Huntsman decries debt debate 'lunacy'
August 19th, 2011
05:42 PM ET
11 years ago

Huntsman decries debt debate 'lunacy'

(CNN) – Threats of a national default during the debt ceiling debate amounted to "lunacy." That is, according to former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.

He accused those who spoke of risking a possible default to force the government's hand in facing its rising debt–including some of his Republican opponents–of behaving like lunatics during an interview on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" scheduled to air Monday.

Considering the impact of the nation's economy on world markets, the 2012 GOP presidential candidate said he couldn't fathom how Republican colleagues discussed the possibility of defaulting on the country's debt during the heated debate surrounding whether the borrowing limit should be increased.

"I thought it was the height of irresponsibility," he said.

"We're 25 percent of the world's GDP. The United States of America that has never defaulted before—just let it go over a cliff—you can imagine what the marketplace would have done in response," Huntsman continued.

"The marketplace is trashing everybody right now, assets are underwater…you can only imagine what this country would look like today if we had defaulted. It was complete lunacy for people to even talk about that."

And when pressed on whether he felt sympathy for President Obama's position, Huntsman responded that they have no personal relationship to speak of.

Huntsman noted that he served as U.S. ambassador to China because he was called by the president to serve his country.

"You work for your president when you are asked to serve," Huntsman said.

"He is a good man, he is earnest but he has failed us on the most important issue of the day."

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Filed under: 2012 • Content Partner • Economy • Jon Huntsman • President Obama • TV-Piers Morgan
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. VistaPoint

    Completely agree with Huntsman, except his last comment about President Obama. It is the actions of President Obama that saved us from the catastropic events that emerge from the lack of action on part of Congress prior to 2008. Remember Lehman Brothers and Bear Sterns. Imagine if the country had any of these GOP candidates as President when the country was facing the debt ceiling limit; these guys would have let the country go over the cliff, and today we would be out on the street with either guns or begging bowls, because everything we have would have be worth nothing had we defaulted.

    August 19, 2011 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  2. asdf

    Wow you know the Republican party has gone off the deep end on the right when the moderate candidates making the most sense are Mormon.

    August 19, 2011 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  3. Drogo, who bit the dust

    Welcome to the Republican party. Huntsman knows he's not going anywhere in 2012. This is all about positioning for 2016 where he and Jeb Bush will likely duke it out.

    August 19, 2011 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  4. Matt

    Too bad this guy doesn't have a chance in hell of being nominated. Even though I probably wouldn't vote Republican, it'd be nice to have a guy like this as the opposition, maybe debates would be meaningful and thoughtful. Plus if he won I probably wouldn't mind too much.

    August 19, 2011 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  5. Raghu

    Someone with some brains. thankfully

    August 19, 2011 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  6. Cindy

    Huntsman is the only Republican candidate worth looking at twice. He is the voice of reason amid the howling mob. I don't know his politics but his tone is very Presidential and he is clearly someone who would be willing to reach across the aisle.

    August 19, 2011 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  7. Cindy

    Really, CNN? What about my above comment could possibly be worthy of moderation???

    August 19, 2011 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  8. Randy

    So John you ready to tax the wealthy like Warren Buffet has recommended?

    August 19, 2011 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  9. Chuck

    Looks like Huntsman has the least warts of the GOP candidates.

    And yet, blaming the other party for what the last President did is dishonest.

    August 19, 2011 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  10. Terry Gloege

    This sort of talk will not score big with the Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor band of wackos.

    August 19, 2011 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  11. C. Howe Yulikit

    Jon Huntsman is the only Republican I would ever even remotely consider voting for and I am a huge fan of Obama. Guess I'll never have to make that decision since the GOP is only interested in wing nuts like Bachmann, Perry, Palin and the like. There used to be people called "moderate Republicans". Where are they?

    August 19, 2011 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  12. John

    Yet Huntsman raised his hand in Iowa with the others when asked if he would refuse a deal that cut the deficit 90% from cuts and 10% from increased taxes on the rich. I'm glad he thinks defaulting was a stupid idea. That at least separates him from Romney and Perry. But he should have shown some courage when it counted.

    August 19, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  13. fmjk

    He speaks the truth! He will NEVER get the Republican nomination.

    August 19, 2011 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  14. jersvette

    Huntsman is the only Republican candidate that speaks honest objective and targeted. I may not agreed with him 100% but it is so refreshing to hear an opponent of our President speak about the issues directly instead of focused personal attacks. It is a shame that because he does not subscribe to the extremist ideology that most all of the other Republican candidates adhere to he stands little chance of making a real impact.

    August 19, 2011 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  15. Geoffrey in Lowell MA

    Finally a Republican sane enough to say what is true.

    August 19, 2011 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  16. Joe

    He is the only sane Republican running for president. Unfortunately, it is exactly because he isn't a lunatic that he can't get the nomination. A shame.

    August 19, 2011 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  17. Texas Doc

    Dude you are toast. Your GOTea masters would never let a Mormon be president, but someone who goes off script? You never had a chance in hell, but as long as you know how crazy the Teabag GOP America haters are is a step towards sanity.

    August 19, 2011 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
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