Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman took a startling position in the GOP debates last night — he suggested that the party not “run from science.” After candidates have lined up to reject everything from global warming to evolution, Huntsman is a standout in his Galileo moment in the GOP.
“Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I’m saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can’t run from science. We can’t run from mainstream conservative philosophy. We’ve got to win voters.”
I have long admired Jon Huntsman after we testified together before a House Committee when he was still governor of Utah. We then by coincidence flew back to Utah on the same plane. I found him very bright and engaging. I have little doubt that, if the GOP nominated Huntsman, they would win the White House — with many independent and Democratic votes going to Huntsman. He is moderate on many issues and exceptionally knowledgable about business issues. He also believes in science — a promising factor for a president. It is remarkable that such a position would make Huntsman a standout, but that is a measure of the times in which we are living. Of course, he lost the Pope Urban VIII vote.
With Obama at record lows in the polls, the Democrats are hanging their hopes on the GOP selecting an extremist and rejecting Huntsman. It has been pretty clear for months that Democrats are not going to be given a choice in their own party despite the desire of some to dump Obama. The problem is that Obama is now so unpopular that even some of the more extreme candidates might be able beat him.
Last night, Ron Paul won the straw polling after the debate.