“Former GOP Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., now the Trump administration’s ambassador to Russia, has been talking to a few Utahns about returning to his home state and running – if you can believe it – for governor once again,” Utah Policy reports.
Huntsman Urged to Resign
The Salt Lake Tribune, which is owned by U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman’s brother Paul, has a column calling on Jon Huntsman to quit his post:
As Utahns, many of us were a bit stunned last year when you accepted the job as U.S. ambassador to Russia, but your explanation made sense: It was a role you took on, much like your tenure in China, out of a deep sense of duty.
But that duty is to your country and the best way now to serve your country is not by holding on to some title and being the emissary of a president who doesn’t share your values, or American values, for that matter.
It’s by resigning immediately and speaking out against a president who attacks our allies, gives comfort to our adversaries and undermines our moral standing, our commitment to democratic ideals and our interest in human rights every time he opens his gaping mouth.
Huntsman Nominated as Ambassador to Russia
President Trump will nominate Jon Huntsman, an envoy to China under former Democratic President Barack Obama, as U.S. ambassador to Russia in an announcement expected later, Reuters reports.
“The job, all the more high-profile because of allegations that Russia intervened in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, requires confirmation by the U.S. Senate.”
Why Was Huntsman Picked for Russia Ambassador?
James Hohmann: “Donald Trump has blocked several people who opposed him during the campaign from getting jobs in his administration. So why has he reportedly chosen Jon Huntsman to be the U.S. ambassador to Russia?”
“The 56-year-old has earned a reputation as someone who ingratiates himself with his patron of the moment but whose long-term loyalty cannot be counted on. His critics – including some who have worked with him – complain privately that he’s always thinking about how he can climb the next step up the ladder. When his name comes up around this town, one often hears words like craven and opportunistic.”
Also interesting: “Another person breathing a sigh of relief is Orrin Hatch. There’s been rampant speculation in Utah that Huntsman might challenge the 82-year-old senator for the GOP nomination next year. He won’t be able to do that from Moscow.”
Huntsman Offered Job of Ambassador to Russia
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) has been offered the job of U.S. ambassador to Russia and is in the process of submitting paperwork to accept the position, Politico reports.
“Huntsman, who served as ambassador to Singapore under President George H.W. Bush and then to China under President Barack Obama, was an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump during last year’s campaign.”
Hatch Very Vulnerable in Utah
A new Salt Lake Tribune poll in Utah shows Jon Huntsman (R) would beat Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) in a GOP Senate primary, 62% to 21%.
Key finding: 78% of voters survey say Hatch should “definitely not” or “probably not” run for re-election in 2018.
Huntsman Mulls Senate Bid In Utah
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) told Bloomberg that he’s weighing a run for the U.S. Senate in 2018, depending in part on whether fellow Republican Orrin Hatch decides to seek an eighth term.
Said Huntsman: “I’ve always said that I’ve got one more run left in our bones. And I don’t know what that will be. But I love this country.”
Huntsman Calls on Trump to Quit Race
“One week after explaining why he planned to vote for Donald Trump, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman said it is time for the Republican nominee to drop out of the race and allow vice presidential nominee Mike Pence to represent the party,” the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Bonus Quote of the Day
“We’ve had enough intraparty fighting. Now’s the time to stitch together a winning coalition. And it’s been clear almost from the beginning that Donald Trump has the ability to assemble a nontraditional bloc of supporters… The ability to cut across traditional party boundaries — like ’80, ’92 and 2008 — will be key, and Trump is much better positioned to achieve that.”
— Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R), quoted by Politico.
Huntsman Ruling Out Third Party Run
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R), who unsuccessfully sought the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, says he’s getting “a lot” of encouragement to launch another White House bid from Republicans concerned about the prospect of Donald Trump as the 2016 GOP nominee, USA Today reports.
Said Huntsman: “I always want to help my country where I can, but you don’t want to embark on a suicide mission. I’m not ready for a third-party run until we have a complete collapse of the Republican Party that I can still believe in.”
Huntsman Won’t Run for Senate
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. (R) said he won’t challenge fellow Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) next year, the Deseret News reports.
Said Huntsman: “I don’t rule out another run, but not against Mike. We don’t always agree (who does) but he’s very capable.”
Obama Feared Huntsman Most in 2012
Obama 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina said that “the guy that we were always most afraid of was Jon Huntsman, the governor of Utah, who I think would be a smashingly great general election candidate,” The Hill reports.
Of course, he added, given the Republican Party’s conservative tilt now, “You and I have the same chance he does of getting the Republican nomination for president.”
Extra Bonus Quote of the Day
“Romney’s case is different than Reagan’s. He lost the nomination decisively to John McCain in 2008, and in 2012 he defeated a historically weak field (well, aside from my dad) – and that was mainly thanks to his ability to raise more money and pound his competitors with negative ads.”
— Abby Huntsman, writing for MSNBC, on Mitt Romney thinking of running for president a third time.
Huntsman Disagrees with Father On Mike Lee
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) lavished praise on Sen. Mike Lee (R), his former general counsel, during an appearance on Matt K. Lewis’ podcast, several weeks after his father slammed the senator, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Said Huntsman: “Mike has every good intention and I say that because I worked with Mike. In fact, I don’t know too many people in the legislative branch who are as brilliant as Mike Lee. His understanding of the Constitution, his ability to legislate.”
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