Huntsman was conservative enough and qualified to be the GOP standard bearer next year.

HALEY BARBOUR: “Jon Huntsman and I served together, and while we don’t agree on some issues, there’s no question that he’s a conservative. He’s way to the right of Barack Obama for goodness sake. But yeah, I consider Jon a conservative. As I said, we have some issues that I think are important that we have different views on. But he was in the Reagan administration, elected governor of a very conservative state — elected and re-elected by the way. So if you’re asking me if Jon Huntsman is qualified to the Republican nominee for President of the United States, the answer is, of course he is.”

Well, now. I suppose that’s an endorsement of sorts. Yes, it’s true that we frequently try to read too much into every statement, wink, nod and hand gesture of politicos, so maybe that’s all this was. To my knowledge, Haley Barbour has yet to officially endorse anyone to be the Republican nominee, and there’s a good chance he’s following Reagan’s 11th commandment here.

But if I were trying to bolster somebody’s conservative bona fides in a comparative fashion, I might have selected a stalking horse who was at least in the Republican party. Then again, if he tried to say that Huntsman was more conservative than any of the other potential contenders, it could have been seen as a shot across their bow.

Of course, given the rousing reception that Huntsman received in New Hampshire this week, Barbour may be smart to keep all of his endorsement options on the table. Jon is going to continue to face questions from the base, as we discussed previously, because he’s seen as something of a mixed bag when it comes to conservative issues, but he definitely looks like he’s getting his game face on.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Palin and/or Perry – two serious candidates (and I don’t consider Herman Cain one, sorry) – would go for Obama’s throat. Huntsman would start “now he’s not a bad man!” tomorrow, and hire Mark McKinnon.

Marcus on May 20, 2011 at 8:45 AM

So was Trotsky.

Fabozz on May 20, 2011 at 8:46 AM

Jon Huntsman is more conservative than Obama

That makes him Hillary Clinton.

the_nile on May 20, 2011 at 8:46 AM

A pink paisley tie is more conservative than Obama.

red131 on May 20, 2011 at 8:47 AM

don’t fault Barbour for these statements–he spoke just as he should.

but if Huntsman is going to act all nice to Bambi, then he is NOT the one for us.

kelley in virginia on May 20, 2011 at 8:48 AM

I will say this as many times as it need be said. Four simple words can utterly destroy Jon Huntsman’s campaign for anyone who will utter them.

Driver’s licenses for illegals. Utah is one of only a handful of states that issues them, and the others that do are rolling back such policy as we speak. Huntsman had the government to himself, and did nothing.

KingGold on May 20, 2011 at 8:48 AM

If Huntsman wins the GOP nomination I’m not voting. He’s a Republican version of Obama with more experience. The guy is a big government conservative. I already lived through George W. Bush’s presidency. I don’t need another Republican president who grows government. At least with Obama in office the congressional Republicans will oppose his agenda.

taney71 on May 20, 2011 at 8:50 AM

That makes him Hillary Clinton.

the_nile on May 20, 2011 at 8:46 AM

You beat me to this one; I was thinking the same thing.
We could pollute the pages of this thread with endless lists of people who are more conservative than Obama; not a high bar at all.

The Maine twins are more conservative than Obama.
Lindsay Graham is more conservative than Obama.
ProudRino is more conservative than Obama
Crr6 is – nah, forget it!

massrighty on May 20, 2011 at 8:51 AM

I mean….does anyone think this clown has a realistic chance? He’s pals with Obama!

search4truth on May 20, 2011 at 8:52 AM

When you have to tell us this…..

thebrokenrattle on May 20, 2011 at 8:54 AM

Some people in the Australian Labor Party are more conservative than Obama. What does it prove?

Crux Australis on May 20, 2011 at 8:55 AM

“If there’s one place the Republicans are not going to get their nominee, it’s from the Obama Administration!”

-David Brooks, in a moment of honesty when he first heard the name on “Meet the Press”. Wonder if he would walk it back today. Probably would. No, undoubtedly would.

Marcus on May 20, 2011 at 8:58 AM

Bil Clinton is more Conservative than Obama.

kingsjester on May 20, 2011 at 8:58 AM

Barbour is a Good ol’ boy from the Grand Old Party, did you expect something different?

darwin-t on May 20, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Who?

Akzed on May 20, 2011 at 9:02 AM

Jon Huntsman
A nearly perfect expression of all that is wrong with the GOP in 2011.

james23 on May 20, 2011 at 9:04 AM

Of course Barbour is a Republican elitist windbag.

How’s that “Gorebull” warming working out for ya Haley?

What about driver’s licenses for illegals?

Yeah, promote that Big government Bush agenda. Can anybody say we hope Dumb-Ø wins so we can go all out for Jeb in 2016.

Jayrae on May 20, 2011 at 9:06 AM

Huntsman is a dog that won’t hunt.

word.

ted c on May 20, 2011 at 9:06 AM

I could accept Huntsman in a Republican administration as a cabinet member but nothing else.

taney71 on May 20, 2011 at 9:06 AM

Teh Stupid is strong in the Good Ol Party.

james23 on May 20, 2011 at 9:06 AM

Can anybody say we hope Dumb-Ø wins so we can go all out for Jeb in 2016.

Jayrae on May 20, 2011 at 9:06 AM

Bashing Republican elitism and supporting Jeb? I hope I’m reading this wrong.

KingGold on May 20, 2011 at 9:08 AM

*fill in the blank* is more conservative than dear leader

cmsinaz on May 20, 2011 at 9:12 AM

Barbour is an a hole and idiot, as would be any conservative that voted for the little prince huntsman

georgealbert on May 20, 2011 at 9:12 AM

Above in the headlines, you can read Georgie Stephie, ABC News DNC flak, arriving via limo for an “spontaneous” meeting with Huntsman in a limo and treating him like a rock star, with Huntsman having been pre-miked by ABC. All you need to know.

Marcus on May 20, 2011 at 9:13 AM

Well, who’s to the left of Dear Liar? Pol Pot?

rbj on May 20, 2011 at 9:13 AM

Barbour: Of course Jon Huntsman is more conservative than Obama

So are most other Democrats. As already pointed out, it’s not a very high bar. I’d vote for Newt before I’d vote for Huntsman.

jwolf on May 20, 2011 at 9:18 AM

Just as with McCain….if Dems, oh sorry the media, are promoting this knucklehead…we should run the opposite way, regardless of anything he says.

search4truth on May 20, 2011 at 9:30 AM

Of course Jon Huntsman is more conservative than Obama

Just as Gorby was more liberal than Andropov. Lol.

AH_C on May 20, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Ted Kennedy is more conservative than Obama.

jeffn21 on May 20, 2011 at 9:42 AM

If Huntsman any RINO wins the GOP nomination I’m not voting. He’s a Republican version of Obama with more experience. The guy is a big government conservative. I already lived through George W. Bush’s presidency. I don’t need another Republican president who grows government. At least with Obama in office the congressional Republicans will oppose his agenda.

taney71 on May 20, 2011 at 8:50 AM

FIFY.

I held my nose for McVain ONLY because of SP, otherwise, I was only voting down-ticket.

I want the election tallies to demonstrate unequivicolly to the GOP that the RINO was specifically rejected while the down-ticket candidates won, meaning the turn-out more than enough, but the RINO was found wanting.

Because too many stayed home, McVain still thinks he’s relevant to the GOP because those that sat home were counted in his mind as not the GOP base, rather just unengaged citizens

AH_C on May 20, 2011 at 9:49 AM

Jayrae on May 20, 2011 at 9:06 AM

I don’t suppose that his vetoing of state ethanol subsidies carries more weight than any words. He’s the only governor to have done this. That puts him to the right of Bachmann, and governors of SD, ND, IA, MN, WI, IL, NE, KS, MO, & IN with a few more thrown in, on the Glowarming issue.

Kermit on May 20, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Hmmmm. The WH says the one Republican they fear is Huntsman. We know that means they don’t consider him a threat. CNN asks Barbour about him, knowing he won’t say anything negative. Politico runs a story about a huge reception in New Hampshire talking him up as the most popular thing since the Beatles. Expect the full court press for Huntsman and an impending NY Times endorsement.

John Deaux on May 20, 2011 at 9:58 AM

I don’t suppose that his vetoing of state ethanol subsidies carries more weight than any words. He’s the only governor to have done this.

Kermit on May 20, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Assuming this is accurate (and I have no reason to doubt it, just don’t know the facts on this point), that is certainly a mark in his favor. So that improves his W-L record from about 0-10 to 1-10. Not very impressive in my book.

As for the other governors you listed, I can’t comment on other states but IL has been governed by either liberal Republicans or hardcore leftwing Democrats for decades. That’s not counting the out and out felons, of course, who defy conventional political classification. So if Hunstman was a better gov of UT than we’ve had in IL, that’s all to the good but not exactly a very high standard.

jwolf on May 20, 2011 at 10:05 AM

A sack of potato chips is more conservative than Obama – as Rush pointed out. We will vote for ANYONE over Obama – but let’s try to get the most conservative we can get in the primary.

Queen0fCups on May 20, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Huntsman actually is pretty conservative on some general issues. You don’t get elected governor of Utah without that. For one thing he is solidly pro-life. He’s also pretty decent on taxes, and focusing government spending on needed infrastructure (ie roads) and avoiding waste. There is a reason Utah has some of the best employment levels in the country, and Huntsman has something to do with that.

However, I don’t plan on supporting Huntsman in the primary. He’s drunk the cool-aid on global warming. He’s too conciliatory in my opinion. In Utah, you can work with Democrats, they’re sensible. In DC you can’t. At the federal level the world view of Democrats is so at odds with Conservatives that compromise is not possible without ending up with the worst of both.

But if he wins the primary I will certainly vote for him in the general.

I don’t feel the need to tear down Republicans that I don’t plan on supporting in the primary. Primaries are the time to vote for someone, not against someone.

Sackett on May 20, 2011 at 10:16 AM

I held my nose for McVain ONLY because of SP, otherwise, I was only voting down-ticket.

I want the election tallies to demonstrate unequivicolly to the GOP that the RINO was specifically rejected while the down-ticket candidates won, meaning the turn-out more than enough, but the RINO was found wanting.

Because too many stayed home, McVain still thinks he’s relevant to the GOP because those that sat home were counted in his mind as not the GOP base, rather just unengaged citizens

AH_C on May 20, 2011 at 9:49 AM

If Sarah Palin runs, I plan to vote for her in the primary, but I can’t agree with your self-defeating sentiment. I doubt a stridently right-wing GOP could hold power for more than two years. It would piss off opponents and cause apathy among many in the GOP. It would almost certainly provoke a big Democratic majority as its aftermath. Some sense of moderation is the key to keeping power over extended periods. We need an extended period in power if we want to show that Palin’s common sense economic ideas work.

thuja on May 20, 2011 at 10:19 AM

I love how the question was

Is he a mainstream conservative Republican?

Good one Anderson. *rolls eyes*

demotheses on May 20, 2011 at 10:21 AM

This wasn’t an endorsement.

But out of the gate supporters of other candidates have tried to distort Huntsman into some kind of liberal.

And that’s what it is. Distortion.

He may not be right for President. But he is a conservative, unless of course you are one of those who thinks only people you personally like have a right to deviate from pure libertarian conservatism, and still be called conservative.

Conservative is becoming nothing more than an indication of who you like… you can substitute the word “awesome” for “conservative” and be more accurate the way some people cherry pick their own candidate views.

I’m absolutely positive there are people on this thread who don’t think Haley Barbour is a conservative… he isn’t awesome enough.

petunia on May 20, 2011 at 10:32 AM

bleah

perries on May 20, 2011 at 10:32 AM

KingGold on May 20, 2011 at 8:48 AM

Add “All day kindergarten” (taxpayer funded daycare), funding a soccer stadium at taxpayer expense (despite being rejected by the local government), signing onto the Western Climate Initiative (global warming) without legislative approval, putting the state gov on a four day work week to save greenhouse gas, giving Utah banks (primarily Zion’s bank) a tax-funded bailout, big proponent of in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, supported asking for a Fed waiver to allow for a guest worker program (to include illegal immigrants) etc etc.

No thanks!

batter on May 20, 2011 at 10:34 AM

I don’t feel the need to tear down Republicans that I don’t plan on supporting in the primary. Primaries are the time to vote for someone, not against someone.

Sackett on May 20, 2011 at 10:16 AM

I like your attitude and would like to follow it for a spectrum of serious candidates. But not every primary candidate is serious about advancing a set of views that could win a general election against Obama. In particular, I mean Ron Paul and Newt, and it’s always possible that other candidates could do down that Charlie Sheen path with Newt. Isn’t it now necessary that we tear down Gingrich to point where he isn’t considered a serious contender and thus is unable to continue damaging our current political goals?

thuja on May 20, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Yeah, that’s just old-fashioned Mississippi good manners. About the farthest thing from an endorsement, though.

The only thing he left out was “bless his heart.”

greggriffith on May 20, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Huntsman is a ridiculous joke candidate. He’s even more of a whiter-than-white blow-dried “evil rich man” than Romney, to say nothing of the fact that he completely brown-nosed the man he’s supposedly running against in print. If anything confirms the claim that the GOP elite would rather lose with one of their own than win with a Reagan-style conservative, this pathetic attempt at a boomlet demonstrates it.

ebrown2 on May 20, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Kind of a low bar to clear, isn’t it?

Caiwyn on May 20, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Jon Huntsman is more conservative than Obama

That makes him Hillary Clinton.

the_nile on May 20, 2011 at 8:46 AM

Bingo.

John Edwards was more conservative too.

mankai on May 20, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Liberace’s cape is more conservative than Obama.

OhioCoastie on May 20, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Rousing reception in New Hampshire? When I read that Politico piece, the rousing reception was from the media, not from the citizens.

Media working hard to pick the best Republican candidate for Obama to beat. Again.

AZfederalist on May 20, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Sorry guys..I like him…of course he is Mormon which ticks off the “Christian right” I am a Catholic Tea Party Conservative…he is a tax cutter. As for the worked for Obama part..heck many conservatives work in depts of Liberal run city mayors…a road construction worker wants that road to be useable no matter who is in charge of the road job

charmingtail on May 20, 2011 at 2:16 PM

It’s odd that we have Bachmann, who some have called a “poor man’s SP” but who proponents argue is not as damaged (high negs), up against Huntsman, who some would call a “poor rich man’s Romney” but who proponents argue is not as damaged (MassCare).

alwaysfiredup on May 20, 2011 at 4:47 PM