October 28th, 2011

Huntsman calls Romney a “perfectly lubricated weather vane” on important daily issues

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer talks with 2012 GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman about the race for the White House and his primary opponents. A highlight from the interview is after the jump and a full transcript will be posted on CNN.com.  Rep. Michele Bachmann will also join Wolf Blitzer  to discuss a tea party group request for her resignation from the 2012 GOP presidential race. Tune in today to CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET.
Please credit all usage of the interview to CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer

Highlight from Full Interview
THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED

WOLF BLITZER, HOST:  Let’s first of all talk about Mitt Romney a little bit.  George Will, the conservative columnist, writing in an upcoming edition of “The Washington Post,” says this about Mitt Romney.  He says:  “Romney, supposedly the Republican most electable next November, is a recidivist reviser of his principles who is not only becoming less electable, he might endanger GOP chances of capturing the Senate.  Republicans may have found their Michael Dukakis, a technocratic Massachusetts governor who takes his bearings from data.”

You agree with — with George Will on that?

JON HUNTSMAN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, those are — those are pretty tough words, Wolf.  All I can say is this is a time when this nation wants leadership.  We’ve — we — we’ve been — we’ve been looking for leadership for some time in — in the White House.  We haven’t found it.  This is when the candidates need to show — stand up and show a little bit of leadership.  You can’t be a perfectly lubricated weathervane on the important issues of the day, whether it’s Libya, whether it’s the debt ceiling, whether it’s the discussion around the Kasich bill in Ohio, where Governor Romney has been missing in action in terms of showing any kind of leadership.

I do believe that the electorate this go around will be looking for clearly defined presidential leadership.  And I’m not sure that we’re seeing it.

We’re putting out our own economic proposals, our foreign policy proposals.  Next week, I’ll have an energy speech that I’ll be giving in New Hampshire.  We’re calling for clear-cut leadership positions for the United States to be taking that will get us back on our feet and secure…

BLITZER:  All right…

HUNTSMAN:  — the American century for the people of the United States.

BLITZER:  So when you say he’s a perfectly lubricated weather vane or when George Will says he’s a recidivist reviser, we’re talking about Mitt Romney, basically, you’re both saying he’s a flip-flopper on some of these most important issues.

HUNTSMAN:  Listen, you don’t get any more important than the issue of life.  That is control to a lot of people’s core beliefs and political philosophy.  And when you have an epiphany on something that central to one’s world view, that’s going to strike a lot of people as being highly political.

BLITZER:  And you’re talking about abortion rights for women.
what is your exact…

HUNTSMAN:  That’s right.

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