Jon Huntsman, former governor of Utah and would-be Republican presidential candidate, discusses his new leadership role in the group No Labels and his thoughts on bipartisanship.
Regarding the comments that argue that it is the Republicans who are the intransigent and extremist ones who are really completely off the spectrum, and that all this posturing as "centrist" and "moderate" is therefore absurd, etc.:
This is certainly true with regard to _economic_ issues.
I would hardly be the first in pointing-out that the United States, to begin with, is altogether off the international spectrum when it comes to economic issues; in much of Europe, for example, the mainstream center-_right_ parties are to the _left_ of mainstream _Democrats_ here (on economic issues, at least). This should highlight just how off-the-map today's Republicans are. They make _even_ the likes of Ronald Reagan --to say nothing of figures such as Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, etc.-- look moderate and reasonable by comparison. (Forget about Richard Nixon; he would surely be denounced and expelled as an "evil Socialist" before he could get anywhere...)
_Social_ issues and, particularly, sensitive cultural issues such as abortion and the "GLBT" agenda, however, are quite another matter, however.
Dennis King wrote the excellent book "Lyndon Larouche and the New American Fascism"
Did you hear Mr. Lehrer's interview with David Brooks in what might have been the first show after New Year's?
When asked which ideas/positions/policies he would choose from each party, Brooks said that he would adopt the "deregulation program" or "deregulation regime" of the Republicans.
The obvious question which cried-out to be asked of Mr. Brooks was _what_, specifically, he would like to see deregulated and how that would actually advance the _public_ interest, as opposed to private business interests. Would Mr. Brooks suggest, for example, that _reduced_ regulation of the food industry, would result in _fewer_ deadly E. Coli and Salmonella outbreaks? Or that _reduced_ regulation of the coal industry, to take another example, would result in _fewer_ fatal mining accidents? Etc., etc.)
But Lehrer simply allowed Brooks to get away with this lubriciously vague statment, and did not make even the most cursory and weak attempt to challenge it.
Or what about, just last week, the way Mr. Lehrer, together with guest Fred Kaplan, completely glossed-over the serious human rights and civil liberties criticisms that have been raised regarding John Brennan, Obama's nominee for CIA-director?
These are but two of countless similar examples I could list.
"Gov. Jon Huntsman on Bipartisan Cooperation." In the most boring headline contest that might take top honors from "Worthwhile Canadian Initiative."
Regarding our esteemed mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, I forgot:
His arrogant belittling of the Occupy Wall Street protestors, telling them to get a job, etc.
The hypocrisy and grotesque irony being, of course, that Bloomberg not only emphatically supports but actually very much _embodies_ the very system of economic predation and injustice that the OWS people were protesting against and which a major symptom of is lack of jobs and, specifically, lack of jobs that pay a living wage.
hjs11211 nailed Huntsman with his comment about a 10 to 1 ratio of spending cuts to tax cuts. The definition of bipartisanship in the eyes of "No Labels" means that Obama does everything that Republicans want him to do. It's very disappointing to see how easily Brian Lehrer was duped by the phony song and dance routine of No Labels.
@ Robert from NYC , on Mayor Michael Bloomberg:
Add to your list (just off the top of my head):
- In January 2009, Bloomberg travelled to Israel to demonstrate his support for the IDF's "Operation Cast Lead"
Now, regardless of where anyone may stand on that war and the surrounding issues, can we at least agree that this was completely out-of-line? I.e. To pick-up and leave, while serving as mayor of one of the largest cities of the world, in order to insert oneself into a foreign conflict halfway around the world?
(But at least Bloomberg can't be faulted for supporting war crimes or injustice or anything like that, after all, none other than Tzipi Livni assured us at the time that despite being under attack from the IDF, there was "no humanitarian crisis" in Gaza...)
- Bloomberg granted taxpayer funding to Lenora Fulani and Fred Neuman's "All Stars" "education" program.
This has been covered by, among others, journalist Errol Louis, who has been on this station both as a guest as well as a subsititue host.
Dennis King has also documented Bloomberg's warm support of (cult leaders) Fulani-Neuman.
- Bloomberg rides the subways every day, "just like the rest of us"...after being chauffered to the station in his SUV...
I will say that I support Bloomberg's ban on super-size sodas. (But if Bloomberg were truly serious about public health, he would stand-up to what is a far worse public-health scourge: The complicity of agencies of public health and education, under pressure from "GLBT" activists, to the whitewashing, promotion and glorification of an act that spreads deadly disease like few others. No doubt that the McCarthyite cries of "homophobia" will start flying fast and furiously my way, now that I have dared to point-out what is an obvious and empirical-- but strictly taboo-- truth. Obviously any detailed, extended discussion or debate on this topic would quickly go completely beyond the scope of this comment page. I will thus simply refer people to the writings of two men who are themselves open, unabashed homosexuals: Bill Weintraub and Rob McGee. (They can be found via Google. Requisite warning: Expect "NSFW" content on the web sites of both men but note that it is included for legitimate reasons, in order to actually illustrate and provide examples of things that are written about and not for mere titilation.)
david frum has been a hack for as long as he has been around dc.... and tom friedman doesnt need the "and even..." before stating the obvious, he is a hack and not a journalist
Sheldon from Brooklyn wrote,
"Out of the nine GOP primary candidates, Huntsman was usually the only rational one on stage. Compromise is a four letter word to Republicans."
Relatively early in the primary season, it became apparent to me that if the process had any legitmacy or credibility, Jon Huntsman, along with Buddy Roemer (arguably the most qualified) and Ron Paul (clearly the only truly sane voice on foreign and drug policy) would have quickly risen to the top and become the three finalists. _Of the choices that were presented_, those three were the best (or perhaps I should say, the _least bad_).
What stood out for me the most about Gov. Huntsman was that he was not a global warming denier-- a distinction that he shared perhaps only with Gov. Roemer.
I was disappointed when I heard Gov. Huntsman endorse Romney. Perhaps I overestimated Huntsman. Or perhaps I simply failed to realize that it would not be realistic, under the circumstances, for him to have done anything different.
(Disclaimer: I did not vote for Romney or Obama. I voted for the third-party candidate whom I found, on balance, the least objectionable. It was not an easy choice by any means...)
The last caller of this segment highlighted what is, for me, the crux of this "CENTRISM CONVERSATION," which is the idea that there are extremists on the Blue side of the aisle. As David Frum and numerous well-established (and formerly well regarded) conservatives have explicitly stated over the past year or so, it's not the Dems who need centralizing remediation.
For this country to move back toward the historical center, we need some real perspicacity in how the issues are framed and discussed. And folks like Huntsman (and even Tom Friedman) don't do much to facilitate that breadth and depth of news coverage and conversation.
who cares about the gender of a cabinet member? the most qualified is the most important factor, don't you think ms.page? susan page and cokie roberts are such ridiculous guests, consistently. they shoot everything down and say, "won't happen".
instead of No Labels it should be called No Substance
amen blksocialist !
The Bloomberg, no labels party is a wolf in sheep clothing...
When the city council tried to tie a "living wage" for the development of new armory in the Bronx, bloomberg was adamantly vs. it. A living wage is not a left wing idea, just common sense. miguelitto gives millions away to wall st. in subsidies they don't need, but will nickel and dime the teachers and working folks of nyc...I
the idea of a centrist 3rd party is so ridiculous that, of course, it makes sense that lehrer would talk about it. we have a gop that is run by wackos, and a democratic party that IS centrist, so the idea is to create a centrist party between the wackos and the centrists? the question is not about "political compromise", whatever that is, but about calling the wackos, wackos and pointing out how they are ruining the country, and the world, with the cojones-free democrats quietly following along....
Folks, we don't have serious conversations in this country. We react to situations as they happen and then again when they happen again.
To say there is no room for a "centrist" party is like saying there is no room for an iPhone, before there was an iPhone.
The market is there, it just has to be captured.
I hope you were kidding badly about Bloomberg in govt anymore. I hope the man just goes away for good until we get to hear what his legacy is in about 20-30 years which won't be a good one. The man knows one thing, how to make money but as a politician for the middle class and the poor he leaves an awful lot to be desired. He'll be remembered as the guy who build too much and lots of that garbage in NYC. He's the guy who demolished the real Yankee Stadium to satisfy his own ego.
Huntsman may be a well spoken man but he said nothing except a few cliches
"Comprehensive" appears to be the new word for false equivalency.
There is no evidence that violent media has anything to do with this, as other countries have the same or even more extreme versions (Japan), but don't have the guns, and therefore don't have the mass death.
Better mental health coverage would be great for it's own sake, but the idea that Republicans, who don't even want to pay for physical health care, would have anything positive to contribute is fantastical. All they'd support is some sort of stigmatizing list ripe for abuse.
Oh really, did he really say we have a sweet and sour relationship with China! C'mon man.
Gov. Huntsman is definitely the right person to take on this kind of task towards political compromise. But in my opinion, any serious effort in this sense needs to stop portraying the fictitious image of an equally, symmetric polarization between the two parties and acknowledge that, in the last three- four years, the GOP has crossed the line from "political" and into "psychiatric" issues.
ask him if he would take $10 in spending cuts for $1 in tax increases
The problem common sense is hindered by money, influence and lobbyists...For example civil-rights was not a left issue, it's a human issue.
Ask what Gov Huntsman thinks about fracking?It's not nuanced. Fracking destroys the environment...period.
if the republican party wasn't a fragmented joke controlled by extremist yahoos they could've nominated governor. huntsman and he could've given president obama a run for his money.
Out of the nine GOP primary candidates, Huntsman was usually the only rational one on stage. Compromise is a four letter word to Republicans.
Would Mr. Hunstman please speak about elected officials standing up to the NRA?
Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm
your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the
right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the
Comment Guidelines before
By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's
It's your neighborhood, your city, your country, your world, and now your website. Brian Lehrer delves into the issues and links them to real life.