Source of Harry Reid’s nasty smear of Romney last year was … Jon Huntsman’s father?

posted at 6:01 pm on November 1, 2013 by Allahpundit

I’m shocked — not that the Huntsmans would knife Romney in the back but that Reid would have the minimal integrity to actually base his smear on something that someone told him. I was a thousand percent sure that he’d made up the “Romney doesn’t pay taxes” thing whole cloth for funsies, to make Romney sweat at a moment when Democrats were pressing him on the issue. Let it be noted for the record, then: He may be an absolute A-hole but Harry Reid’s not in the habit of falsely accusing people of wrongdoing unprompted. It takes at least a modicum of prompting to get him to make that false accusation.

The important question now: This isn’t going to derail the Huntsman 2016 express, is it?

The source of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) infamous claim during the 2012 presidential campaign that Mitt Romney had not paid any taxes in 10 years was Jon Huntsman Sr., the father of fellow GOP rival Jon Huntsman, according to a new book by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann called “Double Down.”

Reid bashed Romney with the claim, which he said came from a Republican and a Bain Capital investor, during the summer of 2012 as the former Mass. governor repeatedly refused to disclose the tax documents.

Huntsman Sr denies it, saying, “These fellows who wrote this book, they dwell on falsehoods and false rumors. They’re nothing but supermarket, tabloid trash. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.” He was, however, a suspect from the beginning, partly because he’s friends with Reid, partly because he’s partners with a former Bain Capital director (Reid claimed his source was a Bain investor), and partly because, despite his support for Romney after his son dropped out, Huntsman’s relationship with Romney has been intermittently chilly over the years. This WaPo piece from early 2011 chronicles the sporadic nastiness, from Huntsman Sr complaining after Mitt had won the job to take over the 2002 Olympics that he was “politically driven” and “very, very slick and fast-talking” to Huntsman Jr earning Romney’s wrath in 2006 by endorsing McCain after allegedly promising his support to Romney. Huntsman Sr’s wife told WaPo flat-out at the time that she wouldn’t support Romney if he ran for president for reasons she refused to specify. Huntsman Jr played rough with him at different points during the campaign too, once dismissing him as being in “the hip pocket of Wall Street.” Go figure that Huntsman Sr fell under suspicion.

In fact, here’s what he told Greg Sargent last year when he first denied that he was Reid’s source. Does this sound like a man who’d badmouth Mitt Romney behind his back?

“I feel very badly that Mitt won’t release his taxes and won’t be fair with the American people,” Huntsman told me. In a reference to Romney’s father, who pioneered the release of returns as a presidential candidate, Huntsman said: “I loved George. He always said, [release] your [tax returns] for at least 10 or 12 years.”…

“Mr. Romney ought to square with the American people and release his taxes like any other candidate,” Huntsman said. “I’ve supported Mitt all along. I wish him well. But I do think he should release his income taxes.”

To think: If not for Reid’s mystery source and the smear that he propagated, Romney might have won … a few hundred more votes, maybe? Meh.

Here’s Abby Huntsman, Jon Jr’s daughter and new co-host of “The Cycle,” encouraging Romney’s son to primary Mike Lee in Utah because, I guess, even a Romney is better than a conservative. Exit fun fact: When Jon Jr dropped out of the race early last year, he complained that it had “degenerated into an onslaught of negative and personal attacks.”


Related Posts:

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

This was already mentioned on Breitbart awhile ago.

bluegill on November 1, 2013 at 6:02 PM

But, nevertheless, glad to see it covered here.

John Huntsman, Sr. seems like an untrustworthy slime.

I don’t trust anyone in the Huntsman clan. They are anti-conservative and they love playing the part of “Republican who agrees that Republicans are bad” for the benefit of a liberal audience wanting to be told how bad Republicans supposedly are.

bluegill on November 1, 2013 at 6:05 PM

GOPe on GOPe violence.

But, remember, according to the GOPe, YOU are the enemy.

Resist We Much on November 1, 2013 at 6:06 PM

I’d be fine if we never had to discuss any of the Romneys and any of the Huntsmans ever again.

myrenovations on November 1, 2013 at 6:07 PM

Hell hath no fury like a Huntsman scorned.

socalcon on November 1, 2013 at 6:07 PM

In many cultures, they’d do the honorable thing…

{sigh}

socalcon on November 1, 2013 at 6:08 PM

John Huntsman, Jr. is just a meeker, skinnier version of Chris Christie. People like to talk about how “charismatic” Christie supposedly is, but I just think he’s a bigmouth. Chris Christie = John Huntsman+John McCain+Charlie Crist all rolled into one. We ought to remember that as we read about what lying traitors the Huntsmans are.

bluegill on November 1, 2013 at 6:09 PM

What difference, at this point, does it make?

The GOPe has numerous other ‘innocents’ targeted.

socalcon on November 1, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Harry needs a seat at De Niro’s table!

All Hail………………

dmann on November 1, 2013 at 6:12 PM

F you libertarians.

Murphy9 on November 1, 2013 at 6:19 PM

Here’s Abby Huntsman, Jon Jr’s daughter and new co-host of “The Cycle,” encouraging Romney’s son to primary Mike Lee in Utah because, I guess, even a Romney is better than a conservative.

I saw some of Lee’s kinder and gentler talking points a few days ago. He talked about issues like flex time at the office. Is this an issue the government should get involved with, conservatives?

Anyhoo, I figured Lois Lerner was probably the source. I wasn’t aware that tax returns were shared with partners but I guess I was wrong about that. BTW, Glenn “Republicans are just as bad as Democrats” Beck loves him some Huntsman, Sr.

Buy Danish on November 1, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Allah, you should look into trying to steal the writer Tony Lee from Breitbart.

He’s great. Always on top of things. The Palinistas would also love him. Anyway, he’s the one who covered this story yesterday for them.

bluegill on November 1, 2013 at 6:21 PM

A MSNBC “republican” is a ________.

Huntsman is as slick as snot and frankly it doesn’t help his Dads name by having family like this ilk.

Hillary /Hunty Hunt Hunt Huntsman 2016

HHHHH!

PappyD61 on November 1, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Sorry , I don’t believe it .

Lucano on November 1, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Huntsman can kiss off being dog catcher.

GarandFan on November 1, 2013 at 6:27 PM

No surprise Huntsman’s daughter is on MSDNC, but her catty shilling for the DNC has rightfully earned her the title of *BIATCH*

NOMOBO on November 1, 2013 at 6:29 PM

LaQuintin Huntsman told me that Harry Reid is a pedophile.

That’s all the source I need!

Jeddite on November 1, 2013 at 6:29 PM

Romney’s, Huntsman’s, and Reid’s. Mormon political families sure do suck.

KMav on November 1, 2013 at 6:32 PM

I emailed Main St Partnership a couple of times this week. They are the group who is targeting conservative Republicans. I wrote various things like “Let’s kick the Tea Party out of our Rep. Party,
etc. If they win the primary let’s campaign for the Democrat.

To date, they have not refuted any of my statements, no matter how ridiculous. I don’t think they will campaign for the Dems, but who knows?

I want the growth of govt. reversed. The Dems want it to grow faster. The Rep. Estab. wants govt. to grow, just not as fast as the Dems.

I wonder how many votes the Rep. Estab. will get once conservatives realize they are being taken for a ride? They call us whacko birds, chuckleheads, and worse. Wonder how long before they begin to imitate the Dems and call us terrorists, etc.?

theo22 on November 1, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Of course both Romney and Hunstman were numbskulls when it came to politics. Lets look at how they handled one issue, global warming, as an illustration of their unbridled idiocy.

First, lets stipulate that Hunstman actually wanted to win the nomination, and thought he could do it. Now Huntsman made a lot of noise at the debates and elsewhere that he continued to ardently believe in a key issue taht the leftists push: global warming. I remember an interview he was giving on conservative talk radio where he was questioned on how people are upset about his climate change stance, and you a heard a rather befuddled Hunstman, as a listener you realized that it was new news to Huntsman that his gwarming stance was causing such a negative reaction. Huntsman just seemed oblivious to the base, and to dramatic changes in the opinions of the base that occurred from 2009 to 2011. Huntsman seemed to think the base was stuck in 2008, which was a time where Huntsman’s global warming position may have (barely) passed muster with the R voters. Not any more.

Same with Romney. He didn’t understand the new sentiments driving the base. In June of 2012 Romney was still talking about his desire to curtail CO2 emissions. That got a huge negative reaction, and Romney did try to do some quick revisioning of his position. But Romney never came clean in any full disavowal of the leftists’ dubious global warming theory. Worst of all was at the end of Romney’s convention speech, where he said something like “Obama wants to keep the sea from rising from global warming, [but] I want to help your pocketbook.” Hugely bad. Romney again didn’t say that gwarming theory was wrong, but instead implied that he would rather embrace selfish pocketbook goals at the expense of the world’s destruction. Idiotic. To think that a voter is that selfish??? No, the voter needs to know that the gwarming theory is bs, and that rich and poor alike are being deeply hurt by the costly policies of the out of control greens. But Romney… was a political dunce.

Why didn’t we have any decent candidates to oppose Romney? Maybe Romney had done something to stack the deck in his favor.

anotherJoe on November 1, 2013 at 6:38 PM

Mormon on Mormon violence is never pretty.

The Huntsman family grovel to Obama, while the Romney’s fought (timidly) against him.

I give the win to Romney here. Not the a$$ kissing Chinese speaking squish Huntsman jr.

portlandon on November 1, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Very slimy move.

gophergirl on November 1, 2013 at 6:43 PM

This is total BS.

Lois Lerner or any of thousands of left wing radicals in the government could have leaked this.

faraway on November 1, 2013 at 6:43 PM

the Huntsman thing was strange from the get go. The leftist press said barryhi had pulled a coup when he called huntsman to china..and that he was a big name for 2012. Huh? Zero name recognition and he was supposed to be a putative leader of the GOP?

lots of back staging here. leftists doing political theater inside the GOP, using power hunger progressives to do the job.

this county is sunk. the GOP is rotting as we watch…the rot spreads from the head. at one point i would have said try to fix it…but it is not fixable. Encourage the prog rs to migrate to No Labels. and we’ll keep the anti-slavery party for our own

we are at the point that we need to salvage some remnant of freedom and individual dignity

r keller on November 1, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Heck Markos gave himself credit for putting his prediction Huntsman Sr. was the source of Reid’s comment and pulled it from a quote about a year ago.

So yeah, I don’t believe it. The Biff van Vohees Huntsman Express is a juggernot.

DanMan on November 1, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Joe Huntsman, we hardly knew ye.

Lawdawg86 on November 1, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Tell me that Biff Hunstman Jr is not another Dem in the making. He is sleaze personified.

If Daddy Huntsman is cozy with Reid, then the whole Huntsman family is suspect. I still think that Reid had access to IRS data via the Dem network of political operatives.

onlineanalyst on November 1, 2013 at 6:48 PM

Harry Reid minored in economics from the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business.[

J_Crater on November 1, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Ugly intramural Mormon politics.

Mason on November 1, 2013 at 7:03 PM

hmmmmm…Steve Hayes just said on fnc that Huntsman was the loser of the week because the book said that he was working on his prezy campaign while he worked for barry?

i wonder if axelrod was helping him

r keller on November 1, 2013 at 7:04 PM

r keller on November 1, 2013 at 7:04 PM

I agree Huntsman is a loser..:)

Dire Straits on November 1, 2013 at 7:07 PM

ok, i went to politico, so you guys don’t have to

— Jon Huntsman — who served as ambassador to China before jumping into the 2012 race — hosted political meetings while on the federal government’s payroll as an ambassador. Huntsman and his wife Mary Kaye interviewed strategists Jon Weaver and Nick Ayers while back in D.C. on a vacation from Beijing. Mary Kaye Huntsman had been in touch with Weaver from months, using the codeword “HE” to refer to her husband in emails that were political in nature, according to “Double Down.” Weaver took the meeting with the couple as a sign to move forward with the campaign, setting up a PAC while Huntsman continued to serve as ambassador. Federal law tightly controls what political activities federal employees can undertake.

so Biff is a particularly hack-tastic pol…color me shocked /s

r keller on November 1, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Out here we all know that the Huntsman’s capped out with donations to Reid. The whole family.

IdahoAl on November 1, 2013 at 7:12 PM

That is really a shame.

I used to hold the father in high esteem, for his business prowess, honesty in business, charity, cancer hospital in Salt Lake City, like no other, handshakes for solid business deals, into the multi-billions, keeping his business word, even if he could get way more money…

Now this…disgusting!

His weasely son is NOT worth it. Sad, very sad.

Schadenfreude on November 1, 2013 at 7:17 PM

Here’s Abby Huntsman, Jon Jr’s daughter and new co-host of “The Cycle,” encouraging Romney’s son to primary Mike Lee in Utah because, I guess, even a Romney is better than a conservative. Exit fun fact: When Jon Jr dropped out of the race early last year, he complained that it had “degenerated into an onslaught of negative and personal attacks.”

To Hades, all of you. The youngen are trained to be as charlatanic as the old ones. Slow Hades!

Schadenfreude on November 1, 2013 at 7:19 PM

The guy whom Lee replaced was an old and bitter scumbag of the first rate, TARP too.

Schadenfreude on November 1, 2013 at 7:20 PM

Huntsman Sr. responds via Deseret News.

Buy Danish on November 1, 2013 at 7:24 PM

This just goes to show you how far the establishment will go. Romney was the establishment candidate, yet Huntsman, (let’s never forget his son was Obama’s first ambassador to China) felt he had to stab him in the back with this. The establishment doesn’t care if their candidate wins, just so long as they retain their power. In this case, I’m guessing it was more that sonny boy didn’t make the grade. Could be he tried to ramble on in Chinese during a debate and it didn’t work.

bflat879 on November 1, 2013 at 7:30 PM

…the Huntsman…are all girls!

KOOLAID2 on November 1, 2013 at 7:31 PM

There’s a reason I couldn’t support Huntsman in the primary, besides just how far to the left he was. The man and his family, left a horribly bad taste in my mouth. I take a close look at the families of candidates, since they tend to give you a decent idea of a candidates nature. The Huntsman struck me as rich dysfunctional liberals that were badly acting a role. I didn’t get that off the Romney’s.

WolvenOne on November 1, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Abby… Normal?

the_nile on November 1, 2013 at 7:42 PM

That’s a shame, isn’t he suppose to be the nicest and most generous person in the whole world. Isn’t he a close friend of Glenn Beck? I wonder what he has to say about the rumor?

Cindy Munford on November 1, 2013 at 7:47 PM

It is obvious that any rumors about Romney’s taxes came from Lois Lerners office.

Fleuries on November 1, 2013 at 7:54 PM

Anyhoo, I figured Lois Lerner was probably the source. I wasn’t aware that tax returns were shared with partners but I guess I was wrong about that.Buy Danish on November 1, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Just finished reading what AP laid out. Knowing what we now know about Lerner & Tea Party/Conservative Organizations being denied/delayed status, the IRS was my first guess also.

Two important revelations this week related to the targeting of conservative and Tea Party groups.

First, Lois Lerner has been caught feeding confidential tax information to the Federal Election Commissions, including the infamous questionaires. Via Judicial Watch, which obtained the documents, IRS’ Lerner Disclosed Confidential Information about Tax Status of Conservative Groups to FEC:

Earlier in the week Eliana Johnson at National review detailed the results of IRS leaks about the National Organization for Marriage to its political opponent, the pro-gay marriage Human Rights Campaitn. Most outrageous is how the the law protects the identify of the illegal leaker. Investigation IDs IRS Leaker:

More here:

http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/11/irs-leak-week/

bluefox on November 1, 2013 at 8:01 PM

I still think that Reid had access to IRS data via the Dem network of political operatives.

onlineanalyst on November 1, 2013 at 6:48 PM

I always thot so too. Reid kept pressing the issue. I think he had IRS info, but couldn’t reveal that. So he wanted Romney to cave and release the tax returns and then Reid & the Dems would use that against him.

Lois Lerner is behind much more than has come out yet.

bluefox on November 1, 2013 at 8:12 PM

hmmmmm…Steve Hayes just said on fnc that Huntsman was the loser of the week because the book said that he was working on his prezy campaign while he worked for barry?

i wonder if axelrod was helping him

r keller on November 1, 2013 at 7:04 PM

I remember hearing that while he was still in the race. Not too much came of it however.

Time Magazine & The New Yorker writers? I wouldn’t take their word for much at all. They just want to sell their new book and slam Republicans.

bluefox on November 1, 2013 at 8:22 PM

Why didn’t we have any decent candidates to oppose Romney? Maybe Romney had done something to stack the deck in his favor.
anotherJoe on November 1, 2013 at 6:38 PM

There were spoilers to reduce camera time, and to dilute the vote. IMHO Huntsman was a spoiler. He was there for himself, but usable. Billionaire Adelson (amnesty, abortion, national health) was Newt’s major donor. Newt shot himself in the foot supporting amnesty. Adelson was also huge Romney donor.

It is obvious that any rumors about Romney’s taxes came from Lois Lerners office.

Fleuries on November 1, 2013 at 7:54 PM

I think so too

entagor on November 1, 2013 at 8:33 PM

Huntsman Sr. responds via Deseret News.

Buy Danish on November 1, 2013 at 7:24 PM

Thanks for posting that. From that article:

Jon M. Huntsman Sr., who is in town for a gala Friday night, said a new book’s claim that he told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2012 that Mitt Romney had not paid a decade’s worth of taxes was untrue.

He went on to call the book’s claim, “supermarket tabloid trash,” and said that he did not know the authors of the book and had not spoken to them.

“I have no way of knowing if Mitt Romney did or did not pay his taxes,” Huntsman said Friday.

bluefox on November 1, 2013 at 8:43 PM

Dingy was only trying to change the subject away from his own pedophilia problems.

slickwillie2001 on November 1, 2013 at 9:21 PM

I thought Jon Huntsman Sr was a man of integrity. But no friend of Harry Reid could be that.

Sayonara Jon, and your nasty son, too.

disa on November 1, 2013 at 10:09 PM

Anyhoo, I figured Lois Lerner was probably the source. I wasn’t aware that tax returns were shared with partners but I guess I was wrong about that.

Buy Danish on November 1, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Perhaps she flipped that info to as many willing ears that would listen and see who would do the heavy lifting. She may have well been involved and Huntsman was the one who prodded Reid.

Don’t know much about Huntsman Sr, but definitely unimpressed with Jeb and his wenches.

kim roy on November 1, 2013 at 10:23 PM

disa on November 1, 2013 at 10:09 PM

I wouldn’t be too quick to take the words of a Times writer & a New Yorker writer.

At least read what Mr. Huntsman Sr said about this new book.

Link here: Buy Danish on November 1, 2013 at 7:24 PM

bluefox on November 1, 2013 at 10:25 PM

Here’s Abby Huntsman, Jon Jr’s daughter and new co-host of “The Cycle,”

Wow. A no-name hack on a no-name show on a no-name network. We just hit the irrelevancy trifecta.

Myron Falwell on November 1, 2013 at 10:59 PM

This was already mentioned on Breitbart awhile ago.

bluegill on November 1, 2013 at 6:02 PM

But, nevertheless, glad to see it covered here.

John Huntsman, Sr. seems like an untrustworthy slime.

I don’t trust anyone in the Huntsman clan. They are anti-conservative and they love playing the part of “Republican who agrees that Republicans are bad” for the benefit of a liberal audience wanting to be told how bad Republicans supposedly are.

bluegill on November 1, 2013 at 6:05 PM
Allah, you should look into trying to steal the writer Tony Lee from Breitbart.

He’s great. Always on top of things. The Palinistas would also love him. Anyway, he’s the one who covered this story yesterday for them.

bluegill on November 1, 2013 at 6:21 PM

?
?
?

KOOLAID2 on November 1, 2013 at 11:34 PM

I’m acquainted with an extended member of the Huntsman family. Long before the Huntsman family became a national name I was painted a picture through this acquaintance of a very successful but overly-controlling, sometimes-vindictive patriarch. Years ago a friend of mine used to joke that if our mutual acquaintance ever disappeared, Senior would be the first person he would suspect. I believe the Huntsman family is a collection of complex and somewhat troubled personalities. I believe Jon Huntsman, Sr. does a lot of good things and has a good heart, but is also very emotional and competitive to an extreme level. I believe he’s quick to anger and slow to forgive and forget. I find Harry Reid the lowest of the political life forms; soulless and nearly devoid of any integrity. During the election I also believed he had fabricated the Romney tax smear but with what I’ve long-concluded about Sr., in spite of his recent denials, I consider the possibility that he was the source of the rumor to be credible. Regardless, if there truly was a source, I believe Harry Reid knew the rumor to be untrue.

With regards to character, I have to mention that Mitt Romney, unlike Reid and Jon Huntsman, Sr., I believe to be as simple and as good a man as you will find for someone who has achieved so much. Many armchair pundits like to lump the political player’s personalities and characters all together (I’m including Huntsman, Sr.) but in spite of some differences I’ve had with Romney over the past 20 years or so that I have followed him, I’ve found him to be exceptionally honorable—as much as you will find for a politician. Over the past year I’ve had some long discussions with another acquaintance who worked on his presidential campaign and what I’ve learned from him has reinforced that belief. For every Mitt Romney in national politics, there are a hundred or more Huntsmans who look at all competing participants as unforgivable adversaries. Until the electorate can learn to discern the two, politics will be a nasty enterprise.

tyrex on November 2, 2013 at 2:50 AM

Third cousin don’t mean a thing.

steebo77 on November 2, 2013 at 3:29 AM

The Huntsmans are leftist dirtbags!

redware on November 2, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Huntsman, Jr., thought he could waltz in and get the nomination handed to him because he’s(fill in the blanks). He didn’t have the will to fight for it and dropped out. This is no country for old rinos or Huntsman Jrs who won’t fight.

Kissmygrits on November 2, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Buy Danish on November 1, 2013 at 6:21 PM

I doubt you will ever see this but if Ms. Lerner said it wouldn’t she have to be extra careful that it was true, given her position with the IRS, or why even say it? Since I don’t think it is true and Mr. Huntsman’s rather weaselly “I have no way of knowing if Mitt Romney did or did not pay his taxes,” Huntsman said Friday, he seems like a good prospect for the leak.

Cindy Munford on November 2, 2013 at 11:14 AM

tyrex on November 2, 2013 at 2:50 AM

I believe it. If I think the only real “criticism” people can make of Go. Romney is that he is too nice. In his shoes, I’d take that insult all day long.

Cindy Munford on November 2, 2013 at 11:17 AM

This is obviously a Mormon thing. We non-Mormons should stay out of it.

David Blue on November 2, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Unfortunately, the LSM appears to like the Huntsmans.

TimBuk3 on November 2, 2013 at 1:33 PM

John Huntsman, Jr. is just a meeker, skinnier version of Chris Christie. People like to talk about how “charismatic” Christie supposedly is, but I just think he’s a bigmouth. Chris Christie = John Huntsman+John McCain+Charlie Crist all rolled into one. We ought to remember that as we read about what lying traitors the Huntsmans are.

bluegill on November 1, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Yup. They’re all power-hungry dirtbags. Do not put your faith in men (or women).

Jaibones on November 4, 2013 at 7:56 PM