Huntsman: Romney's a 'perfectly lubricated weather vane'
October 28th, 2011
12:44 PM ET
11 years ago

Huntsman: Romney's a 'perfectly lubricated weather vane'

(CNN) – Jon Huntsman unleashed new attack lines on two of his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination Friday.

The former Utah governor called Mitt Romney a "perfectly lubricated weather vane" and Herman Cain "the flavor of the week," in an interview with Wolf Blitzer.

Huntsman continued popular criticism of Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, by accusing him of changing his positions on issues including Libya, the debt ceiling and Ohio's bill to limit the collective bargaining rights of union workers.

"You can't be a perfectly lubricated weather vane on the important issues of the day," Huntsman said. "Romney has been missing in action in terms of showing any kind of leadership."

"I do believe that the electorate this go around will be looking for clearly defined presidential leadership and I'm not sure we're seeing that," Huntsman added.

The former U.S. ambassador to China who has received single digit support in national and state-wide polls also suggested Cain's rise in recent polling is temporary.

"Oftentimes you can spike for the moment, you're the flavor of the week or the flavor of the month," Huntsman said. "I remember when Gov. Perry was at 20% in New Hampshire. He came with great fanfare, now he's in the low single digits."

"We're just trying a steady, gradual, substantive rise in New Hampshire based upon real support," Huntsman said.

- Watch the full interview with Huntsman on CNN's "The Situation Room" at 4 p.m. ET.

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.

Filed under: 2012 • Jon Huntsman • Mitt Romney • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. listenToMe

    Huntsman is the only serious candidate the Republicans have. If he doesn't get the nomination, it will be a damn shame. It shows how far the GOP has slipped from reality.

    October 28, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  2. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAliban/TEAhadists

    Huntsman is just reitterating what the DNC has been saying all along about Willard "Lord of the FF" Romney. He has no solid convictions and doesn't stand on any principles. As far as Cain goes, HA!! Hunstman is the ONLY person out of the GOP field I would consider voting for and I don't even agree with his policy agenda. But he's the most sane out of the field and the most competant.

    October 28, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. Bill

    I am no fan of the Republicans but I do like Huntsman. He is well-informed, smart, and independent in his views. With such good qualities he will never see the light of day in the myopic, neanderthal Republican party. It is pretty sad of the collection of misfit toys that they have up there now. What an embarrassment for this great nation. It is a shame. I think he would be a strong national candidate.

    October 28, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  4. Noodle Nose Johnson

    "perfectly lubricated weathervane" has to be one of the funniest things I've heard this entire campaign! Good show Huntsman!

    October 28, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  5. westward

    As easily predicted, Romney is going down with a whimper. He is not presidential material – never was.

    October 28, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  6. joe

    this guy is the only normal repub. in the race. the GOP is so blinded by their own ideaolgy they cannot see that this guy is presidential material. the fact that he is at 1-2% in the GOP polls tells you why they cannot win the election. I am a democrat but the only way you can beat president Obama is to run someone who actually is moderate and NOT a nut case like the rest of the GOP field.

    October 28, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. Andrew

    Romney is the only candidate that can beat Obama and the only candidate that has the experience to change Washington... you forgot to mention that Mr. Huntsman. Your support is failing fast. Until reading this article, I thought you had already dropped out. You're almost invisible.

    October 28, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  8. Name king

    Well huntsman I am quite happy you don't have chance in the narrow minded teapug party to have a chance to challenge Obama, And you'r right, that's all I have to say.

    October 28, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  9. GOP = Greed Over People

    It is a good thing that insanity is in vogue with the GOP this election cycle, otherwise, this man could be a threat to President Obama.

    October 28, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Hey. Mr. Ambassador, watch this.

    Raise your hand if you know what Amb. Huntsman's plan is for job creation.
    Raise your hand if you know what Amb. Huntsman's plan is for reduction of the national debt.
    Raise your hand if you know what Amb. Hunstman's opinion is of the Occupy Wall Street protestors.

    I don't see many volunteers, Mr. Ambassador.

    October 28, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  11. Tom

    Ridiculous. Hunstman has absolutely zero chance at the nomination. Huntsman echoing DNC criticism of one of his fellow candidates, the one most likely to be facing Obama in the general election, is counter-intuitive for the party and frankly quite petty. If you know that you have no chance and can't poll above 1%, why would you continue to tear down your fellows? I include Santorum in this as well. It is childish, and reflects poorly on us all.

    October 28, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  12. Andrew

    Top dog always get attacked by smaller dogs. King of the hill should expect pot shots. Unfortunately, Mr. Hunstman spouting off makes him look weak and feeble. He has no chance of winning anything. Close up shop. Romney is our man. 2012!

    October 28, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  13. MnTaxpayer

    If the president is elected by the public (at least to the extent that this is true under our electoral college system) why shouldn't he change his mind at times propose plans and endorse ideas that the majority of people want? Of course you can't just follow popular opinion since the average voter is not an expert on economics, foreign policy, national defense etc. but why shouldn't a candidate consider what the public wants when he's defining his issues? I am in no way a supporter of Romney or any of the other repubican candidates, but I'd rather have a flip-flopper who listens to the voters when it makes sense to dso so than an idealogue or pledge signer who does not leave himself any options.

    October 28, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  14. Rick McDaniel

    That one is amusing.

    October 28, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  15. Mike Dallas

    Now that was funny, and provides a perfect Romney visual!

    October 28, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  16. Kris in AL

    Who is Jon Huntsman?

    October 28, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. Jon

    I'll probably write in Huntsman unless polls show it's really close in my state. Neither Obama nor Romney does anything for me.

    October 28, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  18. mark moore

    This liberal agrees Huntsman is the only sane choice coming from the gop campaign. So I'm sure he won't stand a chance.

    October 28, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  19. Just Saying

    Let me echo what Bill and joe above have said. Huntsman is the only sane Republican with his hat in the ring. The problem for him is that the Republican party that would have welcomed an intelligent, educated and experienced candidate of his caliber no longer exists. It has been replaced by an assembly of angry, ignorant and irrational ideologues who elevate baseless belief and personal preference over science and real, fact-based knowledge. The scary part is that the GOP gathers so much support. It is as if the nation is sliding into a collective insanity that we may not recover from. Just Saying...

    October 28, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  20. kamakiriad

    Huntsman = Best qualified candidate to beat Obama.

    Therefor, he has ZERO chance of being the Republican nominee. They will run Perry, Cain, or Romney and then implode trying to blame each other over how they lost.

    Huntsman is smart, the only one with diplomatic experience, and he has strong convictions, even if he isn't the most conservative.

    October 28, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  21. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    After spending millions on Mittens, I know the Koch brothers are not going to like Huntsman's comment, but he is right on this time. Romberg has taken every side of most of the issues, but his followers love Mittens' indecision and lack of a spine.

    October 28, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  22. Joee

    Huntsman and Newt Gingrich are both underachievers!!! hahaaaaa!

    October 28, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  23. Lying communist (republican)

    How can anyone write that Mittens has any experience and can change Washington? Mittens is getting his campaign money from the lobbyists, big oil, big corporations, Wall Street and big banks. He owes them, and that means more republican warfare on the middle class.

    October 28, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  24. cigarman

    One thing I have against Huntsman is that he owns eight companies in China, why doesnt the guy move those companies to the United States. This is true, check it out. Huntsman would encourage other companies to move to China, not the U.S.A.

    October 28, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  25. NVa Native

    I look forward to voting for Obama again, and seeing him accomplish more great things in his second term, but Huntsman sounds like a decent guy.

    October 28, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
1 2