Chris Herrod On: Jon Huntsman Sr. not being a good conservative

Because of my respect for Jon Huntsman, Sr., I’ve had to write and rewrite and then rewrite again this simple post to constrain myself, but something must be said.  Huntsman was quoted…

“All I can say is Mike Lee is an embarrassment to the state of Utah,” Huntsman said in an interview, calling Lee “an extremist” for his role in the government shutdown fight that he said cost his cancer research institute millions in federal dollars and hurt small businesses affected by the closure of national parks. “He’s been a tremendous embarrassment to our family, to our state, to our country to have him as a U.S. senator.”


Mr. or Elder, or simply Jon as a fellow Utahn (whatever title gives the most respect here in Utah), your wealth and your generosity are almost beyond comparison. For this, I am truly grateful. But does this entitle you to speak for all of Utah?  Because you have the opportunity to do so much good, have you the right to pass such personal judgments on a father-son relationship?

But the 77-year-old Huntsman said his real concern is Lee’s policies and position during the shutdown, saying the senator is a “terrible disappointment” who did not follow in the footsteps of his father.

To take such a swipe at Senator Lee, who lost his father to cancer so long ago, I simply cannot comprehend. But this seems to be the acceptable language of the day (at least towards conservatives, anyway).  I often interacted with Senator Lee’s father when I was a student body officer at BYU, while Rex Lee was President of that university.  Mr. Huntsman, I beg to disagree.  Rex Lee would be extremely proud of his son Senator Lee – more than you will ever know.

You lecture us on the need for compromise and open communication:

….we have to get along, we have to work, we have to communicate. I spent several years with the Nixon administration, and one of the things I did respect about President Nixon was we did communicate, we did have relations with both parties and it’s very essential we continue to do that.

Yet recent comments tell us what you really mean, but why not extend the same courtesy for Lee?

Huntsman, who has longstanding ties to Lee’s family, added: “He’s tried to come in and see me several times. … I have no interest whatsoever in chatting with him.”

Why the disdain for conservatives?  Is it because some conservatives have actually kept their campaign promises?   Or, perhaps, because they can’t be swayed with money and power?  Did you not tell Alan Colmes that you stopped voting like a moderate Republican long ago?


I’m the only one in America who belongs to the “Cure Cancer” party, so if you give money to cancer, like Harry Reid and Max Baucus, some of these guys really helped us raise big money for cancer, I give them big money for their reelections. And I told Orrin Hatch, and a number of Senators, “Listen you help me with cancer, I’ll help you with our re-election,” but I’m a one issue man and I love to see our political leaders help us with things like cancer and very few right wing people do that.

Is this not extreme?  When one brazenly states, with not the least bit of shame, that one can buy politicians with money, then something has gone wrong – terribly wrong.

I too fear for the Republican Party, but not for the reasons for which you seem. To see why Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Bob Dole lost, I need look no further than your comments and your contempt for traditional American values. Most conservatives or even Republicans aren’t rich, they live paycheck to paycheck, but simply hope for the American Dream. While they may not have yet reaped the full benefits, they hold dear that our Founding Principles represent the best means to achieve their dream – if not for them, at least for their children. When you speak down to them, you offend them. When you call Mike Lee an extremist, you call them an extremist as well.

You provide no solution for our ever growing debt. You’ve taken away the only tool the Republicans have had traditionally to control the debt. You ignore the seven government shut-downs under President Reagan and so what’s you plan?   When are you going to say enough is enough?  It’s no secret that the poor, the working class, and the middle class will bear the brunt of our out-of-control fiscal policies.  Who’s looking out for them?

After the all-out attack on Lee, I have even more respect for Senator Mike Lee.  The pressure is far greater than I ever imagined on Lee.  But, in the end, I believe such attacks will backfire, as they galvanize Senator Lee’s supporters even more. It certainly has for me.


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