Jon Huntsman: ‘Serious candidates come here’

GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman got a standing ovation from a 180-member House on Wednesday. In part, merely because he showed up.

GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman (left) with House Speaker David Ralston. Brant Sanderlin bsanderlin@ajc.com

GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman (left) with House Speaker David Ralston. Brant Sanderlin bsanderlin@ajc.com

Huntsman was the first Republican in the field to visit the state Capitol since Tim Pawlenty last November. (This, of course, doesn’t count Newt Gingrich, who at one point was supposed to be running a Georgia-centric, favorite-son campaign.)

House Speaker David Ralston announced that any presidential candidate who comes to Georgia while the Legislature is in session will get a full-court reception in his House — are you listening, President Obama?

“It’s good for them to know that Georgia is an important place. Rather than go see them, I think it’s good for them to come to see us,” Ralston told his members.

That might be interpreted as a small dig at Gov. Rick Perry, who has invited state lawmakers to fly to Texas to get a feel for the candidate.

Huntsman is no dummy. He quickly picked up on Ralston’s message.

“Serious candidates come here to the statehouse. You shouldn’t have to go to them. Just remember that,” Huntsman told lawmakers.

Overall, the former U.S. ambassador to China and Singapore delivered an upbeat message:

”We are a blue-sky, optimistic people. We’re going to find solutions. We always do. And those solutions are typically derived from the local areas of government. We’re not going to find our solutions – whether economic development or health care reform or energy reform – necessarily in Washington.

“I spent the last two years living in China. You walk the streets of Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou, and there’s energy. There’s a level of enthusiasm. Eight, nine, 10 percent economic growth for 10 years running.

“I just want to remind you what this country has. We have everything this country needs to succeed, and we forget that sometimes. We have stability, we have rule of law, we have the longest-surviving constitution in this world. We have private property rights.”

Before addressing the House, Huntsman stopped to talk to Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (a Perry supporter) and Gov. Nathan Deal (still supporting Gingrich).

In a scrum with reporters, Huntsman indicated he’s not too far away from U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson when it comes to the need for revenue to address the federal debt:

”This isn’t a time for tax increases. But I would phase out the loopholes and the deductions and biases in a terribly antiquated tax code. It is broken and every American knows it. And I would reinvest that revenue back into the tax code, which would lower the rate and broaden the base and make it a whole lot more competitive.”

Huntsman also declined to take a potshot at Vice President Joe Biden, on a tour of Asia that included a stop in Beijing to reassure the leaders of China – which holds more U.S. debt than any other foreign country – that the U.S. government remains a sound investment.

Said Huntsman:

”Interaction at that level, on a range of issues – some are economic and some are security-related – this dialogue between the United States and China is very, very important. It’s gone on for 40 years, Republicans and Democrats alike. And if there’s one thing we need more of in the U.S.-China relationship, it’s greater trust. We need to understand their intentions, they need to understand our intentions.

“But the best fix for [the] U.S.-China relationship, we forget sometimes, is fixing our [economic] core in this country, because our leverage has been weakened. Our economy has faltered. We have less and less leverage with the Chinese at the negotiating table.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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21 comments Add your comment

Tom

August 24th, 2011
12:01 pm

The ultimate irony is the number of self-proclaimed “Constitutionalists” who are all ga-ga over nuts like Bachmann and Perry…either of which would happily mock the U.S. Constitution in order to advance their dream of an American theocracy. Meanwhile, the true view of liberty as considered and espoused by the Founding Fathers is actually best-exemplified by candidates like Paul, Johnson and, yes, even Huntsman.

n

August 24th, 2011
12:34 pm

The sweet voice of reason!

td

August 24th, 2011
12:34 pm

Huntsman is like Newt and all the other minor candidates and does not have a chance at getting the nomination. This is just another attempt of the media to drive a wedge in the Republican voters.

cs

August 24th, 2011
12:40 pm

the house speaker is nuts. like he is sooooooooooooooo important presidents and kings around the world will come visit “his” house…..gag. can the house do us a favor and replace this dumbarse…with anybody……

SpaceyG on Twitter

August 24th, 2011
12:40 pm

I want some of whatever Huntsman’s smoking! Georgia? Srsly?

SpaceyG on Twitter

August 24th, 2011
12:46 pm

Huntsman’s gonna have to crazy-up to get anywhere in his race. Dude is way too smart, practical and sensible. Heck, he keeps THAT kinda centrist/normalcy up some Ds and Ls might do stuff like crossover and vote for him.

Danny O

August 24th, 2011
12:52 pm

@td:

The media did not invite Huntsman to Georgia. They are merely reporting his presence, as they would do with any presidential candidate who spoke to our state legislature.

DJ Sniper

August 24th, 2011
12:52 pm

Wow, we didn’t even reach 10 posts before someone blamed the media. Even though I’m not a fan of the GOP, I like Huntsman simply because he actually seems to have common sense. He seems to be trying to appeal to a broad range of voters, unlike Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann, who want to attract as many nut cases as possible. It’s a shame he’s as far down in the polls as he is.

SpaceyG on Twitter

August 24th, 2011
12:55 pm

Danny O: are you saying there are idiots without anything resembling an education commenting here? Why I’m shocked, just shocked.

MrLiberty

August 24th, 2011
12:59 pm

Huntsman who??

Isn’t he the guy that John Stewart said lost to Gary Busey in the Ames Iowa Straw Poll??

Just another media and neocon establishment darling they are trying to get republicans interested in so they won’t notice the ever-growing tide of people who are supporting Ron Paul. Good luck with that plan.

Ron Paul 2012.

SpaceyG on Twitter

August 24th, 2011
1:06 pm

You can find Huntsman on Twitter here: @JonHuntsman and (campaign) @Jon2012HQ. But be careful. Make sure you can handle it. He seems like the kind of person/candidate who might actually be able to send his own Tweets.

ByteMe

August 24th, 2011
1:33 pm

He seems like the kind of person/candidate who might actually be able to send his own Tweets.

Except he admited he doesn’t send them (who has time?). Someone else does creates the messages and sends them for him. But he does approve them before they go out.

Hazel

August 24th, 2011
1:58 pm

“I spent the last two years living in China. You walk the streets of Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou, and there’s energy. There’s a level of enthusiasm. Eight, nine, 10 percent economic growth for 10 years running.

Yep. No strong central government there.

Jack McFarland

August 24th, 2011
2:13 pm

I have been a Jon Huntsman fan since he announced he was running. A good businessman, a former governor, bilingual (he speaks Mandarin), and has good connections with China. He is the best GOP presidential candidate.

And he is good-looking.

td

August 24th, 2011
2:19 pm

Hazel

August 24th, 2011
1:58 pm

No EPA, No labor laws and very little regulation.

Hazel

August 24th, 2011
2:35 pm

Massive corruption, massive pollution, slave labor, and no free press. Other than that, peachy!

Ghost Rider

August 24th, 2011
3:05 pm

“Huntsman also declined to take a potshot at Vice President Joe Biden”

That should read, “Vice-Idiot . . .”

findog

August 24th, 2011
4:40 pm

replace “serious” with “desperate” and he nailed it

findog

August 24th, 2011
4:45 pm

GR, a vice idiot is a John caught twice by stings on Ponce de Leon

North Ga Rules

August 25th, 2011
9:37 am

Hansome, educated, successful businessman. The voice of reason in an extreme process. Maybe next time Huntsman will bring his wives with him.

Rohan Maitra

August 27th, 2011
11:06 pm

Huntsman is the only candidate in the race for whom I’d be thrilled to cast my vote. It’s too bad that reason, civility, and pragmatism have become vices in today’s presidential process.