Huntsman lunch with Bush in campaign spotlight
May 23rd, 2011
09:53 AM ET
11 years ago

Huntsman lunch with Bush in campaign spotlight

Washington (CNN) - After wrapping up a five day swing through the first in the nation primary state of New Hampshire, Jon Huntsman heads to Maine Monday afternoon to meet with former President George H.W. Bush.

Huntsman is expected to have lunch with former President Bush and first lady Barbara Bush at their compound Kennebunkport.

The former Utah governor and probable 2012 GOP White House hopeful has something in common with the former president: Both served as U.S. ambassadors to China.

Huntsman's announcement earlier this year that he was stepping down from his post in Beijing to return to the U.S. was a major hint that he was seriously considering a bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

He also served in the Bush 41 administration as deputy assistant Commerce secretary and U.S. ambassador to Singapore.

Huntsman is the second 2012 GOP White House hopeful to meet with the former president. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty visited with Bush at the former president's office in Houston, Texas a few weeks ago.

The meetings raise eyebrows, as many senior political advisers from both Bush administrations still don't have a candidate to support in the battle for the GOP nomination, especially with Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniel's announcement Sunday that he would not make a bid for the White House.

Meanwhile, next week Huntsman will meet with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has said he is not interested in running for the nomination.

Filed under: 2012 • Barbara Bush • Jon Huntsman • President George H.W. Bush
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Why don't the Bushes ever entertain in their home state of Connecticut? Why always in another state? Oh, that's right; they basically were ostrasized by former Connecticut Senator Prescott Bush, H.W.'s pappy, and his antics during the Second World War, something about money laundering with the Nazis, I think.................

    Frankly, Huntsman is wasting his time; this family is grooming Jeb to run and the country is just stupid enough to vote for him. Jeb is currently working on education reform; like this family has a clue in that area. "W" initiated "No Child Left Behind" here in Texas, and Texas is now at the bottom in education as a result. Nice going, Bush family. Or, basically, they haven't stolen enough from the public coffers...............

    May 23, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  2. GI Joe

    Gonna ask Daddy Shrub for advice? DON"T BOTHER RUNNING. YOU ARE A LIAR JUST LIKE THE REST.

    May 23, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  3. Four and The Door

    I don't know if GWB intends to make an endorsement for 2012, but if Huntsman were to pull that off, his chances would increase dramatically. GWB came to town during his book tour for Decision Points and the reception he received was outstanding. He still has a huge base of support and it has only grown since 2008. People see now that all of the hate and promises put out by the 2008 Obama campaign were empty, senseless and wrong. Many of the things Obama promised to change from the Bush Administration he ended up doing exactly the same. And considering our current $14 trillion of national debt, soon to grow, we were in much better shape at the end of Bush's term.

    May 23, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  4. John

    Boy Jon Huntsman having Lunch with the Bush Is no spotlight , It more like a ending of you running. Who do you think got American In the mess we are In this mess. And No don't try and Blame It on President Obama because America was In this mess when he took Office. They all way say each President leave the new President a note, I bet I could tell you what President Bush note say. Let see you get out of this mess I left you.

    May 23, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. Joan

    Having George W. Bush endorse and support him will do a lot for Huntsman during the primaries and he might even get the Republican nomination. But it will have zero importance with the Independents and Democrats during a general election. It could even hurt him.

    May 23, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  6. pat carr

    "He still has a huge base of support and it has only grown since 2008."

    Wow that shows how many people here in the US suffer from IIS – Intelligence Insufficiency syndrome. I'd be ashamed and embarrassed to tell people i was a "bush supporter"

    May 23, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  7. j

    He`s looking for an endorsement from George II ??? Boy, we all know where the economy went to under his watch, --don`t we !!!!!

    May 23, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  8. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    The far right GOP is going to go after Huntsman because he not only worked FOR President Obama but gave him praise as well. And since leaving office in Utah he has flip/floped on issues as well like cap and trade and the stimulus plan. Seems like a nice guy though and 2016 might be a better fit.

    May 23, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  9. OneMoreTime

    ".....we were in much better shape at the end of Bush's term." ??????????????????

    And how many "bridges to nowhere" have you bought from the Republicans, who no doubt promised you they will lead
    to the proverbial "pie in the sky", Utopian dream world.

    May 23, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  10. HAD ENOUGH? 9% unemployment, massive foreclosures, $4-5/gal gas, $1.7 TRILLION deficits, $14 TRILLION debt, Obamacare, Libyan war, unsecure borders, illegal alien invasion, alienated allies, embolden enemies

    Sorry Huntsman... The stench of Obama failure is ALL over you. Calling Obama a great leader tells me you're as clueless as Obama is. You don't stand a chance.

    May 23, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  11. Bert in UT

    People, read the story! This was a meeting with George H. W. Bush and Barbara. The old ones. The one who was president in 1988. Stop blabbing about W. and at least comment on the actual story.

    May 23, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  12. Fair is Fair

    Why are all the commentors talking about GWB when the stort is about Bush the Elder?

    May 23, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  13. Kevin

    Huntsman! Dude, don't Gingrich your shot at the presidency!

    May 23, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  14. don

    Would you please ask Mr.Bush why his administration "Put our economy in the dirt,and left us 10 Trillion in the hole?? Your campaign has started on its "Decline already" Your a Flip-Flop traitor Mr.Huntsman! No Vote Here!!!!! Wow! I,d like to stay a little middleclass, if I can?? That means "NO GOP!

    May 23, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  15. Dal From California

    US economy is a behemoth. This large a ship to turn on a dime is some miracle. It takes just as a long time to turn it around as it took to get there. While the movement to the betterment are made the economy may look worse.
    Americans are a society of instant gratification. You need instant results on everything. You do not teach your kids the science or maths and you import the talent from around the world to help you.
    Look at the industries created by the immigrants in the last few decades. They are the power houses that created the boom and when the talent returned to their homelands to start up the innovation there. The Americans started to ship jobs over there to make more money instead of the jobs in America. Products made by Americans in America for the Americans and the rest of the world was lost forever.

    May 23, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |