Huntsman meets with GOP governors … then rides a Harley
July 16th, 2011
10:11 PM ET
11 years ago

Huntsman meets with GOP governors … then rides a Harley

Salt Lake City, Utah (CNN) - Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has been convening a series of private meetings with Republican governors in Salt Lake City as he seeks to build support for his presidential bid.

Thirty-two of the nation’s governors are in the Utah capital this weekend for the annual meeting of the National Governors Association, including several prominent Republicans whose endorsements are being sought by the field of presidential hopefuls.

Among the governors Huntsman met with on Saturday was Terry Branstad of Iowa, a state that Huntsman is essentially ignoring as he maps out his nomination strategy.

The sit-down came at Branstad’s request, according to a source familiar with the meeting.

Branstad inquired about China, where Huntsman served as U.S. ambassador until April, but the topic of the Iowa politics was also on the table.

Huntsman left open the possibility of campaigning in Iowa at some point before the caucuses, he told reporters at a Harley-Davidson store in Salt Lake before taking a group motorcycle ride organized by his campaign.

“We had a great meeting,” Huntsman said. “He spoke his mind. I spoke my mind. And I told him, of course in politics you never want to close out your options.”

Huntsman also met with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. He said his meeting with Christie was “excellent.”

After talking with the media, Huntsman donned black leather gloves, hopped on a motorcycle and led the pack of more than 50 bikers on a ride around Salt Lake City that culminated in a rally with supporters wearing red and black Huntsman campaign gear.

A noted motocross and extreme sports enthusiast, Huntsman stopped to give an interview to Johnny Riche, the host of an “action sports” talk show in Salt Lake City.

Huntsman rolled up his white shirtsleeves and flashed a “hang loose” sign at the camera, telling Riche that the motorcycle ride was “outstanding” and that “the only thing missing was Travis Pastrana,” the stunt biker and X Games legend.

“Everybody watching who cares about two-wheel sports, we brought the X Games here, we brought the Super Motor here, we are making two-wheel sports come to life, just remember that,” Huntsman said.

Filed under: 2012 • Jon Huntsman • Utah
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    This has been another event that puts Christie in a spot light to be a king maker. I'd rather him be back in NJ either doing his job and looking at the people he has hurt with the cuts he made; or better yet coming back to NJ to say that he is resigning to run for president or what ever other reason that would get him out of Trenton.

    July 16, 2011 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  2. jim

    a harley? couldn't he have chosen a decent motorcycle instead of one that has a design that's 50 years out of date.

    July 16, 2011 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  3. Bruce Coil

    Jon Huntsman: President of Club Rino.

    July 16, 2011 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  4. CF

    I hope he is a member of ABATE.

    July 17, 2011 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  5. T'sah from Virginia

    What is it with Harley-Davidsons and Gun Shops with the Right????

    July 17, 2011 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  6. Carpe Diem

    This guy is a stud! His business, political, and international experience is impressive; as well as his non-Washington approach to life. As an Independent voter he is the only Republican candidate that I am excited about. The problem is that the crazy right wing will pick someone so far to their spectrum that the more moderate and independent voters won't care between Obama and their Republican candidate.

    July 17, 2011 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  7. dc

    Didn't Putin do this in Russia?

    July 17, 2011 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  8. bam

    palin hunstmen huh? what next he gunan do visit boston for the bells and the warnings and the british arent taking our weapons

    July 17, 2011 03:49 am at 3:49 am |
  9. Wildone

    Prob'ly got a tat that says "Live to Ride/ Ride to Live", Amen.

    July 17, 2011 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  10. Ted

    Huntsman on a harley tells me all I need to know about this jerk. Bikers have evolved into the rudest bunch of self centered idiots around.With their loud pipes they are in the same class of people as the ones that have radios you can hear 12 blocks away .They have no consideration for anyone.Most of your biker gangs are drug pushers and pimps.MAYBE HUNTSMAN AND pALIN should team up.

    July 17, 2011 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  11. mb2010a

    What is with these Republicans and riding around on Harley's? First Palin and now Huntsman. This man has seven kids...that alone would preclude my voting for him...

    July 17, 2011 07:54 am at 7:54 am |

    They were going over their Koch brothers marching orders with the govs who have spearheaded their radical job killing agenda nationwide

    July 17, 2011 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  13. nancyke

    oh, great, another middle aged rich "biker"

    July 17, 2011 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  14. Stephen

    Gotta get out the biker vote

    July 17, 2011 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  15. diane

    I am glad that Mr. Huntsman is running for the office. I worked for Huntsman Corp. as a contractor and they were down to earth people. If he is anything like his father, he will have a lot of support in the Illinois Valley in central Illinois.

    July 17, 2011 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  16. Donkey Party

    The GOP really is the "Big-tent" party. How else could they have found so many clowns to run for President?

    July 17, 2011 08:45 am at 8:45 am |