Is Jon Huntsman Leaving the Republican Party?

Please read this whole article for background on this story. Hunstman was dis-invited from a Republican function after he said nice things about Americans Elect, remarks we reported on here. Following his dis-invitation Hunstman compared the Republican Party to the Communist Party of China. An internet firestorm ensued. Like I said, read the article to do the story justice.

Yes, he has endorsed Mitt Romney for president, though his expression when he does so has all the spontaneous pleasure of the star of a hostage tape. He cites President Barack Obama’s failure to work the levers of power to accomplish change—intriguingly, he contrasts Obama not with a Republican president, but with Bill Clinton—and Romney’s understanding of the free market and job creation. (Huntsman was animated in scorning Republican candidates who called for a hard line on China or protective tariffs—notions that Romney has enthusiastically embraced.)

The real message he is carrying is that both parties–the “duopoly,” as he calls it—are paralyzed by polarization and inertia, and that the Republican Party in particular is pursuing an “unsustainable” course.

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12 thoughts on “Is Jon Huntsman Leaving the Republican Party?

  1. Root Sucks

    I was excited when I read this over the weekend. He was on Morning Joe yesterday though and he dialed back his criticism of Romney and reaffirmed his Republican affiliation. It seems as though chances are slim that he’d make the jump to AE now. David Walker it is then.

  2. Steven Berson

    Americans Elect, the recently revived Reform (which if Buddy Roemer stays active with he could help continue an actual movement of former moderate GOP’ers defection towards), Modern Whig or Citizens Party are all nascent “rational/pragmatic/centrist” efforts that I think Huntsman would fit in well with. With American Elects being by far the best funded and with the largest amount of ballot access – but of course also the most “astroturf” rather than actual grassroots – of all of these.

  3. Trent Hill

    Michael H. Wilson–I know. We’re working on it. But at least now it has been minimized to sa harmless pop-up.

  4. Gene Berkman

    “Hunstman compared the Republican Party to the Communist Party of China.”

    I think he is on to something here. In both of the pro-government parties, party discipline is much stronger than when I first got into politics, with discipline maintained by national fund-raising.

    The GOP is also more like the CPC in its promotion of a personality cult, particularly when George W Bush was President.

    In his book on “Reclaiming Conservatism” former Congressman Mickey Edwards notes that the 2004 Republican platform mentioned President Bush by name 228 times.

    In the 1980s the Communist Party of China established party-to-party relations with the Republican National Committee, but I am not sure if they have maintained these formal contacts since the fall of the Soviet Union.

  5. Trent Hill

    Huntsman/Bayh. AE ticket in 2012. That ticket, with significant financial backing, could do pretty well.

  6. Nick

    John Huntsman will do better as an independent. He’s to close to the center for the modern Republican Party, and is seen as a RINO.

  7. bill

    The RINO thing is going to sink the republican party. It isn’t nor has been much of a ‘big tent’ party.

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