Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman announced a fundraising team for South Carolina, with 2008 John McCain finance committee member Bill Stern serving at the helm as honorary chair.
The former Ambassador to China and governor of Utah announced his run for the White House three months ago and is trailing significantly behind the Republican pack, hovering in the single digits in recent polls.
This announcement comes as Huntsman wrapped up a recent media blitz with a number of national interviews where he criticized others in the presidential nomination field who appear to be building momentum.
Real estate developer Stern was finance committee chairman for Mark Sanford's gubernatorial race and served as South Carolina State Ports Authority chairman under the governor.
The ten members of the state's finance team include "bundlers" who raised loads of cash for McCain's 2008 presidential bid, including John Rainey of Camden and Gayle Averyt of Columbia.
Rainey, chairman of Easlan Capital, served on McCain's finance committee and, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, bundled between $100,000 and $250,000 for the presidential candidate. He and his immediate family contributed a combined $55,600 to federal candidates, parties and PACs during the 2008 election cycle.
A Bush "pioneer," Rainey served on President George W. Bush's finance committee in 2000 and raised $100,000 or more for the 43rd president. He was also co-chairman of the Sanford for Governor finance committee in 2006.
Averyt is former chairman of Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company and the Center for Responsive Politics' cites the retired businessman as raising between $50,000 and $100,000 for McCain. But prior to supporting McCain, Averyt served as Rudy Giuliani's finance co-chair in South Carolina.
Charleston resident and philanthropist Anita Zucker is another notable get for the Huntsman campaign. The InterTech Group CEO and her late husband, Jerry, contributed to McCain's 2008 presidential campaign.
It's unclear how much money Huntsman has raised to date. His campaign did not have to file a second-quarter fundraising report because he declared his run for president after the deadline. His first report will be filed in October after the end of the third quarter.
Like watching paint dry. So he was Gov of Utah not a major state like California, New York or Texas. Where is he on jobs for ALL Americans. Mormons hire Mormons. What about the rest? Ambassador of China...so he can ship the rest of US jobs there?
huntsman? Never heard of him....
He's really desperate for the VP slot with Michelle Bitchmann isn't he? As far as I'm concerned ANYONE who would pair with her – must share her so called "white" beliefs and must be stopped by all means necessary.
Sorry Huntsman, Republicans don't like smart intelligent people, they prefer the dumber than dumb.
I honestly believe that if the Republican Party nominates Huntsmann and he chooses Romney as his VP, President Obama is going to really convince us moderates to vote for him again. I just hope Huntsman stays true to himself and his ideology and does not fall into the "I have please the Tea people" ideology that most of the Candadites have done so far. There is nothing wrong with being a Social Conserative. We need leadership that is willing to quit giving welfare checks to the rich, to start creating ways so the poor can work themselves out of poverty and not just handing them some food stamps and a check every month. That is what we need.
I am an Obama supporter, but this guy will definetly make me take a second look. So far, this is the ONLY Repubican candidate that I've heard anything from, that I would like to hear more from.
This man supports civil unions for gays.
This man want American troops out of Afghanistan as quickly as we can.
This man praise President Obama as a great leader [prescient in light of the Libyan situation,
This man supported the individual mandate for health insurance.
This man read "The Book of Morman", not Genesis, Matthew, or Revelations.
Doe he HONESTLY think he can win a Republican Party primary in South Carolina? The home state of Jim DeMint? If so, I`l have whatever he`s drinking.
There's a while lot of neocon connections named in that story, which tells us a lot about Hunts Man's phony "moderate" act.
In my opinion, Huntsman is the only Republican candidate that has a chance at winning the moderate vote and therefore beating Obama in 2012.
Ironically, however, it is his moderate appeal that will probably spell his doom in the Republican primaries. The Republicans do not want a moderate. They want an extremist (see Paul, Perry, Bachmann).
To me, this is self-defeating for moderates will not vote for an extremist over Obama in 2012. At least, this moderate won't.
You can't pull South Carolina, Huntsman. In fact I don't think you can pull ONE state in the union.
he better bowe up or it will be to late
The Christian bigotts and racistts in the Southern belt will be happy to finance anyone who, they believe, can destroy Obama, no matter what the means.
We are in serious trouble if any of the teapublicans win the presidency. Big time trouble.
Yup.... You will all have to go get a job and PAY some taxes instead of being carried by others!! Yes, it will be a fate worse than death. But one many of us deal with on a daily basis. Welcome to reality.
Is DeMint aware that there might be rich republicans who do not buy into Jim's craziness?
Not sure why this guy has even bothered running for President or who would waste their money supporting him. Nobody knows him and after he spends 2 years in China in total obscurity, he comes back and expects to win the nomination? What's with THAT?! And I thought Guiliani's 2008 strategy was off the wall. This one beats it hands down.
The question is, "Will the South Carolina birthers support him?"
The only Republican candidate that has any shot of winning votes from the moderates and independents. So what does the GOP do? They label him a RINO. Good luck trying to win a general election with 18% of that Tea Party vote.
Obama should be more afraid of Huntsman than Perry or anyone else for that matter. Perry is a far right wing nut job that may appeal to the other right wing nut jobs, but ---- Have you read his book ????? If he had his way he would roll this country back to the "good ole days of our founding fathers". They were nearly all rich, elite, slave owners with estates. -–No middle class existed.
"The Christian bigotts and racistts in the Southern belt"
Spelling 101 – now available at all major retailers. Get one.
Right now, it is looking like a one-man race. Of the four front-runners (Romney, Paul, Bachmann, Perry), three will start to fall.
Romney, because he is to moderate (like Huntsman). The Tea Party refers to any Republican who appeals to moderates as RINOs.
Bachmann because she can only speak in talking-points and therefore will look horrible as soon as the debates get underway.
Paul because, although he would do great in the debates, will not pander to the Tea Party vote (although, ironically, he was one of the first Tea Party polititians). The Tea Party just does not see Paul as one of their own and he is to extremist to get the moderate Republican vote.
That leaves Perry. He will hold up in the debates much better than Bachmann will, and although he is extremist enough that the Tea Party loves him, he is also a chameleon. He will change his spots depending on what the situation is. Therefore, he will get enough of the Republican base that, when combined with the Tea Party vote, will get him the nomination.
Perry vs Obama 2012. This is my prediction.
Huntsman is sane, educated, thoughtful, intellectual, for same sex unions, believes in science, Mormon - all the things to the GOP and especially the tea baggers - are against.
I love the GOP!
You know... I was really impressed and had high hopes for this guy and then he mentioned that he wouldn't mind being the VP on the Bachmann ticket and lost all hope for this man.
if Huntsmen were to run in 2016 he might be the next Republican in the past 30 years that would get my vote. McCain ALMOST had it in 2008 until he picked.....well you know.
@ The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!
I couldn't agree with you more. More and more people are going to find out just how "moderate" this guy really is.