Huntsman decries debt debate 'lunacy'
August 19th, 2011
05:42 PM ET
3 years ago

Huntsman decries debt debate 'lunacy'

(CNN) - Threats of a national default during the debt ceiling debate amounted to "lunacy." That is, according to former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.

He accused those who spoke of risking a possible default to force the government's hand in facing its rising debt–including some of his Republican opponents–of behaving like lunatics during an interview on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" scheduled to air Monday.

Considering the impact of the nation's economy on world markets, the 2012 GOP presidential candidate said he couldn't fathom how Republican colleagues discussed the possibility of defaulting on the country's debt during the heated debate surrounding whether the borrowing limit should be increased.

"I thought it was the height of irresponsibility," he said.

"We're 25 percent of the world's GDP. The United States of America that has never defaulted before—just let it go over a cliff—you can imagine what the marketplace would have done in response," Huntsman continued.

"The marketplace is trashing everybody right now, assets are underwater…you can only imagine what this country would look like today if we had defaulted. It was complete lunacy for people to even talk about that."

And when pressed on whether he felt sympathy for President Obama's position, Huntsman responded that they have no personal relationship to speak of.

Huntsman noted that he served as U.S. ambassador to China because he was called by the president to serve his country.

"You work for your president when you are asked to serve," Huntsman said.

"He is a good man, he is earnest but he has failed us on the most important issue of the day."

Watch Piers Morgan Live weeknights 9 p.m. ET. For the latest from Piers Morgan click here.


Filed under: 2012 • Content Partner • Economy • Jon Huntsman • President Obama • TV-Piers Morgan
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. MAC

    I would have fought for bigger spending cuts, spending cuts int he first 3 years not the last 3 years. And if they wanted tax increases get 3 times more spending cuts than tax increases. Also if the dems want to keep social security and medicaid/medicare the same without reform, then raise the FICA taxes on everyone to pay for the programs!

    August 19, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    he couldn't fathom how Republican colleagues discussed the possibility of defaulting on the country's debt during the heated debate surrounding whether the borrowing limit should be increased.

    "I thought it was the height of irresponsibility," he said.
    -------------------------------------------------–
    You're a day late and God only knows how many millions you are worth short.
    You know what I think is the height of irresponsibility? You waiting until NOW to speak up.
    I never saw the sniveling,i rresponsible coward in you Huntsman, but I just got smacked in the face with it.

    You might have more lucid moments than that crowd of drooling, babbling, yeller idiots you keep company with, but evidently you are one of them nonetheless.
    Obama 2012

    August 19, 2011 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  3. Tea Party Mike

    This is why Huntsman has no chance to win Republican nomination.
    There was never a risk of a default. Anyone with just basic math skills and any ability to think knows there would be way more than enough money to pay the debt obligations, there would not have been a default if the debt ceiling had not been raised. Even Obama told the banks and financial institutions that there would be no default if a deal was not made in time to raise the debt ceiling. What would have happend was deep spending cuts and a possible government shut down. But there would have been plenty of money to avoid a default and also make Social Security payments and pay for Medicare.
    The spending cuts would have been huge for sure, but there was never a real threat of a defaut. That was a lie to scare voters.

    August 19, 2011 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    He is a good man, he is earnest but he has failed us on the most important issue of the day."
    -------------------------------------------------–
    What issue would that be Jon? The economy? Because my 401k was bouncing right back until your team barged in.
    Jobs? Didn't YOUR guys get in the back door promising those? Who held on to stimulus funds as opposed to putting their people to work?
    And how did you and your team help? He asked for your help, and cooperation and every last one of you said and continues to say HELL NO!!!
    Shut up.

    August 19, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  5. NVa Native

    Wow another Republican that speaks honestly of what is reality and not fox TV fantasy.
    First the guy who honestly refers to Perry as an idiot and now Huntsman is candid and honest about the irresponsible actions of Repubs/tea-baggers who pushed for the US to default on our debt? Next thing you know one of them will admit that Bush/GOP policies caused the Great Recession and we are lucky we have some one as talented and intelligent as Obama as our President. And then admit that the science of Global Warming is real?! Amazing!

    August 19, 2011 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  6. Embarrased Conservative

    I like this guy but I think he can't express his real views of the President because of his party affiliation. I think if you caught him in an honest moment he would admit that the resident has handled everything with class and has done just as good as anyone else would have done.

    August 19, 2011 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "You work for your president when you are asked to serve," Huntsman said
    -------------------------------------------------–
    Tell your RethugliKKKlan brethren that one. They think they work for the Koch Brothers, the Teatards, the corporations, oil companies,Wall Street, Norquist. Anybody BUT US and their President.
    STHU!
    Obama 2012

    August 19, 2011 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  8. once upon a horse

    well Huntsman you just lost any possible Tea Party support with the stand you just took here.

    August 19, 2011 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  9. The Greedy Old Pigs have lost their minds!

    He's right, just don't fall for his phony moderate act. Hunts Man will just take the less controversial route to gutting our nations poor, middle class and the environment. Don't be fooled, he still cares for the greedy, not the needy. However, as a rich chemical company trust funder and former party boy, he recognizes that his lifestyle is not quite so stable when the teatards are rabble-rousing and scaring Wall St.

    August 19, 2011 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  10. maf

    "He is a good man, he is earnest but he has failed us on the most important issue of the day."

    Huh?? He just blamed his own party for their mishandling of the debt ceiling, so what does this statement refer to???
    The economy, jobs, foreign policy?? How vague, also misleading. Just when I thought he was showing some real bi-partisanship and taking an enormous stand against the GOP norm, he waffles back to make an unsubstantiated comment about the President. One step forward, two steps back. The way this march goes for the Republicans, they will get to re-write history because they will take us back there without conscience.

    August 19, 2011 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  11. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Well, ok John... But good luck trying to get the rest of the Repubs to do anything sensible, like giving you their nomination.... A shame really. Real issues could have been discussed... And I think OUR country could move forward, rather than be taken "back" like the rest of you cohorts want to do..

    August 19, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  12. thomas

    He's not another GOP puppet , At Last !

    August 19, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain

    "He is a good man, he is earnest but he has failed us on the most important issue of the day."

    And you, Huntsman, are being disingenuous to not admit that it is YOUR party's tried-and-failed policies that took our country down the toilet.

    While you're being honest, why not also admit that Republicans across the spectrum want President Obama to fail and if that means bringing our country to its knees, so be it.

    August 19, 2011 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  14. FactCheck

    Hey, a moderate conservative with reasonable common sense... he's got no shot with the current GOP.

    August 19, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  15. joe smith

    and China will reward you Mr, Huntsman, should you prevail

    August 19, 2011 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  16. Shannon

    This guy is never going to get the Republican nomination, he's much to sane.

    August 19, 2011 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  17. Sandy

    Ooh, the T party is not going to like this.

    August 19, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  18. SecedingfromTexas

    Oops, he just lost the nomination. The Tea Party doesn't accept the truth, they only do "pledges". Hard to believe that
    some are finally figuring out that some "teas" are idiots and some are "lunatics".

    August 19, 2011 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  19. Woman In California

    I sure hope he doesn't have to TRY as hard in the bedroom as he does on the campaign trail. What a loser.

    August 19, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  20. GI Joe

    I don't believe President Obama has failed us.

    I believe the republicans in congress are so hell-bent on making him fail that they are willing to bring the entire country/world to it's knees in hopes of getting back in the White House. Wonder how Huntsman would feel if he was pres and working with a group that said HELL NO to all his proposals?

    August 19, 2011 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  21. GOP = Greed Over People

    "He accused those who spoke of risking a possible default to force the government's hand in facing its rising debt–including some of his Republican opponents–of behaving like lunatics"

    "I thought it was the height of irresponsibility," he said"

    WOW!

    I am stunned, there really are still some folks in the Republican party that actually put the country FIRST and above the GOP party!

    August 19, 2011 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  22. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Huntsman is right, the Republicans and their beloved TParty are totally responsible for the downgrade and World leaders have spoken out in agreement with President Obama when he asked for a higher increase. But no, the Republicans listen to a totally irrational TParty group who had no idea what would happen and were too ignorant to listen. And if you noticed, the TBaggers are being quiet because they know their days are numbered.

    August 19, 2011 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  23. lgny

    Huntsman may be the one sane Republican presidential candidate. Sadly, the Tea Party won't let him get anywhere near the nomination.

    August 19, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  24. QS

    So is he blaming Obama for THEIR irresponsibility? I just don't understand this irrational reaction to what was so obviously GOP brinksmanship being attributed somehow to President Obama not being able to force them to grow up!

    And here I thought republicans and conservatives were all about personal responsibility and accountability....oh that's right, they only mean that about everybody else, not themselves!

    August 19, 2011 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  25. Ted W.

    Wow....This guy is a Republican?
    They are not all controlled by the Baggies?

    August 19, 2011 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
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