A conservative site called Verum Serum put together a video this week, targeting apparent Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, and making him out to be the most liberal Republican the public has seen in decades. One part of the video stood out for me.
I thought I’d heard about nearly all of Huntsman’s center-left policy positions, but I didn’t know about this particular health care revelation. Huntsman was asked whether he considers access to health care a right. He replied, “I think health care is a right…. Why is that the insurance sector will not provide affordable health care policies? I’ve called them in; I’ve asked them; I’ve humiliated them publicly.”
In case this isn’t obvious, such a sentiment isn’t just at odds with the Republican Party’s ideology, it’s also a downright liberal sentiment. Hell, plenty of Blue Dog Dems would probably balk at this kind of rhetoric.
The same clip notes another Huntsman quote, which is already better known, in which he said, “Until we put a value on carbon, we’re never going to be able to get serious about dealing with climate change longer term. Now, putting a value on carbon either suggests that you get a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system underway.”
And in case this isn’t obvious, today’s GOP considers this a radical, economy-crushing, borderline-communist plot.
So, what are we left with? A Republican presidential candidate who believes health care is a right, supported an individual health care mandate, wanted a bigger stimulus in 2009 with fewer tax cuts, expressed support for the Affordable Care Act, wanted to combat climate change with either a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system, and has endorsed civil unions, TARP, and a pathway to citizenship for immigrants who entered the country illegally.
Oh, and he’s also a former member of the Obama administration who called President Obama a “remarkable leader.”
I’m hard pressed to imagine how the Republican base even considers voting for this guy, though I suspect he could probably run for the Democratic nomination in 2016 and be fairly competitive.