Huntsman zinged over campaign strategy
June 6th, 2011
11:41 AM ET
3 years ago

Huntsman zinged over campaign strategy

(CNN) - A top Iowa Republican said potential presidential candidate Jon Huntsman is "not ready for the big dance" if he stands by his decision not to compete in the 2012 Iowa caucuses should he run for president.

Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz, a fellow Mormon, said Huntsman's comments are a sign the former Utah governor needs "a lesson in Iowa politics."

"Iowa is a bellwether state. We care about families, our faith and our freedom," Schultz said in a statement Monday. "We are not single-issue voters … Hopefully Mr. Huntsman will change his mind and come to Iowa and explain how he plans on fixing the problems facing our country."

Over the weekend, Huntsman, according to multiple news organizations, said he would skip the Hawkeye state because he does not believe in "subsidies that prop up corn, soybeans and ethanol," a risky stance in the state that leads the country in corn production.

GOP presidential contender and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty made a similar statement during his campaign announcement in Iowa, where he called for the phasing out of federal government subsidies.

Pawlenty, who has neither high name recognition nor independent wealth, does not have the luxury of skipping Iowa. However, it may be a different situation for Huntsman, who will likely take a Romney-esque approach to the presidential campaign calendar if he jumps in the race, focusing his energy in New Hampshire, Florida and South Carolina.

Whatever his strategy, Schultz said Huntsman's position means the former U.S. ambassador to China is not ready for a run in 2012.

"Is Jon Huntsman not coming to Iowa because he opposes ethanol subsidies or because he is afraid to explain his positions on other issues?" Schultz said. "If Mr. Huntsman refuses to compete in a bellwether state like Iowa, he's not ready for the big dance."

– On Monday, June 13, CNN will host the first New Hampshire Republican Presidential Debate, live from Manchester, NH at 8 p.m. ET. Follow all the issues and campaign news leading up to the debate on CNNPolitics.com and @cnnpolitics on Twitter.


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Jon Huntsman
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Realistic

    Republicans must play to the base of the right and Iowa is past the fringes and anyone who goes there will surely have a big price to pay. The republican candidate will have to explain to the rest of nation why they went so far right that they lost sight of the middle.

    June 6, 2011 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    It is not just Huntsman who is against farm subsidies, it is all Republicans. If he does not have the backbone to come out and say it to the farmer's faces, at least credit Pawlenty for wanting to try to tell them how it would make their lives better by taking a cut in their profits for the better good of the whole nation. (Since oil companies and financial sector refuse to chip in, it is up to the original backbone of our economy, our small business farmers. Right?)

    June 6, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    Hmmmm..... Didn't he learn anything from Guiliani's disaster in 2008? I thought htis guy was supposed to be smart? You need to compete in ALL states.

    June 6, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Removing the subsidies is good for the large conglomerates and bad for small business farmers, who are a disappearing breed.

    June 6, 2011 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    He needs to show his face everywhere to get some name recognition. If he doesn't, that could doom his chances. Even this is helpful to a minor degree.

    June 6, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Huntsman is the best shot you clowns have of posing some semblance of a competition with President Obama. The rest of the GObP Iowa-bound clown car can drive off the first cliff they encounter en-route.
    They are trying to jump all over Huntsman because he's expressed his disdain for Iowa's subsidies.
    Iowans might not be "single-issue voters" butin typical GObP fashion you're acting like single-cell organisms.

    June 6, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. gt

    i hope he is aganist ethanol...a waste of money and food... if he is in get ,, get in and let the country know a little about yourself ...

    June 6, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  8. diridi

    Romney is smart, he may pick this guy or George pataki....ny gov...but GOP is having dim chance...

    June 6, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  9. david anastos

    Iowa and New Hampshire should not be able to frame the discussion points for an election cycle when half the population lives in urban settings

    June 6, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    What I like about Huntsman is that he appears to have enough money to send EVERYBODY in his Party to hell, and he's acting as if he's not goiing to play GObP slimeball to try to get the Presidency.
    Obama 2012
    Huntsman 2016???

    June 6, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    Ethanol is the biggest scam and disaster going. The goverment wasting money to subsidize the destruction of food and driving up food prices. It costs more in energy to grow the corn and manufacture the ethanol than is saved in oil.

    Another horrendous idea and disatser brought to you by the "progressive" green agenda. Stupid is as stupid does.

    June 6, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  12. Mike Hawthorne

    Huntsman is skipping Iowa because they would vote him near last place due to his stand on farm subsidies (and he's simply too moderate for the far right Iowans). A bad vote standing in Iowa would make him appear to be a weak candidate for voters in other states leading to a downward spiral.

    He's absolutely correct to avoid Iowa and focus on states where he stands a chance to lead the pack. Candidates who are at the bottom of the primary pack after the first 3-4 states tend to drop out. He may not win the nomination but he's 10 times more likely than any other announced GOP candidate to defeat Obama. None of the others appeal to moderates and independents (the people who actually decide elections) the way Huntsman would.

    June 6, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  13. Busted2010

    I love the comment that Huntsman should come to Iowa to explain how we should fix America. The answer to fixing America starts in places like Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and the two Carolina's, get government invervention out of the market place, that means the elimination of job killing and price hiking farm and ethonal subsidies, and bloated defense spending. Iowa doesn't want to hear that, therefore Iowa is not interested in fixing America, Iowa wants to know what GOP candidates will do for Iowa, not what will they do for America.

    June 6, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  14. Bill

    Don't you have to be a candidate to have a campaign strategy? Last I looked, he had not announced his cadidacy.

    June 6, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  15. Busted2010

    @Rudy – the first thing Bush did after winning in 2000 was increase farm subsidies, and he did this before 9/11 so it is one of the few mistakes he can't blame on Bin Laden for. The "out of control" ethonal subsidies were passed by the Bush administration. Republilcans love farm subsidies, it is one of the reasons why red states receive more money in federal aid relative to what they spend in federal taxes. Republicans love farm subsidies and they love military spending, look at the Dakota's, the Carolina's, Kansas, Kentucky, Iowa these are all heavily subsidized states because of republicans.

    June 6, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  16. Busted2010

    @The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE – The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends – get your facts straight, or just stop watching Fox. There's a reason why it's republican states that benefit the most from the ethonal subsidie, and it's not because democrats like to pump cash into republicans districts. Pull your head out of the ground and get a clue.

    June 6, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  17. Phil in KC

    I agree with Schultz (one of the few times). You do not get to the presidency by ignoring Iowa. You don't have to win Iowa to get there, but you cannot ignore it.

    June 6, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  18. Huntsman can potentially win

    To the guy comparing Huntsman to Guiliani:

    That comparison is incorrect.

    McCain did not rank very high in the Iowa vote, but won New Hampshire and then continued on a winning streak until he secured a clear lead. Guiliani skipped all of the early states and focused on Florida, which was a very different strategy than Huntsman is pursuing.

    One probably needs to win either Iowa or New Hampire, but not both. A candidate could win even without worrying about Iowa.

    Since Iowa does not hold a primary and instead has caucus it would be virtually impossible for Huntsman to win there.

    June 6, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  19. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    Subsidizing small farms is not a bad thing. Last I knew people needed to eat. Large corporate subsidies need to go. Personally I would tax companies that produce food at a lower corporate rate. Smaller farms could even be excluded from taxation. Having sufficient low or reasonable cost food for all should be a primary goal.

    Anybody in here willing to defend ehtanol??? Didn't think so. Total nonsense.

    June 6, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Busted2010 wrote:
    get government invervention out of the market place, that means the elimination of job killing and price hiking farm and ethonal subsidies, and bloated defense spending.
    -----------------–
    Farm subsidies are a complicated beast, it really depends upon the crop. Some were instituted for reasons as diverse as the crops themselves. (I.E.; We used to guarantee a low price for wheat to the USSR in return for arms considerations. Our farmers could have made more selling to the domestic market instead of the USSR.) Ethanol subsidies help to stabilize the price of our foods. The last thing we want is for the price corn to start being manipulated like the price of a barrel of oil. The subsidies that Republicans like go to the large conglomerates, not the ones for the small farmer who is paid to grow a less profitable crop.

    June 6, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  21. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    One probably needs to win either Iowa or New Hampire, but not both. A candidate could win even without worrying about Iowa.
    Since Iowa does not hold a primary and instead has caucus it would be virtually impossible for Huntsman to win there.
    ==================================================================================================
    Given his lack of name recognition and organization, I doubt he'll win either one. Add to that his glowing review of the disaster currently occupying the Whitehouse and he can't be considered a serious contender.

    June 6, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  22. EYE OF NEWT

    Its super to see Iowa marginalized by its failure to pick winners. I love the combative, unprofessional approach of Mr. Schultz. If his demeanor is a taste of how all Iowa republican behave, you can see why a relative center-right candidate like Mr. Huntsman would want to avoid all the confrontation, and just skip Iowa anyway.

    June 6, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  23. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I love how Republicans conventially pull out the Bible when they need it and beat Americans over the head about how religious righteous they are and then when they don't need it anymore they beat up on seniors and the poor. If that's being a Christian or religion, I don't want it, they can keep it.

    June 6, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  24. drogo

    Why should either Iowa or New Hampshire, two tiny, insignificant states wield such power in selecting our presidential nominees? It's all about money, of course. Come to Iowa, stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants, advertise on our TV stations, hire people to get out the vote, etc.

    We don't need a bunch of corn fed Americans many of which have probably never strayed 100 miles from their birthplace to tell me or anyone who or what we should vote for.

    The same goes for New Hampshire.

    What a joke!

    June 6, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  25. FM

    Does Huntsman want to be the President of all people excluding Iowans? It does not go this way and it does not sound good either!

    June 6, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
1 2