So he doesn’t oppose cap-and-trade because global warming is a hoax, or the science is unsettled. He opposes it because a) any solution will have to be international and b) we need to be worried about the economy right now. He’s not against stimulus in theory, but he thought the specific stimulus Obama passed was poorly designed. He doesn’t defend the specifics of Ryan’s changes to Medicare, but supports them because the mounting national debt has forced us to consider “proposals that would’ve been laughed out of the room” at another time.
He was hugely popular in his home state, pursuing an agenda of fiscal conservatism and social semimoderation — he supports civil unions for gay couples and believes climate change is an urgent issue but remains staunchly pro-gun and antiabortion.
He says that from China, he gained a different perspective on America and its place in the world. He saw two countries, one on the rise, ascendant, and the other on the brink of economic collapse, crushed by debt and overregulation and taxes. He talks about sparking a new “industrial revolution,” mostly through energy technology, reducing our reliance on oil.
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He said he believed the United States should start a significant withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan immediately. He also would not have intervened in Libya — “We just can’t afford it.” And he would seek to make serious cuts to the military’s budget. “If you can’t find anything there to cut, you’re not looking hard enough.”
About half of the views Republicans expressed about Mr. Huntsman were negative…
…they almost certainly reflect the fact that Mr. Huntsman has taken a number of positions that are bound to be unacceptable to large swaths of the Republican electorate. Among them are expressing support for Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus package, endorsing an individual mandate for health insurance, and securing Utah’s participation in a regional cap-and-trade program. Mr. Huntsman also holds a moderate position on gay marriage, having endorsed civil unions for same-sex couples. And he served as President Obama’s ambassador to China.