Jon Huntsman on the Issues


Jon Huntsman is the latest candidate to toss his hat in the ring for the GOP presidential nomination. The former Utah governor is seen as a moderate who could have a hard time wooing conservatives. Working in the Obama administration as Ambassador to China won't help him with that, either. Let's see where he stands on some of the issues:

Huntsman is pro-life. While in Utah he signed three bills to limit abortion, according to On the Issues. One of them outlawed second trimester abortions, and another required doctors to tell women the pain their fetus would feel during the procedure.

ABC News reports that in a June 2011, Huntsman said, "I do support a right-to-life amendment."

Gay Marriage:
Huntsman supports civil unions and other rights for same-sex couples, breaking with usual Republican doctrine. The Salt Lake Tribune reported in May 2011 that in response to a supportive letter from a gay father, Huntsman wrote:

"Let's hope that someday--all people are seen as equal under the laws of our land. With very best wishes--Jon."

Mother Jones wrote in April 2011:

In 1978, Jon Huntsman dropped out of high school to play in a prog rock band called "Wizard." As Politico noted, two of his bandmates were "very active in drugs," but Huntsman, who is Mormon, never joined in, and a friend says he "never saw him inhale."

Huntsman totes the conservative line on guns -- he is a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment. In an email following a radio interview in June 2011 in which he inadvertently said he would not veto an assault weapons ban, he wrote to host Hugh Hewitt:

"Hugh, I clearly misunderstood your question regarding the assault weapons ban. I would absolutely veto the ban. I have always stood firmly for 2nd Amendment rights, and my record in Utah reflects it. With a name like 'Huntsman' it really goes without saying."

Health Care:
Huntsman opposes an individual mandate, but there is a question over whether he supported it in the past. The Huffington Post reported in June 2011 that during his first term as Utah governor, Huntsman was "smitten" with then-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's health care plan, which included a mandate. HuffPo wrote:

Huntsman and his administration went on to support a 2007 United Way of Salt Lake City plan which called for a mandate. That same year, his cabinet and others pushed draft legislation that mirrored the Massachusetts model and the United Way plan and included a mandate. When the Utah legislature balked at such a mandate, it was taken off the table. Instead, in 2008, Huntsman passed a reform bill that established a health care exchange for small businesses known as the Utah Health Exchange that left uninsured individuals unaddressed. Huntsman has denied that he ever supported a mandate.


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