Huntsman hits Obama on economic record
June 11th, 2011
04:14 PM ET
9 years ago

Huntsman hits Obama on economic record

(CNN) - Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman isn’t shying away from criticizing his former boss President Barack Obama, telling CNN that Obama has “failed on the economic front.”

Huntsman, who was appointed ambassador to China by Obama in 2009, made the comments in an interview with CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. The full interview will air Sunday at 9 a.m. ET on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“On the economic side, there are no signs of success, very little,” Huntsman said. “You look at unemployment, you look at the environment in which jobs supposedly can be created, when you look at the debt level and you look at all the economic indicators, it would suggest that we're in bad shape.”

Huntsman made the comments in New Hampshire, where potential Republican presidential candidates will gather Monday night for CNN’s Republican presidential debate. Huntsman is not participating in Monday’s event.

Huntsman, who said Friday that he would announce his bid for the nomination in “a week and a half,” has been trying to distance himself from Obama in interviews recently.

In May, he told the website Real Clear Politics that he and Obama “don’t have a personal relationship,” despite the role he played in Obama’s administration.

"I was asked to do a sensitive job, but it's not like it was based on a personal relationship,” Huntsman said.

– On Monday, June 13, CNN will host the first New Hampshire Republican Presidential Debate, live from Manchester, NH at 8 p.m. ET. Follow all the issues and campaign news leading up to the debate on and @cnnpolitics on Twitter.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: Jon Huntsman • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. The Elephant In The Room

    For 30+ years Republican candidates and officeholders have touted tax cuts [income tax rates, capital gains tax rate, so-called "investment incentives". ] as the "silver bullet" cure for a slow economy.

    Economies are driven by spending; by business, government (State & Federal) and individual consumers.

    The problem since Reagan is that these Republicans have tried to force spending – force DEMAND -to occur earlier than consmers, governments or business were naturally incline to need it.

    They have stolen demand from the future by tax policy chicanery. The government revenue [taxes] on this accelerated economic activity could have been used to pay down the National debt and there wouldn`t be much harm. But instead it was wasted [spent] by Regan, Bush and others on weapon systems, wars in Iraq, 10_year wars in Afghanistan.

    Now the economy`s natural capacity has been exhausted and our economic slow down will be prolonged. Any recovery will be smaller than it would have been.

    Mr. Huntsman can we expect you to continue these DECADES old GOP practices? Can you admit to the poor management of the economy by your REPUBLICAN predecessor? If not you won`t bring us different results.

    June 11, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I think it would better serve Huntsman to have this debate with Donald Trump maybe he can teach Trump a thing or two about our relationship with China as well as China's relationship around the World.

    June 11, 2011 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  3. lforlegend

    The old adage: beware the dog who bites the hand that feeds it. Looks like his position as ambassador didn't have any economic ties. They'll say anything to get elecetd. Just one important question, WHERE ARE THE JOBS HIS PARTY PROMISED?

    June 11, 2011 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  4. Ryan

    Congress makes laws. It's not more laws that will help business to grow, it's less. A "bill" won't bring us to prosperity.

    June 11, 2011 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  5. carlos

    the same words used by the oblivious mitt, however, the republiCONS have failed us as a nation an individuals for over 100 years......that is a dismall record of failures, lies, and corruption.....UGH

    June 11, 2011 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  6. jean2009

    He has no intention of wandering away from the Rethugliklan party talking points...More of the same feed the rich mindset.

    June 11, 2011 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  7. gary davis

    what a joke this guy shoul be thanking Obama for having a job . what a rotk . another idiot along with Palin bachmann and the rest of the clown show ( the old gong show contest )

    June 11, 2011 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  8. Carlos Enrique Queso aka Chuck E. Cheese

    Conveniently, the GOP neglects to acknowledge the economic situation this guy inherited.

    June 11, 2011 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  9. gary davis

    great job once upon a horse right on the money Obama 2012 and beyond 🙂

    June 11, 2011 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  10. CaliforniaBC

    Did he say the Stimulus Bill wasn't large enough? I do find this repeated talking point how Obama has "failed the country", "has ruined the economy", "made the economy worse", etc yet they provide no specifics.

    People need to realize that this whole economic mess is going to take a very long time to recover from. The 2000-01 recession, which was nothing compared to this one, took 32 months (2 years/8 months) to reach pre-recession economic levels. It is completely unrealistic to think this current post-recession situation we're in now could to reach full recovery in less time than one that could be considered a minor recession only 10 years ago.

    It's time for journalists to start challenging these GOP candidates' talking points and claims such as these in this article. It's time for the American public to gain some comprehension of the broader economic picture, temper their "instant gratification mentality and understand the reality of the situation.

    June 11, 2011 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  11. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    The arsonist complains that the fire department wastes water!!

    June 11, 2011 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  12. roscoe

    Didn't he support Obama before he was against him?

    June 11, 2011 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  13. Paul

    Of course a bad economy is good for the GOP, they create and sustain them deliberately to keep an electorate desperate and clamoring for this deluded notion of conservatism that will "save America." All BS. Springs from the whole "Starve the Beast" notion, and perverted by Grover Norquist. Read Ed Kilgore's Starving the Beast. Google it.

    June 11, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  14. New Age Independant

    Tying to deflect blame on Republicans for jobs since they took the house is a desperate attempt to hide the Democrats complete failure on job creation and government waste. Liberals could only scream about a 4% unemployment rate, yet there has been little improvement, and the rate now sits at a whopping 9.1%. They have economic advisers bailing due to their dismal performance. Democrats had free reign over both the house and senate. They had their chance and blew it! They have nobody to blame but themselves.

    June 11, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  15. Ray

    The truth is, the economy of the 2000's was built on two things; housing and defense spending. The housing bubble was allowed to expand way out of proportion until the market was unsustainable. When the bubble burst, the economy was left with a huge hole. Many people were ruined financially and many more are teetering, left living in houses that are no longer worth the money they are putting into them. That doesn't include the financial institutions that are left holding houses that are no longer worth the money that they have in them. On top of that problem, the failed GOP policies of the past 30 years of favoring the rich at the expense of the middle and working classes have kicked two major props out from under our economy. The majority of Americans can no longer support our economy. Sadly, the Republican/Blue Dog Democrat coalition in Congress insist on continuing these policies to the detriment of our country.

    June 11, 2011 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  16. GaryB

    Actually, considering the economic stagnation most Americans have suffered since 2001 and the massive deficit spending that the Republicans enganged in when they had the presidency and both houses of Congress from 2003-2007, and the massive economic crater left by the bank collapse of 2008, it's amazing that we aren't in far worse shape. Imagine how bad unemployment would've been if we let Chrysler and GM fail like the majority of Republicans wanted. Unemployment would probably still be in the double digits under the Republican plan (or rather, lack of plan).

    June 11, 2011 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  17. clarke

    Can't these politicians come up with something better than what the other guy did wrong. What really burns me, they think we want to hear it and they also think the American people are stupid. News flash, if you have a plan, tell us, but don't forget to tell us how are you going to get there and what it will take.

    June 11, 2011 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  18. kyle

    The GOP sent 8 million jobs overseas, tax cuts for the rich that didn't create jobs, and let's blame Obama.

    June 11, 2011 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  19. david

    He needs to lay off the spray tan....As a Republican, I can admit that we created alot of problems before Obama came into power. He was given a really full and spoiled plate. If you cannot handle the truth, then you are no Repulican. I am old school and the Republicans today do not want to work hard, like they used to,.

    June 11, 2011 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  20. Squigman

    I'll never vote republican. I've yet to hear any republican admit that the financial melt down, started during the Bush administration. And, that the entire United States, teetered on the brink of economic collapse during the last two years of the Bush presidency. The other part that's utterly incomprehensable are the people that actually believed that the Obama administration could clean up the mess in a matter of two years. The mess left behind by Bush (The United States First, And Hopefully Only Mentally Challenged President), was of such magnitude that Bush and Cheney, should both be doing time in a federal prison for ruining the most vibrant economy on earth, in a matter of 3-to-5 years. Obama, inherited this mess, and no one alive, that's not a liar can deny this fact.

    June 11, 2011 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  21. timbo

    Obama's policies have not succeeded in bringing the economy back to a true expansion. That is only partly his fault, but he is vulnerable because of that.

    Huntsman is looking and sounding more presidential with a different image. In fact, he seems to have stripped Mitt Romney of his pinstriped suit, his tie and his great head of hair. Did he swipe his wingtips too?

    June 11, 2011 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  22. US Citizen 2010

    This whole process has been an orchestrated attempt by the Republican party to ensure that this President and his administration fails in any process put forward to get America going in the right direction. When have you ever seen a party that has said NO to everything or anything suggested to HELP average working Americans? The Republican Party is trying with all there might to view America as nation of failures. They continue to encourage the business community to NOT HIRE individuals and put Americans back to WORK, in every statement given and it working. Sadly, many Americans are blindly accepting this primus and believing ALL the garbage preached. America is turning into a dumb down society, we have one of the best leaders we have experience over the past decade and most citizens are sitting back and allowing it to happen.

    June 11, 2011 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
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