Huntsman: I'm not going to set my hair on fire
December 13th, 2011
02:29 PM ET
6 years ago

Huntsman: I'm not going to set my hair on fire

(CNN) – Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman repeated his claim Tuesday that poll numbers haven't been on his side because he refuses to engage in political antics.

"We're in the silly season of politics," he said. "I'm not going to sign those silly pledges, I don't pander…I'm not going to set my hair on fire, I'm not going to Don Trump's debate."

And because of that, he said during an interview on ABC, he's still at the bottom of national polls gauging voter support for candidates seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for president. Following the appearance, Trump pulled out of the Newsmax debate he had agreed to moderate.

Huntsman also cited his time abroad serving as the U.S. ambassador to China under President Obama as the reason some Republicans pause over his candidacy.

But Huntsman is banking on winning the first-in-the-nation primary in New Hampshire to boost his campaign.

When asked if he'd drop out of the race if he is not successful in New Hampshire, Huntsman said, "Losing is not an option."

Filed under: 2012 • Donald Trump • Jon Huntsman • New Hampshire
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    Huntsmans original strategy was to work for Obama, praise him then run against him while calling his opponents too extreme. He would be Obama-lite. Results: polling in the "margin of error". Zero to 1% on a good day!

    New strategy... Have his 3 pretty daughters to comedy routines on the internet. Results: Now polling above the margin of error but still at the bottom of the pack.

    Conclusion: Drop out, go ride motorcycles, be agent for your daughters as they have a future in the entertainment world.

    December 13, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. mm

    Republicans what goes on? This man is the only one that has a chance to win the election against Obama and you all are focusing on Gingrich?!!!!!! It's as if you have already made up your mind that Obama will win and saving Huntsman for the next election.

    December 13, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  3. wwf

    This one is the only one who makes sense. Thats why he is at the bottom of the pile. Too bad. He is the right person for the job.

    December 13, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  4. Nunya

    Please don't drop out even if you don't win in New Hampshire. We need an adult in the Republican field of candidates... One who doesn't set his hair on fire or engage in all the histrionics...

    December 13, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. sammieb51

    This guy is the only really reasonable candidate out there and he gets to talk 2 minutes at the debates and polls at less than 5%. In this clown contest, he'd do better to show up in a clown suit and honk his nose once whenever he watns to speak and twice if he disagrees with the BS being thrown on the stage.

    December 13, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Huntsman continues to dissappoint me with his lack of vision if he couldn't see what was in store when he entered the Repubilcan race. Any semi-sentient could see that the conservative base is looking for someone to "be the beast" and rip out Pres. Obama's political entrails. Why do you think the smart people stayed out of the race? Why do you think the field is described as "circus" or "animal house"?

    December 13, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  7. No Bush

    Huntsman is the only guy who can beat Obama and be a great president!

    Newt just pledged marriage fidelity for the third time!!

    December 13, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. Woman In California

    Silly season? Wasn't that a famous term used by your FORMER boss (now President) in the '08 campaign? Like this guy or not, I'll agree he might be good for the country but the way he sought the nomination by backstabbing his once friend/colleague will never sit well with me. There were other ways he could have run without going this route.

    December 13, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    It has to be hard for a rare intelligent republican to try to get votes from a group that is dumber than a box of rocks.

    December 13, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  10. Shahab Moghadam

    Huntsman is clearly the only candidate with the ideas and experience needed to lead America in these troubled times. As Governor of Utah, he governed in such a bipartisan fashion that he maintained approval ratings of 80% throughout his two terms. Then, when Obama called on the termed-out governor to serve his country as Ambassador to China, Huntsman put country above party and proved highly adept at managing America's most important bilateral relationship. Now, Huntsman is ready to use his proven track record and innovative ideas to move America forward. It is up to the Republican voters of New Hampshire to decide whether he will be given that chance, so let us hope that they yield not to bombastic rhetoric but to common sense pragmatism.

    December 13, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  11. Canuck

    "I'm not going to sign those silly pledges, I don't pander…I'm not going to set my hair on fire, I'm not going to Don Trump's debate."

    Wow, I like this guy.

    December 13, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. Kris Craig

    Jon Huntsman is running for president?

    December 13, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  13. Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    If Huntsman wanted to run for President he should have spent the last 3-4 years doing something besides Obama's bidding. Obama-lite is not what the country needs, OR WANTS.

    December 13, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  14. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Huntsman has not learned how to spew hate points and lies like the rest of the candidates. By 2016, Huntsman will be a seasoned lying republican.

    December 13, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  15. GonzoinHouston

    He is entirely too smart and too honest for the GOP in 2012. The republicans didn't learn from McCain's defeat, so they will lose again. I wonder how many losses it will take before they understand that the voters don't want a screaming extremist.

    December 13, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  16. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    Mr. Hunts Man is by no means a moderate just because he's slightly less extreme than the rest of the rightwing radicals. He stated recently that Iran is our biggest national security concern. Iran is no threat to the US and attacking Iran will tank the global economy, skyrocket gas prices and possibly start WW III. In truth, the biggest concern should be the massive and growing income and wealth disparity that puts the US in the bottom ranks along with countries like Mexico. Don't be fooled by this good-looking chemical salesman.

    December 13, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  17. m

    The only way to get elected is to cast off one's beliefs and pander to the nut jobs that make up the nominating cohort in the GOP = GREEDY OPPOSITION PARTY.

    December 13, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Being smart, reasonable and willing to compromise makes you an outcast when you're surrounded by a sea of greedy, selfish,lockstep GOTeatards.
    See you in 2016 Jon.

    December 13, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. KramSes86

    Ron Paul/ Jon Huntsman 2012!

    December 13, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. Sandy

    Don't be fooled by Huntsman. He is a backstabber and he has the same failed Bush policies that the rest of the candidates have that bankrupted America!

    December 13, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  21. Al-NY,NY

    Hunstman = semi-rational = not a chance in GOP politics

    December 13, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  22. Expat American

    I actually like Huntsman. He should to go independent.


    December 13, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  23. ddblah

    This shows how extremists in republican party hurts GOP's cause.

    December 13, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  24. Anon-i-mouse

    I was very interested in him at the beginning. He then started doing and saying things that made it obvious he was swinging right just to win the primary. I lost a lot of respect for him then – even though he's trying to course-correct that now. Had he stayed true to himself, I would have given very serious consideration to voting for him over Obama. Now, he's pretty much done. The rest of the republican field is from the Isle of Misfit Toys, so Obama gets my vote.

    December 13, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "Huntsman: I'm not going to set my hair on fire"

    Teatrolls: But it's all the rage!! Here...hold my tinfoil hat while I get out my AquaNet...

    December 13, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
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