Utah Democratic Party Chair Slams Jon Huntsman One Day Before Campaign Launch

By Eliza

Jun 20, 2011 3:56pm

ABC News’ Sarah Kunin (@Sarah_Kunin) reports:

Just one day before announcing his run for presidency, former Ambassador Jon Huntsman released his third campaign countdown video featuring personal trivia juxtaposed over a motocross-riding body double.

 

Tomorrow from Jon Huntsman Jr. on Vimeo.

But he was not the only one.

The Utah Democratic Party released a video of their own, in conjunction with a conference call led by chair Wayne Holland, in an attempt to illustrate their belief that “the Jon Huntsman that is announcing his candidacy tomorrow isn’t the Jon Huntsman most Utahans have known.”

The video, dubbed “In 1 Day”, features the same motocross driver cruising down a canyon road to country music. Just like the original, subtitles dissolve onto the screen. That is where the similarities end.

“Has reversed positions he took as governor,” the first line of text reads.  “Riding away from his record,” reads the second.

In the conference call, Holland expressed disdain for the man he once worked with closely when he was Governor of Utah.

“For many years Jon Huntsman was a leader…many of us could respect,” said Holland. “The Jon Huntsman I know supported Barack Obama and president Obama’s recovery act, but said it should have been larger. The Jon Huntsman I know worked with Democrats to pass the cap and trade program and said at the time it was the only alternative to a carbon tax. The Jon Huntsman I know signed into law a health insure exchange and proposed an individual mandate for Utah. It now appears that has all changed… claims to oppose the recovery act now, he says he’s against the cap and trade program now, and he wants to repeal insurance reform now.”

Holland repeatedly compared the former Governor to another Utah-adopted politician, saying that Huntsman “has stolen a playbook from the Romney campaign.“

“When he announces his candidacy tomorrow he'll launch a political reinvention tour, the likes we have not seen in our state, at least since Mitt Romney used the Salt Lake Olympics to reinvent himself for a campaign 4 years later. Huntsman’s changed positions so quickly over the past few days it’s enough to give Utah voters whiplash,” Holland said.

When asked to comment on the motocross videos, Holland replied “I think the governor has some national advisors that are trying to create intrigue leading up to the announcement. Obviously he has been somebody who was born of privilege. The Huntsman family is very wealthy. He's tried to portray himself often as the common man… it's not playing well in Utah to this point.”

Holland says that until recently, most Utah Democrats supported Huntsman’s moderate stances on cap and trade, civil unions, and state-sponsored healthcare.

“Many democrats supported his role as the Ambassador to China,” Holland said. “We were excited about many of the very and pragmatic positions he took supporting the President to help the United States strengthen world issues. It's disappointing to see two jobs in a row he just can’t complete.”

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