Political Animal


October 28, 2011 4:30 PM Huntsman’s criticism clinic

By Steve Benen

It’s very difficult to imagine the circumstances that would allow Jon Huntsman to seriously compete for the Republican presidential nomination. But given that he’s competing for the same kinds of GOP voters as the party’s frontrunner, Mitt Romney, Huntsman is focusing most of his attacks on the former Massachusetts governor.

And Huntsman’s campaign is proving to be very good at it.

Over the summer, for example, Huntsman’s spokesperson said, “You know your job creation record is bad when you brag about leapfrogging a state ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. The reality is Mitt Romney’s record on job creation was abysmal by every standard.” It was an immediate clip-and-save quote.

This morning, Huntsman used the “perfectly lubricated weathervane” line, which is oddly perfect, and this afternoon, Kombiz flagged this brutal video the Huntsman campaign put together.

Romney, it would seem, has two main flaws as a candidate. He’s a cowardly and uncontrollable flip-flopper with no core convictions, and he has an atrocious record on job creation. And on both fronts, I’d argue that Huntsman is hitting Romney on both counts more effectively than anyone in either party.

If Democrats — Obama’s re-election team, the DNC, allied super PACs, etc. — are smart, they’re taking note at what Huntsman is up to. This is content that should probably be used again in 2012.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


Post a comment
  • liam foote on October 28, 2011 4:51 PM:

    Perhaps they should just hire these folks when Amb. Huntsman departs the race. While Mr. Obama is a great speaker, the WH has no message capaciliity to match the GOP machine. This better change quickly.

  • T2 on October 28, 2011 4:57 PM:

    Huntsman's pretty smart, which is why Obama had him work for him. And it's also why he sticks out like a sore thumb at the so-called "debates"...Fortunately for Perry,Cain and the rest of them, Huntsman is hardly every "called on" so has little time to verbally shred them in front of the nation. He's got nothing to lose, might as well cut loose when he gets a chance.

    capcha has a good Romney description: connected ashappl

  • June on October 28, 2011 4:59 PM:

    Damn. Credit where credit is due. I don't consider Huntsman to be any more credible than the rest of 'em, but that is a brilliant ad.

  • Trollop on October 28, 2011 5:01 PM:

    This is a sticker/stinger, let's hope the DNC watches it about a hundred and fifty million times..

  • Grumpy on October 28, 2011 5:05 PM:

    If Democrats — Obama’s re-election team, the DNC, allied super PACs, etc. — are smart, they’re taking note at what Huntsman is up to.

    What makes you so sure Huntsman hasn't been their sleeper agent all along?

  • jjm on October 28, 2011 5:12 PM:

    @Grumpy--I've wondered about that myself!

  • just bill on October 28, 2011 5:24 PM:

    democrats should be thankful that the republicans won't let huntsman be their nominee - he is the only one of them who could give obama a run for his money.

  • Death Panel Truck on October 28, 2011 6:11 PM:

    Romney is their nominee. He's all they've got. And Obama will easily defeat him.

  • POed Lib on October 28, 2011 7:30 PM:

    Romney has NEVER created a single job. Rather, his vampire capital destruction firm Bain Capital bought companies with embezzled funds, stole all the money from them, and then bankrupted them. THOUSANDS were put on the street, and Mittens took all the money. He's worse than a vampire, since vampires kill only one or two persons a night. Mittens killed hundreds of thousands of careers. Goodness knows how many committed suicide or went bankrupt due to his vampire firm killing their career.

  • Jenny on October 28, 2011 7:52 PM:

    But Romney won't be the nominee.

  • exlibra on October 28, 2011 11:31 PM:

    In the "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" vein... Huntsman's *daughters* are out with an ad of their own, and it's as good as (or better than) Huntsman's. While Papa takes apart the flipping monkey known as Romney, they take aim at another rival, blowing bubbles at Cain:

  • bob h on October 29, 2011 6:52 AM:

    It is a frightening indicator of how crazy the Republicans are that this sensible, sane candidate is polling at 0%.

  • Krusher on October 29, 2011 8:34 AM:

    "If Democrats � Obama�s re-election team, the DNC, allied super PACs, etc. � are smart, they�re taking note at what Huntsman is up to. This is content that should probably be used again in 2012."

    That is a mighty huge if. Absent sudden spine and brain growth on the part of Obama, the DNC, etc.--a highly unlikely event--it ain't going to happen.

  • JD on October 29, 2011 10:02 AM:

    Hey, maybe we should hire that man!

    Oh, wait a minute, we already did...

  • Mike on December 02, 2011 8:40 AM:

    I'd say Mitt Romney is the candidate of choice for those who believe in principles - for a price. He remains a front runner in the eyes of mainstream media's jades eyes - as he knows how to front for any big crook - just like Bush, Clinton, Obama - anyone who's got his own presidential library.