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. Jason

    Well... I used to respect Huntsman.

    Ron Paul 2012

    January 16, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • JWI

      Ron Paul is a joke. His economic ideas are frightening. It's 19th century thinking. While he's at it why not just repeal all regulatory agencies?
      I'll be voting Obama

      January 16, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. joseph

    Huntsman....what a hypocrite!....At one time he said that Romney was the status quo, and that this nation can't afford a status quo president...and who does he endorse MITT ROMNEY...
    So a suppossed NOT_MITT ROMNEY candidate endorse MITT ROMNEY....what a joke

    January 16, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. fedup99

    Its just like all of the republican leadership said day one after Obamas victory. Our number one task is to make sure Obama is a one term president. Somehow, I think the congressional leadership of the second ranked party should have had higher goals, like making America a success. As an American and evryone of should feel the same, we've been terribly let down. Not by the president but, by congress.

    January 16, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. fistface

    Well there goes the GOP's best shot at turning everything around... His endorsement of Romney's is very puzzling as they where pretty much night and day.

    January 16, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mr. Man

    CNN, why are you so afraid of Ron Paul? Your main article barely mentions him in the LAST PARAGRAPH, yet he has 20% of the vote in SC, and will likely finish 2nd – while Santorum and Perry have 7% and less respectively. Clearly you're horribly biased here, and your fear of Ron Paul against our system makes him my sure vote – even write-in if necessary.

    January 16, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      Ron Paul is considered too wacky for many people and won't be nominated. If CNN was pushing for Obama, they'd cheer on Ron Paul as the Republican candidate.

      January 16, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clarissa

      "wacky" is what all the other retards are, not Ron Paul because he makes the MOST sense. It's just so different from anything we have ever heard and people run away from different, in fact, people hate what's different. I will be completely shocked if Ron Paul receives the nomination, and then I will be torn between voting for Obama or Paul. But I can tell you now, those debates between Paul and Obama will be EPIC.

      January 16, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • nondescript

      agreed with Clarissa.

      January 16, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Clarissa, the use of that one word took away most of the validity of your post....

      January 16, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    Forget about the primaries. Skewed, horrible media bias, potentially even rigged...if Ron Paul does not win GOP nomination and does not run Independent – just do a write-in. Myself and hundreds of others I know will be writing-in Paul during the General Election. Do so and tell everyone else you know to do this also! Ron Paul 2012.

    January 16, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • fedup99

      Wow! Hundreds?!

      January 16, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Not me. People in the know, know that I'm voting Obama.

      January 16, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. FrankytheGreat

    Maybe they're hoping for an all Mormon ticket? It does seem hypocritcal, but I would expect nothing less. They are both bretheren in the Mormon faith. If one doesn't win, they will hope the other does, regardless of personal conviction.

    I'm still waiting for the media to get ahold of some interesting facts that would shed further light on Mormons. Especially the fact that they didn't allow people of color to hold the priesthood or enter the temple until 1974, which effectively barred people of color from entering the Celestial Kingdom (highest level of heaven). To this day, I believe there are no members of african descent, especially from the US, but I would wager from anywhere, that are represented in the Quorum of the 70 and there has never been a man of color to be appointed to the Quorum of the 12 Apostles.

    People are comparing him to Kennedy and saying he had the same issues, but that just isn't so. Comparing Catholics to Mormons, for outsiders seems a no brainer, but to people who have been on the inside of both faiths is like comparing apples and oranges. Discent and a 'cultural' acceptance of faith is tolerated within the Catholic Church. However, in Mormonism, you are expected to believe it all or be ostracized from the fold. There is little room for overt questioning and culture of shunning is often practiced.

    January 16, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • wazthesmallone

      Franky, perhaps the Church is growing and adapting...look it took them up until 2004 just to add a non-american to the Quorum of Twelve...remember when the USA had laws barring black people from riding a bus with white people or swimming in the same pool, remember the whites only drinking fountains?...alot of things change over many of the 265 Popes of the Catholic Church have been non-white....0.....just saying mate! Give the religious rhetoric a rest pal.

      January 16, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • timmyboy

      Joseph Sitati

      January 16, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mickey

      Dissent is tolorated in the Catholic Church??? Since when? Given the fact that Joseph Smith was raised Catholic and structured his church as such (never noticed the similarities???) perhaps not the best argument you could raise.

      I hope Huntsman becomes Secretary of State if Mitt Romney wins – he would be an excellent choice. Of course I'm hoping that President Obama wins.

      January 16, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. CNN

    Dear CNN,
    You lie and give us your option based news. Your job should be gathering the news and giving us (Americans) the facts. Instead, you lie, give one sided news, and push your option based views on us (Americans). If I had to grade you on your job performance and how well you give the facts to the American people. You get an F. Just give us the facts and not option based news from a hand full of weird one way journalist. It's not hard to see that you favor a particular party and it shows that you are a one way news agency. It would be greatly appreciated and benefical to all of us (Americans) if you did your job.

    January 16, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Hey man, 90% of us are just here for the entertainment and get our real news from real sources. It's those other 10% I'm worried about...

      January 16, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • fedup99

      I dont get the specifics of your rant!?

      January 16, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Not me.

      January 16, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Frederick John

    Come on guys, get real... Romney simply bought Huntsman out, either with cash or with promises of posts on his cabinet. That's why these secondary candidates run as long as they do; long enough for people to remember them and annoying enough that they take away 10 – 15% of potential votes in some states and so the front runners with money will eventually buy them out. This is simple politics.

    January 16, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • geraldjones

      Maybe in Obama's corrupt Chicagoland world that would be a reality....NOBAMA...were not buying your b.s. cnn!

      January 16, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Samurai Night Fever

    He should not have endorsed anyone. Endorsing Mittens lowers his credibility. I think it was a half hearted endorsement at best.

    January 16, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. geraldjones

    CNN struggles to try to keep B.O. in power.... CNN keep trying, it's not working

    January 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Obama will win.

      January 16, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Farting Fernadez the Third.

    Talk about falling in line.

    what a sheep, no principle, no backbone, thank god he never got elected.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sampon

      Agree, his true colors came out. Bigger yes man than Obama.

      January 16, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Observer

    Huntsman has just begun his campaign for vice president.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • fedup99


      January 16, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mark Halpert

    Every candidate tries to distinguish himself from his rivals
    – Johnson and Kennedy were bitter rivals until they became partners
    – Bush and Regan were bitter rivals until they became partners
    – Clinton and Obama were bitter rivals until they became partners

    Huntsman is a great person and I hope he becomes part of the Romney Administration

    January 16, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. banasy©

    Not the real banasy© at 1:42.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
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