Richard Swett (Concord Monitor): Today Jon Huntsman makes his New Hampshire debut as a potential presidential candidate. As someone who served under both a Democratic and a Republican president abroad, I applaud him for setting his Republican Party affiliation aside for two years to serve President Obama in China.
…But I wonder which Huntsman will be coming to the Granite State this week. Already he has been flip-flopping, like all the Republican candidates, pandering to the most extreme views of the Republican base. When these Republican candidates begin their presidential runs, it seems like all the pragmatic and commonsense policymaking they once listed as accomplishments becomes a record from which they try to distance themselves.
….Will the Huntsman who told the Obama administration that he appreciated what the president was trying to do on health care be the one coming to Manchester this weekend? Or will it be a Romney-lite Huntsman who attempts to distance himself from the president’s groundbreaking reforms that will ensure millions of Americans have access to quality affordable health care?
Will the Huntsman who supports a larger stimulus package come to Windham? Huntsman told Politico that the stimulus “probably wasn’t large enough,” and accepted more than $1.6 billion in stimulus money as governor of Utah. Is that what he’ll tell the Windham Republican Town Committee this week?
Will the Huntsman who supports civil unions and gay rights come to Franklin … he may just be the latest candidate in a presidential primary where all the competitors are moving to the right – as quickly as possible. If Huntsman follows this well-trodden path, it will be nothing new and nothing as fresh as the Washington pundits suggest his candidacy to be.
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