Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Ashley Detrick | Tribune file photo) Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman
Huntsman to join bipartisan group No Labels

First Published Nov 27 2012 08:04 pm • Last Updated Mar 06 2013 11:34 pm

Washington • Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is signing on with a new movement to attempt to bridge the partisan divide that has left Washington in gridlock, charging that government leaders should be more focused on problem-solving, not point-scoring.

"Too many people in Washington believe that leading consists of imposing their will on the opposition. It is true of both parties," Huntsman, a Republican, said during a conference call organized by the group No Labels. "This all or nothing leadership is an attitude that may work on military battlefields or in competitive business markets ... but it’s a recipe for dysfunction in democratic politics."

Photos
Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Huntsman is expected to sign on as a co-chairman of No Labels, a Washington nonprofit that aims to bring Republicans, Democrats and independents together to solve pressing issues.

The one-time presidential candidate, who now sits on several corporate boards, said the nation is headed for a serious crisis if outside groups are able to keep up the polarization in Washington, D.C., and he plans to work with the No Labels group and members of Congress to help push the two sides back to the negotiating table.

"Compromise has got to be seen as more than a treasonous thing," Huntsman said on the call with some 700 supporters of the group.

No Labels was founded by Democratic fundraiser Nancy Jacobsen, Republican strategist Mark McKinnon and former U.S. Comptroller David Walker.

The new gig for Huntsman dovetails with his pitch he made while running for the Republican nomination that throwing out red meat to voters doesn’t solve anything. That message didn’t resonate with Republican primary voters, and he withdrew after a third-place showing in New Hampshire.

University of Utah political scientist Matthew Burbank said that Huntsman has earned credibility with his career in the government and private sector, and he can make some good points on compromising.

"It kind of fits his take on politics well," Burbank said. "The problem is, it’s unlikely to go anywhere. ... It’s easy to say, ‘Let’s compromise.’ It’s hard to argue against that. The problem is always what are we compromising."

No Labels has said it’s not launching a new third party and is trying to use its influence to groom a grassroots base that will push members of Congress to work together. The group is attempting to sign on federal lawmakers who agree with the No Labels plea and plans to unveil a list in January in New York City.


story continues below
story continues below

Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat who refused to endorse President Barack Obama during the election, is expected to be the other co-chair of the No Labels group.

During Tuesday’s call, Huntsman said he agreed with some proposals that would encourage lawmakers to compromise, including the idea that members of Congress would forfeit their pay if they don’t pass a budget.

Huntsman added on the call that a vacuum of real leadership during the past few years has left politicians more worried about blaming the other party than sitting down with them.

"There’s no conceivable path forward on the debt [crisis] unless Republicans and Democrats reach across the aisle," Huntsman said.

tburr@sltrib.com



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.