Every Republican candidate has referenced President Reagan at some point. All want to be seen as being the most like their icon. After watching most of the debates, as you know, there have been many. If Reagan were here today, he would endorse (drum roll, please): Jon Huntsman.
While his level headed and non-rabid demeanor has made many paint him as a liberal, he is not. He is pro-life. He has a 100 percent approval rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA). He worked for President Obama, sure, but he has also worked for Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He served two terms as governor of Utah. Those are not liberal bonafides. You don’t have to take my word for it — and I am a liberal so you shouldn’t (it’s all about perspective, you know). But Haley Barbour knows a thing or two about politics and conservatives and has said this:
Jon Huntsman and I served together, and while we don’t agree on some issues, there’s no question that he’s a conservative. He’s way to the right of Barack Obama for goodness sake. But yeah, I consider Jon a conservative. As I said, we have some issues that I think are important that we have different views on. But he was in the Reagan administration, elected governor of a very conservative state — elected and re-elected by the way. So if you’re asking me if Jon Huntsman is qualified to the Republican nominee for President of the United States, the answer is, of course he is.” View it here.
Plus, Huntsman did a good job. Taxes went down. Job creation went up. The Pew Center on the States found that Utah was the “best managed states” under his tenior.
And Huntsman has solid foreign policy experience and knowledge. We live in an increasingly interconnected world. We need someone at the help who will not need to rely on advisors in high level meetings with foreign leaders — they will not be in the room.
President Ronald Reagan — and I can assure you waxing nostalgic for him is something I never thought I would do — would look at the current crop of GOP candidates and pick Jon Huntsman because he is a competent, pragmatic, intelligent and thoughtful person. He has been consistently conservative. To my friends on the right, being rabidly anti-Obama doesn’t make you conservative, it makes you rabidly anti-Obama. There are plenty of lefties who are upset with him, too.
But what about the fact that Huntsman worked for President Obama? Reagan started off as a Democrat but more than that, he saw the value in working with the other side of the aisle. Tip O’Neil never would have given a press conference saying that “Democrats and Republicans are drom different planets.” Never. Would. Have. Happened.
As for the rest? Mitt Romney would be a second choice, if we could figure out WHICH Mitt Romney would be headed to the White House. After that, I almost thing Reagan would stay home rather than vote for someone proud of their ignorance. Yes, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry — I am talking to you. Newt Gingrich? Believes his own PR too much and will self-destruct — we want a winner here, people. Ron Paul & Rich Santorum, right, like that’s gonna happen.
I want President Obama win reelection but having Jon Huntsman as his rival — as scary as that might be for Democrats as he has the best chance of any of them to win the general, it would move our conversation to a better, more productive place.
Every four years, we have the opportunity to look at our government and decide how we want to govern ourselves, who we want to be as a people and what we can do — together — to solve our problems. We have serious issues that deserve more of our attention that birth certificates or fighting over who knows less about what.