Top Huntsman strategist: Republicans are “nowhere near being a national governing party”

posted at 7:00 pm on June 15, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman hasn’t yet officially announced his presidential candidacy — he’s expected to do that June 21 — but one of his top aides has already rhetorically reduced the rest of the GOP field to a “bunch of cranks.”

“There’s a simple reason our party is nowhere near being a national governing party,” veteran GOP strategist John Weaver said in an interview with Esquire. “No one wants to be around a bunch of cranks.”

Frankly, Weaver sounds like the crank. Even though the Huntsman campaign said it wouldn’t specifically target other candidates by name, Weaver did just that, mocking former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (“What version are we on now? Mitt 5.0? 6.0?”) and calling former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty “a nice guy pretend[ing] to be angry.”

That’s all very easy for Weaver to say. He works for a candidate who is barely “out there” and who made the confusing choice not to participate in the CNN GOP presidential debate Monday (to the criticism of the local paper, The Manchester Union-Leader). CNN viewers will know Huntsman is a Mormon who rides a motorcycle and speaks fluent Mandarin — CNN anchors can’t seem to cite those facts enough when they mention him — but his (impressive) record is far from household knowledge.

That relative obscurity makes Weaver’s criticisms seem especially rich — but it’s actually the first part of his comment about the GOP that’s most perplexing. What makes Weaver think Republicans are “nowhere near being a national governing party”? The large majority GOP-ers enjoy in the House? The narrowed margin between the Democratic majority and Republican minority in the Senate? A majority of Republican governors? Historic pick-ups of hundreds of seats in state legislatures in 2010? Maybe Weaver’s remark doesn’t have anything to do with the number of seats Republicans hold. Perhaps it has to do with legislation — a groundbreaking budget that actually addresses entitlement reform, perhaps? Or is it the Tea Party — a movement that has so effectively mobilized so many?

What made Weaver say it? It seems like such a typically cynical comment from a political insider. That’s not to say Republican elected officials and 2012 candidates shouldn’t keep their heads down and work hard to promote the ideas they believe will benefit the country. Nor is it to say the 2012 elections will be easy. It’s just to say GOP strategists, whose job it is to craft a successful campaign, shouldn’t be too down on Republican chances.

If Weaver doesn’t recognize Republican strength, at least he recognizes President Barack Obama’s vulnerability.

“The frustrating thing is that Obama’s beatable,” Weaver said. “But to beat Obama you have to be bigger than Obama.”

Bigger, how? By criticizing Republicans?

At the risk of sounding repetitive, Weaver would be better served to tout Huntsman’s accomplishments — after all, he has plenty of them. This video, which Huntsman released to announce the announcement of his campaign (and which doesn’t even feature Huntsman himself on that ubiquitous motorcycle), doesn’t quite do the trick:

6 Days from Jon Huntsman Jr. on Vimeo.


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Comment pages: 1 2

There’s a hell of a strategy for ya! I’m for whats his name!

tom0508 on June 15, 2011 at 8:46 PM

Go back to China, Huntsbaby.

AshleyTKing on June 15, 2011 at 8:46 PM

Huntsman looks like he works at the used car lot across the street from Mitt’s New Car Dealership…

phreshone on June 15, 2011 at 8:47 PM

So Weaver was on McCains team? That’s perfect. So we can expect daily attacks against any and all conservatives from Huntsmans camp, but God forbid they go after Obama and his elitist boobs and the damage they’ve done to our country.

capejasmine on June 15, 2011 at 8:51 PM

if any wants to bet, anything that is legal, that huntman gets within 1000 miles of repub nom, i will be the counter party. huntsman is truly a goof

georgealbert on June 15, 2011 at 8:57 PM

YEAH, YEAH, YEAH!!!!!!

BUT DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE gd STARDUST!!!!!!!!!!!

catmman on June 15, 2011 at 8:59 PM

Frankly, Weaver sounds like the crank.

Frankly, Tina, he sounds like most “GOP strategists”, few who are actually conservatives or ever vote republican. I would like to hook the miserable subversives mckinnon, schmidt or whatever shaved headed guys name is, and the nasty little nicole wallace up to a lie detector and ask them if the voted for thier boss in 2008. If one out of the three didn’t vote for barry I would be shocked.

peacenprosperity on June 15, 2011 at 9:06 PM

Yes, let’s listen to someone who was one of McCain’s campaign strategists.

Wethal on June 15, 2011 at 7:02 PM

Well, that explains it! (This is a serious reflection, not sarcasm).

The McCain campaign, 2007/08, was one of the most depressing, negative, losing works I have ever experienced as a voter. It was characterized by an intent to lose, in my view and experience, by most of those associated with the McCain campaign, including McCain.

Once nominated, I did all I could to lend a hand but it was clearly obvious that the goal was to lose by the McCain campaign. Seriously, I think the whole point of McCain nominated was to lose the election.

Lourdes on June 15, 2011 at 9:06 PM

Huntsman is utterly despicable, and should be ignored.

It’s like he already knows he’s despised, and he simply wants to express his contempt for the right before switching parties…..

Huntsman, the sooner you leave the country, the better.

rightwingyahooo on June 15, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Lourdes on June 15, 2011 at 9:06 PM

Great post, reminds me of exactly how I felt the whole time too.

And I could simply not believe that McCain was nominated in the first place. That alone was disconcerting, before the general campaign even started.

rightwingyahooo on June 15, 2011 at 9:21 PM

Huntsman: the Manchurian Candidate that has been to Manchuria!

ajacksonian on June 15, 2011 at 9:21 PM

I don’t think the gap between the people and the wealthy political class of both parties who run America has ever been greater. Hunstman and his flunkies don’t have the remotest idea what the people of this country think or what they’re like.

Django on June 15, 2011 at 9:26 PM

Huntsman should thank his father everyday for making him relevant….it’s a shame the son is working 24/7 to make himself irrelevant.

David in ATL on June 15, 2011 at 9:27 PM

Never.

BuckeyeSam on June 15, 2011 at 9:35 PM

He has a great Dad, but he is a loser. Pampered kid. Learn Spanish. MSM thinks the right is a wing. he will find out it is the center. he is toast.

I am not a racist on June 15, 2011 at 9:47 PM

The media narrative has been full blitz for Huntsman. I swear, these people think we’re all stupid and don’t realize all the media collusion.

BKennedy on June 15, 2011 at 9:49 PM

Y-not on June 15, 2011 at 8:40 PM

Huntsman hasn’t been officially in the race. In fact, he still isn’t.

bw222 on June 15, 2011 at 10:06 PM

The media narrative has been full blitz for Huntsman. I swear, these people think we’re all stupid and don’t realize all the media collusion.

BKennedy on June 15, 2011 at 9:49 PM

The media thought we were stupid in 2008 … and they were correct.

bw222 on June 15, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Why is he even wasting our time?

KeepOhioRed on June 15, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Jeez, what a loser. This guy is as bad as Romneycare.

james23 on June 15, 2011 at 11:11 PM

This guy’s got a special problem: not only is no one interested in voting for him, but almost everyone also really hates his guts.

Myself, I wouldn’t piss on him if he was on fire.

Jaibones on June 15, 2011 at 11:28 PM

This bastrich isn’t a Republican – he’s just an Obama butt-licker sent in to soften up the opposition for the Marxist in the White House!

Ogabe on June 15, 2011 at 11:31 PM

Gawd! These guckinf people! They have NO clue who we are! We need to eject this detritus forthwith.

ronsfi on June 15, 2011 at 11:31 PM

Did Huntsman have anything to do with setting up these ETZs with China?

Baddddddd stuff about to happen in Idaho, but great news for Huntsman types.

PappyD61 on June 15, 2011 at 11:32 PM

Farewell, Huntsman! Trash your fellow Republicans, would you? Worked too long for Obama, eh?

What a way to begin campaigning to oust Obama.

SilentWatcher on June 15, 2011 at 11:34 PM

No one wants to be around a RINO wanker either!

MCGIRV on June 15, 2011 at 11:43 PM

Hey look, Brooks!

It’s a Repub with a nice crease in his pants!

Saltysam on June 16, 2011 at 2:16 AM

…calling former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty “a nice guy pretend[ing]to be angry.”

Got to admit,
Comparatively, Jon Jr. does make T-Paw look more manly…

“Let’s Roll”

On Watch on June 16, 2011 at 2:56 AM

I don’t think Huntsman is anywhere near being a capable leader.

zoyclem on June 16, 2011 at 7:30 AM

They criticize Pallin for quitting, and yet, hunstman has quit high school, governor of Utah, and now obama’s administration. He’s a quitter!

Bambi on June 16, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Comment pages: 1 2