Huntsman caught calling Obama a 'remarkable leader'
April 15th, 2011
03:17 PM ET
12 years ago

Huntsman caught calling Obama a 'remarkable leader'

Washington (CNN) – A source associated with Jon Huntsman's potential campaign for the Republican presidential nomination is brushing off a newly revealed letter from the outgoing U.S. ambassador to China that praises President Barack Obama as a "remarkable leader."

The letter, acquired by the conservative media website The Daily Caller from an unnamed source, was handwritten by Huntsman on August 16, 2009.

"You are a remarkable leader," Huntsman writes in the note, adding an underline to the word "remarkable." "[And] it has been a great honor getting to know you."

The effuse praise of the president is likely to haunt Huntsman should he decide to mount a Republican presidential bid later this year. Huntsman, the former governor of Utah who is scheduled to leave his ambassador post at the end of this month, has already faced skepticism from some Republicans that it will be difficult to mount an effective campaign against the man he served dutifully for two years.

But the source close to Huntsman's possible campaign suggested to CNN the leak of the praiseworthy letter is a sign the White House is threatened by Huntsman more than any other Republican.

"Need further proof the White House fears Jon Huntsman the most? I don't think so," the source said.

Huntsman's praise for politicians who are usually Republican punching bags didn't stop with Obama. In other letters acquired by the Daily Caller, the outgoing Ambassador told former President Bill Clinton, "I have enormous regard for your experience, sense of history and brilliant analysis of world events."

And in the same letter to the former president, he applauds Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for "winning the hearts and minds of the State Dept. bureaucracy – no easy task."

After watching her in action, I can see why," wrote Huntsman. "She is well-read, hard working, personable and has even more charisma than her husband! It's an honor to work with her."

Huntsman has said he will decide on a presidential bid later this spring.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • Jon Huntsman • President Obama
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    Mark: Obama a total fraud.

    Mark a total fraud.

    See? I can type words, too 🙂 Why don't you back up what you say with some FACTS?

    April 15, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    Big Al, how can Palin save our country? By whining at world leaders when they say things that hurt her feelings? By never bothering to read anything? By going around making snarky comments about people whom she sees as a threat? By quitting mid-term when the going gets tough?

    This is all I've ever seen her do ...

    Palin = Quitter, Liar, Mooch

    April 15, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  3. The Greedy Old Pigs are mostly insane!

    Hunstman sounds like one of the few reasonable and sane Republicans left.

    April 15, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. ed bailey

    I watched Mr Huntsman closely while he was the governor of Utah. I was shocked, as many were that he left his post. His progressive ways in Utah were causing his fellow republicans in this state to voice concern he was turning , aghast, LIBERAL. If he runs he could be the first republican that gets kicked in the teeth by his own party and church. I respect him, I respect President Obama very much but I would listen to whatever Mr Huntsman has to say. There isn't another republican is his league. Not a one!

    April 15, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Huntsman please wait until 2016 to run for President. Whatever time you have spent abroad has allowed you to keep your sanity, class, and intelligence; things that would've been tainted irreparably by your local stateside GOPers. As it is your people have started to 'backpedal' already.
    Damage control is what they call recanting the truth these days. Go figure.

    April 15, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. Matt VA

    Huntsman seems to be the best chance of beating Obama in 2012. The other Republican candidates have already alienated any moderate or independent voters in my opinion. I also don't think anyone should be ashamed to say they think Hilary Clinton has been doing a great job. She has been doing a great job as Secretary of State. And this is coming from a conservative.

    April 15, 2011 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  7. LacrosseMom(real one)

    The title of this article is ridiculous! WHO CARES what Jon Huntsman says????? He is free to voice his opinion! Seems that someone on the Far-Right wants to throw Huntsman under the bus.

    President Obama inherited the worst Financial Disaster since the Great Depression! And here we are 2 1/2 years later, on the road to recovery. The GOP/Teas will do and say anything to demonize the president. The 2012 campaign season is going to be brutal!

    April 15, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. LacrosseMom(real one)

    @ Dominican mama 4 Obama: Good advice. Huntsman would be a great candidate and president. I am voting for Obama in 2012......... but.......... as an Independent if Huntsman runs in 2016, I will seriously consider voting for him. Peace.

    April 15, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  9. once upon a horse

    @ Tulsa....

    I LOVE what you're doing calling these folks out that post this junk. You can tell when the FoxNews junkies visit CNN because their stuff normally doesn't fly here and that doesn't mean this is a left leaning website, just one that's more honest and factual.

    April 15, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. Bob in PA

    It depends on your context of the word "remarkable !
    Because I agree, Mr. Obama is a "remarkable" liar.
    As well as it is "remarkable" that he always seems to get a way with it.

    April 15, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    Stick a fork in him, he's done.

    The question is, how did this conservative publication gain access to Huntsman's notes?

    April 15, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  12. vic , nashville ,tn

    Truth always comes out

    April 15, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  13. ConservaFascists/FUBAR

    The truth is hard to swallow for these Mammons aka Fascists RepubliKKKans

    April 15, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  14. Bronson

    If the "Gopers" had any sense they would realize the Huntsman is without a doubt their BEST and ONLY chance for removing President Obama and instead of ostracizing him they would rally around and behind him. Make Huntsman your nominee if you are smart.

    Although Trump will probably ruin any chance any GOP nominee has buy pulling a "Nader '00" or "Ross '92" LOL ! GO Trump!

    April 15, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
1 2