Steve Benen: Jon Huntsman is no doubt aware of his predicament. He’s running for president, as a Republican, despite having been a member of the Obama administration. He also has to impress a far-right GOP base, despite taking center-left positions on a range of issues – climate, gays, immigration, economic stimulus, health care, the TARP bank bailout – important to his party.
What’s his solution? In effect, Huntsman has two choices. He can (a) run as a moderate statesman, hope centrist Republicans still exist, and watch the rest of the GOP field to knock each other out competing for the same right-wing votes; or (b) Huntsman can abandon his moderation and scurry to the right just as fast as he can.
As of this morning, Huntsman appears to prefer the latter.
In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America,” the former U.S. ambassador to China maintained a level-headed tone, but nevertheless moved sharply to the right on a range of domestic issues.
(See the breakdown of the issues in Benen’s post)
….To his credit, Huntsman was less willing to flip on civil unions and immigration, but on everything else, Huntsman was moving to the right so quickly, I’m surprised it didn’t cause whiplash.
For that matter, his willingness to explicitly endorse the Ryan agenda – including Medicare privatization – would prove to be wildly problematic in the general election, should he get that far.
Full post here