Why is Jon Huntsman Considered a "Moderate"?
Jon Huntsman, former Governor of Utah, and current U.S. Ambassador to China, is leaving his current post in the Obama Administration at the end of next month to consider a run for the Republican presidential nomination. His solidly pro-life record has attracted the interest of Sam Brownback's former chief of staff and 2008 presidential campaign manager:
Huntsman is also supportive of 2nd amendment rights, and as Governor of Utah supported school vouchers, market-based approaches to health care reform, and across-the-board tax cuts. So, my question is why do so many on the right, in the middle, on the left, and in the media consider Huntsman to be a "moderate"? Writing at The Corner, Ramesh Ponnuru wondered the same thing a few days ago:
... Rob Wasinger, who headed the campaign of the former U.S. senator from Kansas who is now the state’s governor, told LifeNews.com he joins other Hunstman supporters in encouraging the man who has served as President Barack Obama’s ambassador to China to seek the Republican nomination. Wasinger says Huntsman’s pro-life position and record attract him to the oft-mentioned potential candidate.
“There are some candidates out there who claim to be pro-life, but as Governor, Jon Huntsman did the hard work of advocating for the cause of life when others would run and hide,” Wasinger said. ” I have found that in my years of public service, it is the people that actually have a record on an issue that are the most reliable. Anyone can rollout talking points; but only a true leader can actually put together a record of service.”
Huntsman signed a trio of pro-life bills in February 2009 that the Utah legislature approved — including legislation to make second-trimester abortions illegal, a measure to allow women to know about the pain their unborn children will feel during an abortion, and a bill that would create a legal defense fund to pay for litigation related to lawsuit abortions advocates file against state legislation. Huntsman has also lived out his pro-life views in that he has seven children, two of whom were from international adoptions. ...
I’ve now read a few articles and blog posts either lauding the Utah governor as a moderate or denouncing him as same. Huntsman has signed pro-life bills, voucher bills, and tax cuts. Yes, he is open to some kind of civil union for gay couples and wants Republicans to make more of an effort on environmental issues. But if that’s all it takes for a Republican politician to get an image both inside and outside the party as a “moderate” these days, that’s a pretty good thing, isn’t it?