Huntsman tries to explain calling Obama 'remarkable'
June 21st, 2011
09:54 PM ET
12 years ago

Huntsman tries to explain calling Obama 'remarkable'

Washington (CNN) - In an interview after his presidential announcement Tuesday, former Utah governor and ambassador to China Jon Huntsman tried to downplay a letter he wrote to President Barack Obama in August 2009 calling him a "remarkable leader."

Huntsman told Fox News that he was only alluding to the fact that the president would appoint a Republican to "a position as important and sensitive as the U.S. ambassadorship to China."

"You are a remarkable leader," Huntsman wrote in the note, which was leaked to reporters earlier this year. He underlined the word "remarkable."

Asked if he was referring to the president's policies with those kind words, Huntsman claimed that he wrote the letter "early in his administration."

"There was nothing to comment on at that point," Huntsman said.

Tea Party activists, who emerged in the early days of the Obama administration, might disagree.

By August 2009, the White House had passed or proposed any number of bills that faced fierce backlash from grassroots conservatives, including the stimulus package, home mortgage reform, the auto bailout and landmark health care legislation.

Looking back on the Obama record today, though, Huntsman said the president has "failed."

"I think he has failed in a number of ways, both in terms of economic governance and stewardship, and also internationally," he said.

Filed under: 2012 • Jon Huntsman • President Obama
soundoff (36 Responses)

    You had potential Jon,.. but you're quickly showing yourself to be a wimp, and a coward, unable to stand behind your spoken words. You fail.

    June 22, 2011 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  2. Calvin

    Reid picks you Mr Hunstman. That means you are not good for Republican. Remember that, Neveda almost got rift this folk.

    June 22, 2011 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  3. Adam RMD

    I respect Huntsman, much like I used to respect McCain.
    Any more back-peddling and selling out his rational and reasonable intelligence for the Tea Party vote and I will no longer respect him, much like I no longer respect McCain.
    But President Obama's plans were not all great.
    However, if the Republicans did not vote against EVERY major piece of legislation just because Obama supported it, the economy would be much further along.
    Seriously, be honest: every piece of legislation proposed by the President is already voted down in the minds of any Republican (politician or voter) before he even forms a sentence.
    This is pure ignorance or malicious sabotage – and sabotaging our President for the sake of sabotage, regardless of his political leaning, is the same as sabotaging this country, which is what the Republicans have been doing since Election Day.

    June 22, 2011 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  4. J.V.hodgson

    This is exactly the kind of duplicity in our American politics that turns voters off completely.
    Best of luck Huntsman you may have won the nomination battle with Republicans but you for sure lost the election battle.

    June 22, 2011 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  5. sick of republican phonies

    What a crock! These republicans spend a lot of time denying, "correcting", and flip-flopping on their previous statements, so as to please their tea bag overlords. Man up and take ownership of your statements instead of giving an obviously fake excuse, you pawn.

    June 22, 2011 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  6. Debra From Georgia

    Well he can say that again. The President is one "remarkable" president. He has created over 3.5 million sector jobs, He saved to of our Auto Companies. He Killed Bin Laden, etc. So you are right "traitor" We do have a great President. Obama/Biden 2012

    June 22, 2011 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  7. Dave

    So, in other words, he's flip-flopping for political expediency. Typical Republican...

    June 22, 2011 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  8. Darron R. Brown, M.D.

    The Republicans have failed by 1) getting us into a needless war in Iraq, and 2) doing nothing to help our country out of the worse financial crisis in 70 years. I admire President Obama a great deal, and Mr. Huntsman should be thankful for his leadership. If the Republicans had one ounce of courage and would help the president (and our country) even in the smallest ways, we'd have been out of financial trouble months, or even years ago.

    June 22, 2011 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  9. Cfrench

    Is anyone surprised? Flip-flopping is one of the requirements of tea-bagger approval. Retract whatever you want, just as long as your final positions are: You hate blacks, hate gays, are pro-life. love guns and love god. You could be a serial killer and the tea-baggers would embrace you as long as you have those views.

    June 22, 2011 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  10. Bill from GA

    Early on President Obama was awesome. Then, when the repugs got the ability to block legislation in the Senate, he became mostly ineffective.

    June 22, 2011 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  11. bb

    This guy REALLY thought he'd have a remote chance of winning??????????? Spare us..

    June 22, 2011 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
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