Gotta Watch: Huntsman's presidential campaign
Republican presidential candidate and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman campaigns at Keene State College on January 08, 2012
January 16th, 2012
12:38 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Huntsman's presidential campaign

On June 21, 2011, former Utah Governor and U.S.ambassador to China Jon Hunstman announced his candidacy for president. He began his campaign in Liberty State Park, the same place where Ronald Reagan announced his bid for president in 1980. Over the past several months, the moderate conservative traveled across the country to tout his tax plan and foreign policy views. However, his campaign never really got the momentum he needed.  Huntsman finished last in the Iowa caucus and third in the New Hampshire primary. Despite the endorsement by South Carolina's largest newspaper, Huntsman decided it was time to end his campaign and back one of his rivals. Today's Gotta Watch features a look back at Huntsman's campaign, his feisty exchanges with Mitt Romney and the end of his bid for the White House.

Bad-mouthing Mitt - During his campaign, Huntsman attacked Romney on everything from tax policy to health care to his views on China.

A message for Mitt - During his campaign, Huntsman sent a message to Romney, the winner of the Iowa caucuses. "Welcome to New Hampshire. Nobody cares." That, and a nod to the Grateful Dead, were some of the more memorable highlights from his run for the GOP nomination.

To quit and endorse Mitt -  In the end, Huntsman decided he shouldn't continue on, and suspended his campaign. And, despite their "differences," Huntsman gave Romney his endorsement.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • China • Economy • Gotta Watch • Health Care • Iowa • Jobs • Mitt Romney • New Hampshire • Politics • Republican Party • South Carolina • U.S. • World
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. dwcusc

    I didn't mind Huntsman that much. Although I didn't like his attack on Congressman Ron Paul. In all honesty for Huntsman to have ended his campaign truly consistently as being outside the mainstream, he should have endorsed Ron Paul. Not Romney. Might as well just endorse Obama. Ron Paul 2012!!

    January 16, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Maybe I am mistaken, but I believe it was a "ronbot" that attacked Huntsman for being multi-cultural.

      January 16, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mmmmm ♔♕

    endorsement of romney will be accepted with the same degree of confidence the gop caucus accepted huntman.

    January 16, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. TheTraveler

    Look, the dude lives in Utah ... he has to endorse Romney or the Mormons will have missionaries at his door 24/7 ...

    January 16, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. justthefacts

    Too bad–he seemed to have the most character of the GOP group. One would wonder if the whole Romney/Bain Capital issue helped drive Huntsman out. Huntsman's dad started a venture equity firm a few years ago named Huntsman Gay Global Capital. If you go to the firm's website and look at "Our Team" you might be surprised at the number of former Bain Capital employees in various capacities currently at Huntsman/Gay.

    January 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Pete/Ark

    Damn sad statement about the Rebublican Party I used to belong to when the only decent, intelligent candidate is eliminated as unacceptable to the new "mainstream". If the leftovers represent the "mainstream, the stream has been badly not drink here.

    January 16, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • charlie

      The republican party of today stands for nothing, but will stoop to anything. They have no bottom, there is no low that is too low. I think Jon Hunstman really had something going for him, right up until he endorsed Mitt. Obama is potentially a better Republican by Reagan standards than any of the existing candidates.

      January 16, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. BOBBY

    Oh look...GOP voters have done it again....Iced out the best GOP Candidate.....what a surprize.

    January 16, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. OTHOG

    Go Ron Paul!!!! Romney will not be good for the country. He has no idea about the problems of the middle class or those below middle class.

    January 16, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Revolution 2012

    RON PAUL for president 2012!!!
    ron paul 2012 com

    January 16, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrea M

      You go have fun with that. I'm going to let my money actually be put to some good use instead of throwing it at a political candidate/nutter. Don't waste your cash, go throw it at a local business instead.

      January 16, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kandi

    @ OTHOG, its not so much Romney doesnt know whats going on with the middle class, its more like he DOESNT CARE dont ya think? They all need a wake up call! Example in the bee world, if all the worker bees die the queen bees end up with hives & no honey!

    January 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dana safe in Alaska

    Mormons are a virus that needs to be exterminated and a mormon will never be President.

    January 16, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tokoloshe

      I know a few in Alaska that come come visit you.

      January 16, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • jdaniel

      ouch... that's a little harsh dana. That's what they tried to do back in missouri. I thought people had finally agreed that was wrong. guess not... haha wow.

      January 16, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emitr

      I live in Alaska, too, but I don't believe in genocide.

      January 16, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Harry Hartley

    More slime politics! Less than a week ago, Huntsman was going off about how horrible Mitt he's endorsing him?! No principles whatsoever here. If I was a former Huntsman supporter, I would be infuriated or ashamed of having supported such a shallow individual who's words obviously mean nothing. I thought Huntsman had some class, now I see he's just another opportunist! Booooooo.

    January 16, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. eagander

    Huntsman who???? 'nough said.

    January 16, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Andrea M

    Huntsman never stood a chance, but it was wonderful to see someone sane and intelligent at least give it a try. Now that he has some name recognition, maybe he'll make a proper go of it in 2016.

    January 16, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Silence Dogood IX

    I always knew Huntsman was a liar, fake and a sellout! The problem is, he never gained enough traction for people to really look at his record! BUT I DID!!! Check out this video about the truth of Jon Huntsman! It should come as no surprise that he is backing Obamney!!

    Or just search YouTube for "Consistently Wrong"

    January 16, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ghanva

    Are we seolrusiy letting people like them run for office?Are we really that stupid? or paranoid? if we are then I guess we do deserve these hard times because we lack the sense of finding a real leader.

    February 13, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
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