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Democrats remind: Huntsman hasn't been fond of Romney

Published January 16, 2012 7:40 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Shortly after work leaked that former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman was withdrawing from the presidential race and endorsing rival Mitt Romney, the Democratic National Committee blasted out an email to remind folks that the two White House hopefuls weren't always the best of buddies. In fact, the two have attacked each other often this race.

"While the Huntsman campaign tries to rewrite history, let us remind you of some of Jon Huntsman's greatest hits against Mitt Romney," the DNC said in their email. And now to their opposition research:

HUNTSMAN SAID ROMNEY WAS MAKING HIMSELF UNELECTABLE

Huntsman Said Romney's Lack Of "Core" And "Trust" "Makes You Unelectable Against Barack Obama." "MR. GREGORY: But my question is, Mitt Romney in your view cannot beat President Obama? MR. HUNTSMAN: I, I think when you're on too many sides of the issues of the day, when you don't have that core, when there's that element of trust out there, I think that becomes a problem, and I think it makes you unelectable against Barack Obama." [Meet the Press, 11/6/11]

Huntsman Said Romney Was Making Himself "Completely Unelectable." Huntsman: "First of all, you've got to get elected to office for heaven's sake, and making statements like that you render yourself completely unelectable. Whether you're referring to economic policy, it really becomes more of a political issue, when you've got the Chicago political machine and $1 billion bearing down on you. You make a statement like, you talk about pink slips, and pretty soon you're going to lose the high ground." [Kudlow Report, via Think Progress, 1/9/12]

HUNTSMAN SAID VOTERS WOULD HAVE A HARD TIME TRUSTING ROMNEY

Huntsman Said Romney Could Not Be Trusted. The increasingly John McCain-ish campaign of Jon Huntsman has been making trust a big issue lately, and he kept up the theme on Greta Van Susteren's show last night. VAN SUSTEREN: What is the biggest difference - if someone lines you up next to Governor Romney, you're both former governors, what is the biggest difference between the two of you if someone's trying to decide whether to vote for you or Governor Romney? HUNTSMAN: One word - trust. I have a core that doesn't change. I have been the same from start to finish. People might not always agree with what I've done but I have a consistent Conservative record, I speak from my heart, I do what I think is right for this country and I'm not going to vary. And I think that trust - the issue of trust - is going to be a central theme in this election cycle. VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think he's not trustworthy? HUNTSMAN: I don't think he's made the case to the American people. VAN SUSTEREN: But do you think he's not trustworthy? HUNTSMAN: He hasn't made the case to the American people. VAN SUSTEREN: Has he made it to you? HUNTSMAN: Not convincingly. He's a good father, he's a good family man, I respect him, he's a decent person. But he has not made an effective case for trust in his campaign." [The Hill, 1/10/12]

Huntsman Dodged A Question On Whether He Can Trust Romney. "If Iowa is the place where candidates leave licking their wounds, New Hampshire is where they come to pour salt in them. And waiting in the Granite State with a giant salt shaker is former Utah governor Jon Huntsman. In an interview with ABC News, Huntsman refused to say that Mitt Romney is a person he trusts. He balked at the question, not once, not twice, but three times." [ABC News, 1/3/12]

Huntsman: "I Think [Romney's] Been On Three Sides Of Every Major Issue Of The Day." Huntsman: "I think he's been on 3 sides of every major issue of the day. And I think because of that it's going to be very tough in the end to be able to make that trust argument to the American people." [Huntsman Interview With ABC News, 1/3/12]

Huntsman: "You Know The Issues That [Romney] Has Flip Flopped ON, That's Where You're Going To Have A Trust Problem." Huntsman: "You know the issues that he flip flopped on, that's where you're going to have a trust problem. Because he's said one thing and then he's found himself on the other side of those issues." [Huntsman Interview With ABC News, 1/3/12]

HUNTSMAN ATTACKED ROMNEY FOR LACKING A "CORE" AND BEING A "WEATHER VANE"

Huntsman: Romney Has "Morphed Himself So Many Times" That Voters Will "Have A Hard Time Getting A Bead On Where His Core Is." Huntsman: "I said he's morphed himself so many times that for many of the voters I think they're going to find during an election that is based on trust that they're going to have a hard time getting a bead on where his core is. You run for the senate as a liberal. You run for governor as a moderate. You run for president as a conservative. Where are you at the end of the day? That's a legitimate question that people have." [State Of The Union, CNN, 1/8/12]

Huntsman Called Romney "A Perfectly Lubricated Weather Vane On The Important Issues Of The Day." Huntsman continued popular criticism of Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, by accusing him of changing his positions on issues including Libya, the debt ceiling and Ohio's bill to limit the collective bargaining rights of union workers. 'You can't be a perfectly lubricated weather vane on the important issues of the day,' Huntsman said. 'Romney has been missing in action in terms of showing any kind of leadership.'" [CNN, 10/28/11]

HUNTSMAN ATTACKED ROMNEY FOR HIS POOR RECORD ON JOB CREATION

Huntsman Criticized Romney's Jobs Record As Governor Of Massachusetts, Which Is "Going To Stand Out A Lot More Prominently In People's Minds, I Believe, Than Anything You Did In The Private Sector." "Huntsman, whose family owns a petro-chemical conglomerate, rejected Romney's claim that his experience as chief executive officer of the private equity firm Bain Capital LLC was an important credential to be president and create jobs. As he campaigns across the country, Romney has made his business experience a central argument for his candidacy. Instead, Huntsman said voters should look at his four-year record as governor of Massachusetts. 'If you've got dead last, practically, in terms of job creation, that's going to stand out a lot more prominently in people's minds, I believe, than anything you did in the private sector,' he said." [Bloomberg, 1/6/12; Political Capital with Al Hunt, Bloomberg, 1/6/12]

Huntsman: Under Romney, Massachusetts Was 47th In The Nation In Creating Jobs. Huntsman: "Those of us who are governors, have very specific job creation records. I delivered a flat tax in my state. We became the top job creator in the country. Mitt in Massachusetts was number 47." [Huntsman, ABC News/WMUR Debate, 1/7/12]

HUNTSMAN CRITICIZED ROMNEY'S RECORD AS GOVERNOR

Huntsman Criticized Romney For Passing "Health Care Reform With A Mandate." "'I think it's more instructive to look at Gov. Romney's record as governor,' the former Utah governor added. 'He was elected to serve his four people for four years. What did he do for the economy? He didn't deliver any big, bold economic proposals. I delivered the largest tax cut in the history of my state, a flat tax as well. He delivered health care reform with a mandate. He raised taxes $750 million worth.'" [Politico, 1/11/12]

Huntsman Criticized Romney For Raising Taxes In Massachusetts. "'I think it's more instructive to look at Gov. Romney's record as governor,' the former Utah governor added. 'He was elected to serve his four people for four years. What did he do for the economy? He didn't deliver any big, bold economic proposals. I delivered the largest tax cut in the history of my state, a flat tax as well. He delivered health care reform with a mandate. He raised taxes $750 million worth.'" [Politico, 1/11/12]

Huntsman: Romney "Didn't Deliver Any Big, Bold Economic Proposals." "'I think it's more instructive to look at Gov. Romney's record as governor,' the former Utah governor added. 'He was elected to serve his four people for four years. What did he do for the economy? He didn't deliver any big, bold economic proposals. I delivered the largest tax cut in the history of my state, a flat tax as well. He delivered health care reform with a mandate. He raised taxes $750 million worth.'" [Politico, 1/11/12]

Huntsman Said Unlike Romney, He's Always Been Pro-Life, Pro-Second Amendment And For Health Care Reform With A Mandate. "Jon Huntsman on Friday crowed over his endorsement by the Boston Globe, saying the paper understands the stark differences between him and Mitt Romney. 'They knew of my record. I'm pro-life, always have been, unlike Gov. Romney, pro-Second Amendment, always have been, unlike Gov. Romney pro growth, largest tax cut in the history of my state, health care reform without a mandate, unlike Gov. Romney,' Huntsman said on Fox News. 'They know all of that. They liked what they heard, they liked what they saw.'" [Politico, 1/6/12; Interview, Fox News, 1/6/12]

HUNTSMAN ATTACKED ROMNEY'S LEADERSHIP

Huntsman Said That Romney's "Been Missing In Action In Terms Of Showing Any Kind Of Leadership" On The Issues Of Libya, The Debt Ceiling, Or The Union Bills In Ohio. "Jon Huntsman called Mitt Romney a 'perfectly lubricated weathervane,' criticizing the former Massachusetts governor on flip-flopping positions. 'This is when the candidates need to stand up and show a little bit of leadership,' Huntsman said Friday on CNN. 'You can't be a perfectly lubricated weathervane on the important issues of the day, whether it's Libya, whether it's the debt ceiling, whether it's discussion about the Kasich bill in Ohio where Gov. Romney has been missing in action in terms of showing any kind of leadership.'" [The Hill, 10/28/11]

Huntsman Attacked Romney's Late Statement On The Debt Ceiling Saying "It's Easy To Take A Political Position Later On. It's Tough To Take A Position Early On, Which Is The Real World." "Yesterday, Mitt Romney broke his relative silence on the debt debate, releasing a statement opposing the deal. Why did he oppose it? The likely calculation he and his team made was that his health-care law already tests the patience of many conservatives, and so he can't give them a 'list' of reasons to be against him. Why add one more thing to that list? Bottom line: He has no margin for error for some conservatives. But the way he spoke out on it (or didn't) risks undercutting the basic premise of his campaign — that he's willing to lead because the president's not. It's THAT aspect his opponents have picked up on. In New Hampshire yesterday, Jon Huntsman delivered this shot at Romney, per NBC's Jo Ling Kent: 'It's easy to take a political position later on. It's tough to take a position early on, which is the real world.' And today, Politico coins this phrase: the 'Mittness Protection Program.'" [First Read, MSNBC, 8/2/11]

Huntsman Campaign: "Romney Has Been Either Unwilling Or Unable To Offer A Clear Position On Issues Important To Voters" Including "The Debt Ceiling Crisis." "'Whether it's the debt ceiling debate, the Ohio ballot initiatives, or military action in Libya, Mitt Romney has been either unwilling or unable to offer a clear position on issues important to voters,' said Tim Miller, candidate Jon Huntsman's spokesman. 'Leadership requires taking a stand on tough issues, even if it carries political risk.'" [Associated Press, 11/19/11]

HUNTSMAN ATTACKED ROMNEY'S TIME AT BAIN CAPITAL

Huntsman: "I Will Always Put My Country First. It Seems That Governor Romney Believes In Putting Politics First. Governor Romney Enjoys Firing People. I Enjoy Creating Jobs." [Politico, 1/9/12]

Huntsman: "Private Equity, Like Bain, Traditionally Has Not Been Famous For Expanding The Economic Base - Manufacturing Has Been." "Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, referring to Romney's work running Bain Capital, which specialized in leveraged buyouts of existing companies, said 'Private equity, like Bain, traditionally has not been famous for expanding the economic base - manufacturing has been.'" [Boston Globe, 1/8/12]

HUNTSMAN SAID THE NATION WAS DIVIDED BECAUSE OF ATTITUDES LIKE ROMNEY'S

Huntsman: "This Nation Is Divided Because Of Attitudes Like That." At a recent debate, Jon Huntsman responded to Mitt Romney, who attacked him for serving as ambassador to China under President Obama. Huntsman said he put his country first and then said, "This nation is divided because of attitudes like that." [NBC Debate, 1/8/12]

— Thomas BurrTwitter.com/thomaswburr