Video: Take it from Jon Huntsman

posted at 8:45 am on August 23, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Everything you need to know about why Jon Huntsman hasn’t energized Republicans and conservatives can be found in the first five seconds of his new campaign ad … or rather, can’t be found. Huntsman’s team clumsily edits a statement he made on ABC’s This Week with Jake Tapper on Sunday, in which Huntsman claims that “right now, we have people on the fringes. President Obama is too far to the left …” Clearly, Huntsman’s thought did not end there (via Jim Geraghty):

Here’s the actual quote from the interview, emphasis mine:

Right now, this country is crying out for a sensible middle ground. This is a center-right country; I am a center-right candidate. Right now, we’ve got people on the fringes.

President Obama is too far to the left. We’ve got people on the Republican side who are too far to the right. And we have zero substance. We have no good ideas that are being circulated or talked about that will allow this country to get back on its feet economically so that we can begin creating jobs.

No good ideas at all?  Paul Ryan had a good idea in his measured approach to entitlement reform.  The Cut Cap and Balance Act was a pretty good idea, too.  A balanced-budget amendment is a very good idea.  There is real substance in those proposals, the first two of which already passed the House and the latter of which will get a vote in some form this year. What exactly are Huntsman’s ideas?  If he has any, he doesn’t talk about them in this spot, and not much at all otherwise.

Huntsman’s real problem is that he’s based his presidential run on the notion that Republicans want to support a candidate who tells GOP voters that they’re too conservative and that they have no real ideas.  His ad practically begs people to either reach the obvious conclusion about what Huntsman said from that interview or go look it up themselves.  He can’t even put an attack ad out on Obama with a clean criticism of Obama that doesn’t include one about Republicans.

If Huntsman thinks that’s a winning strategy, it explains why he’s on the fringes of the presidential race, and will almost certainly remain there.

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Huntsman should be running as a Democrat.

petefrt on August 23, 2011 at 8:50 AM

Ha. Perfect screen grab. Huntsman’s expression is a combination of extreme self-regard and “blue steel.”

Slublog on August 23, 2011 at 8:51 AM

Isn’t Jon Huntsman married to Lisa Rinna?

diogee on August 23, 2011 at 8:51 AM

Are other candidates that are polling at 1% getting this kind of time on Sunday shows and CNN?

forest on August 23, 2011 at 8:52 AM

If not for daddy’s money we’d have never heard of this creep.

A milktoast millionaire with political ambition. High skeevey factor.

Akzed on August 23, 2011 at 8:53 AM

Huntsman should be bidens translator in china, then retire.

tim c on August 23, 2011 at 8:53 AM

He’s Romney without the genuineness…

Akzed on August 23, 2011 at 8:54 AM

No good ideas? If you are running for President, you should have some good ideas. if you don’t have any good ideas, run as a Democrat.

rbj on August 23, 2011 at 8:55 AM

Huntsman looks like the president of…something. Think I’ll vote for him this time.
-Former Obama Republican

Extrafishy on August 23, 2011 at 8:55 AM

Crist redux.

artist on August 23, 2011 at 8:58 AM

Huntsman, you aren’t in the hunt. Go away.

search4truth on August 23, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Hunty Hunt Hunt….trying out for the replacement for aging McCain as the Medias’ favorite RINOWHORE?

PappyD61 on August 23, 2011 at 8:59 AM

I can’t stand this guy.

taney71 on August 23, 2011 at 9:02 AM

Huntsman should switch parties and primary Obama. He’d get more votes.

What is wrong with this man?

SlaveDog on August 23, 2011 at 9:07 AM

thanks for playing…..c-ya

cmsinaz on August 23, 2011 at 9:07 AM

“almost certainly remain there.”?? What’s with the “almost”?

Actually, I hope he holds on for another six months. He only takes votes (as few as they may be) from Romney, and that’s a good thing.

G. Charles on August 23, 2011 at 9:08 AM

That screen cap is hilarious!

gophergirl on August 23, 2011 at 9:09 AM

RT @LexingtnSCPatch Howard Dean: Huntsman is a great candidate for president, but “he’s in the wrong party.”

Anyone else seen this quote floating around this morning? Would love to see the context.

LastRick on August 23, 2011 at 9:10 AM

Well he ain’t gonna win any votes if he continues to use that ridiculous piano music as background to his political ads. I was half waiting for Karen Carpenter to enter stage left and sing us a song about the way we were…

glennbo on August 23, 2011 at 9:12 AM

Obama is a narcissistic, petty, malicious liar. Why should any Republican run an ad saying he’s a “good man?”

I dislike Romney, but Huntsman is so awful he makes the Willard him more appealing. Is that the whole point of his candidacy?

flyfisher on August 23, 2011 at 9:13 AM

Video: Take it from Jon Huntsman

I would rather set my hair on fire ad put it out with a hammer.

kingsjester on August 23, 2011 at 9:14 AM

Oops!!

Well he ain’t gonna win any votes if he continues to use that ridiculous piano music as background to his political ads. I was half waiting for Karen Carpenter to enter stage left and sing us a song about how we’ve only just begun the way we were

glennbo on August 23, 2011 at 9:12 AM

glennbo on August 23, 2011 at 9:16 AM

What was with the piano music….?
Not appropriate.

NeoKong on August 23, 2011 at 9:18 AM

Are other candidates that are polling at 1% getting this kind of time on Sunday shows and CNN?

forest on August 23, 2011 at 8:52 AM

I wish one of the front-runners would say this. They ought to slam the media for its Huntsman crush and put the final nail in his coffin. They love him because he’s a liberal democrat. Let’s say so.

Rational Thought on August 23, 2011 at 9:19 AM

Huntsman fail.

Repeat after me: Na na naaa na, na na naaa na, hey-ey-ey, goodbye. The only question is, will he leave the race before Johnson?

TQM38a on August 23, 2011 at 9:19 AM

Speaking of fail, that link was a fail.

TQM38a on August 23, 2011 at 9:19 AM

Huntsman seems to be vying for the blue hair vote with that piano music in his ads.

glennbo on August 23, 2011 at 9:20 AM

I see now why he served in the Obama administration. He is a good fit with a president who is willing to say any stupid thing at all to try and further his political ambitions.

NotCoach on August 23, 2011 at 9:20 AM

Jon Huntsman (D-UT)

MassVictim on August 23, 2011 at 9:24 AM

HotAir – it’s time to pull the plug on covering Huntsman. Let the Democratic media cover their own candidates.

Over50 on August 23, 2011 at 9:26 AM

Dude can really ride a dirt bike, though. Y’all have to admit that really took guts,…..like we all want in our president.

a capella on August 23, 2011 at 9:27 AM

Democrats flat-out admit Jon Huntsman is a Democrat-backed spoiler in Republican nominating contest. Hillbuzz. I am guessing the PUMAS would know an Obama feint when they see one :)

Dr Evil on August 23, 2011 at 9:29 AM

Huntsman’s real problem is that he’s based his presidential run on the notion that Republicans want to support a candidate who tells GOP voters that they’re too conservative and that they have no real ideas.

We had one of those nominees once–John McCain. And that worked out just great for us!

Outlander on August 23, 2011 at 9:34 AM

My favorite comment from the above post link: I have the only explanation that makes sense: Obama is redoing a SNL-skit made famous by Eddie Murphy — WHITE LIKE ME. If you recall, it is where Murphy is made-up like a Caucasian and goes out to find out what life is like as a white man.

Have you ever seen Huntsman and Obama in the same room together at the same time? Just sayin’!

Huh, I haven’t seen them together, and Obama conveniently made Huntsman the ambassador to China hmmmm GRIN.

Dr Evil on August 23, 2011 at 9:36 AM

He’s Romney without the genuineness…

Akzed on August 23, 2011 at 8:54 AM

OUCH!

Abby Adams on August 23, 2011 at 9:40 AM

HotAir – it’s time to pull the plug on covering Huntsman. Let the Democratic media cover their own candidates.

Over50 on August 23, 2011 at 9:26 AM

Second that!

Western_Civ on August 23, 2011 at 9:40 AM

He’s ventured into comic relief, and he is fun to watch – one eyebrow heads in one direction and the other in another. I often wonder about these turncoats – does he still not live in Utah? Have Republican friends and associates? Or are they all abandoned for his new DC coctail circuit where HE is the Prima-Donna now with his Republican bashing. Oh, he will so be at the Democrat convention.

Marcus on August 23, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Crist redux.

artist on August 23, 2011 at 8:58 AM

Heh. He’s a carbon copy, minus the orange glow…

jondun5 on August 23, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Hey, at least Huntsman is now identifying Obama by name. That’s progress.

Doughboy on August 23, 2011 at 9:48 AM

Sr’s connections loom larger, each time Jr. speaks.

Dusty on August 23, 2011 at 9:48 AM

Weak.

I want an unapologetic conservative and a fighter. It’s not good enough to have an R by your name. We are in a battle for the character of our country. I want a champion who will rhetorically stomp Obama and his Marxist ideas into the dust.

bitsy on August 23, 2011 at 9:49 AM

He can’t even put an attack ad out on Obama with a clean criticism of Obama that doesn’t include one about Republicans.

Perhaps this is because he’s working more with Dems, and for Dems.

Manchurian candidated part deux? He did spend a lot of time in China.

capejasmine on August 23, 2011 at 9:55 AM

Huntsman should be running as a Democrat.
petefrt on August 23, 2011 at 8:50 AM

How would that help Obama get re-elected?

logis on August 23, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Isnt this the guy that supposedly scared the Democrats/Obama the most for 2012 elections? Now we know why. Given a choice between a far left Democrat like Obama and a Democrat like Huntsman///

canditaylor68 on August 23, 2011 at 10:19 AM

I strongly believe Jon Huntsman is gaming to run as an independent in the Presidential elections if a conservative (Perry/Palin/Bachmann) ends up winning the GOP nomination – mark my words!

In a very close election, he hopes to be the single digit candidate that will take enough GOP votes to give the win to Obama. But will it work? Hmmm…

TheRightMan on August 23, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Huntsman looks like he should be the host of a TV game show.

VibrioCocci on August 23, 2011 at 10:22 AM

In a very close election, he hopes to be the single digit candidate that will take enough GOP votes to give the win to Obama. But will it work? Hmmm…
TheRightMan on August 23, 2011 at 10:19 AM

With Huntsman, you’re talking LOW single-digits. And, no, that won’t be nearly enough.

But Obama has enough money to run 10 strawmen – and it’s safe to say the media will give them each equal airtime to the Republican candidate. As long as Obama’s keeps his 30% liberal base locked up, that should be sufficient.

logis on August 23, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Dear Ed, Huntsman supports “cut, cap, balance,” a balanced budget amendment, and the Paul Ryan plan. He does not say that those ideas are extreme.

I am not sure if Huntsman’s strategy will work, but his game plan is pretty obvious: Win over the Independents/Anti-Obama Democrats and Moderate Republicans in NH, SC, and Florida. He realizes that he can’t win over the religious right nor the Hot Air crowd, but he can win over people who feel Perry and Bachmann are too extreme, and hold center-right political views.

This strategy worked for McCain, but I am not sure for Huntsman. Mr. Huntsman still has a Romney problem, and the fact that he worked for Obama for 20 months. It’s was a non-partisan position, but still working for the enemy is a cardinal sin.

Frank T.J Mackey on August 23, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Huntsman has donned the media mantle of “thoughtful, serious candidate” formerly worn by Pawlenty. As with Timmy, Republicans just do not appreciate Jon’s greatness, dang them!

whatcat on August 23, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Closet Communist.

KMC1 on August 23, 2011 at 10:35 AM

This strategy worked for McCain, … but still working for the enemy is a cardinal sin.

Frank T.J Mackey on August 23, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Yeah, that strategy worked really well for McLame, didn’t it. I agree with the second part and son do all but 3% of the RINO establishment types.

Sporty1946 on August 23, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Here is a guy who lacks the critical skills to judge a scientific fraud like the AGW theory which is actually quite clear and easy to see lecturing on economic theory.

What a farce this campaign is.

Lonetown on August 23, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Please show me a center-right or even a center-left view Huntsman is pushing. The only thing I see is full blown leftist policy from him.

Sporty1946 on August 23, 2011 at 10:50 AM

What was with the piano music….?
Not appropriate.

NeoKong on August 23, 2011 at 9:18 AM

My guess is that both Huntsman and the person filming this were heavily sedated…and the piano somehow sounded like a rousing fight song to them through the drug-induced fog.

landlines on August 23, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Huntsman looks like he should be the host of a TV game show.

VibrioCocci on August 23, 2011 at 10:22 AM

He reminds me of the man on TV shilling for a certain erectile dysfunction medication.

GrannyDee on August 23, 2011 at 11:01 AM

He believes in agw and probably cap & trade to save the planet. When he claimed that ‘we have no good ideas’, was he including himself? How does this ad help him? What a doofus.

Kissmygrits on August 23, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Huntsman stands foursquare in favor of “good ideas.”

Yay.

Cicero43 on August 23, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Jon, when you vacillate in the middle of the road, you end up as road kill. “So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” — Revelation 3:16.

MassVictim on August 23, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Who supports this guy? Clarification, what Republican supports this guy.

Cindy Munford on August 23, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Scenario:

Huntsman gets the GOP nomination.

Ron Paul runs as an independent and wins.

I’m not saying that as a particular fan of Ron Paul, either.

When lining up Huntsman against Obama it’s hard to tell who’s Dumb and who’s Dumber.

JEM on August 23, 2011 at 11:49 AM

I watch some MSNBC (know thy enemy) and he is the darling of the Shultz’ of the world. Is it me or does it feel like Huntsman is a plant. He’s not a RINO, he’s a DIO (Democrat incognito operative).

Jed_Eckert on August 23, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Isn’t it pretty obvious? He’s trying to go the McCain route of 2008 and win New Hampshire.

Notorious GOP on August 23, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Having heard Huntsman, Sr on Beck a few times it is hard to imagine this is his son. I suspect that the father is privately horrified by his son’s beliefs and path.

in_awe on August 23, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Is there a snottier face on Earth? Yes, but only one, Obama’s.

Schadenfreude on August 23, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Someone suggested that Huntsman resembled a game show host. Perhaps this is the one they were thinking of…

glennbo on August 23, 2011 at 1:10 PM

No good ideas at all? Paul Ryan had a good idea in his measured approach to entitlement reform.

Of come on Ed, get a grip. Huntsman was talking about his fellow candidates, and he supports the Ryan plan. Geez.

BocaJuniors on August 23, 2011 at 1:25 PM

That music sounds like it was taken from a 4th grad piano recital. Also it’s irritating to watch an interview when a guest always looks a a person from a sidewards glance. Look people straight on, otherwise you look like you’re hiding something.

mizflame98 on August 23, 2011 at 2:53 PM

1-1

mizflame98 on August 23, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Paul Ryan had a good idea in his measured approach to entitlement reform.

He was referring to the other republican presidential candidates, Paul Ryan isn’t running (yet). He was also kinda right in a weird way, I mean the only person trying to actually argue about public policies in Ron Paul, but he is fringe, or Mitt Romney who’s a loathed RINO. Bachmann, Perry, and the rest, haven’t really floated any policy positions at all.

snoopicus on August 23, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Dont get me wrong, Im not a Huntsman guy, he has a slightly smaller chance of being elected than I do. I think his whole game is to drop a book in December 2012 if the republicans lose. He can be the “told you so” guy so the TV heads will love him, and his book of course will be about how the republicans need to be more centrist

snoopicus on August 23, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Huntsman looks like he should be the host of a TV game show. VibrioCocci on August 23, 2011 at 10:22 AM

“Welcome to, Guess My Sex! with your host, Jon Huntsman…”

Akzed on August 23, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Huntsman … I listened to him a little… He sounds WAY geekier than I thought he would.

marybel on August 23, 2011 at 9:16 PM