December 9th, 2011
01:15 PM ET

On GPS this Sunday: Huntsman "tired of politics as show business"

On GPS this week at 10a.m. and 1p.m. EST on CNN, I sit down with Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman. In a long ranging discussion on domestic and foreign affairs, Huntsman lays out why he thinks he has the staying power to go all the way.

Next, I talk to Harvard academic Tarek Masoud, just back from Cairo, about the surprising rise of the hard-line Islamist Salafis.

Then, why is the outlook for America’s energy future surprisingly robust? I explore “fracking” and shale gas with one of the world’s top energy experts, Daniel Yergin.

Here's a transcribed excerpt of my conversation with Jon Huntsman:

Huntsman on his 15 minutes of fame?

Fareed Zakaria:  Let's talk about the temperament, though, because it is, it seems to me, one of your problems, which is that the Republican primary wants people to say incendiary things.  I mean if you watch the rise of Herman Cain, you watch the rise of Rick Perry, you watch the rise of Newt Gingrich, there is a market for people to say slightly outrageous things as a way of proving that you're, I don't know, politically incorrect or willing to not cotton to the mainstream media. You just refuse to say those kinds of incendiary things.

Jon Huntsman:  Well, it may give you your Warholian 15 minutes of fame, Fareed, but in every case that you've cited, they've all come down.  They go up and then they come down, because there's no staying power, there's no sustainability there.  And all I'm saying is I've got a track record.  I'm a consistent conservative, when you look at my record.  And my track record would speak to accomplishments as governor.  I've lived overseas four times, three times as a United States ambassador.  I've been in business.

So when we get our Warholian 15 minutes of fame - and I think it's coming this month, as we gradually build up with a sustainable rise in New Hampshire - we'll have the staying power...

Fareed Zakaria:  But you're predicting something about Newt Gingrich, who is still up.  You think that that candidacy will fade?

Jon Huntsman:  It's hard to know.  We'll have to see where the marketplace goes.  But all I can tell you is this, Fareed, I'm not going to pander.  I'm not going to bluster.  I'm not going to contort myself into somebody I am not.  And I'm not going to sign those silly pledges like everybody else has done.  And I'm not going to make that sojourn to Donald Trump's office….

I'm tired of politics as show business.  This is serious business.  It's not about ratings for Donald Trump.  This is about jobs for the American people.  This is about getting on our feet and securing our place internationally.  And if we don't get our act together, we're going to see that end of the American century by 2015.  And that is a price that is too high for any of us, the most blue sky, optimistic, can-do problem solving people this world has ever known. Too high a price for us to be paying.

Tune in Sunday at 10a.m. or 1p.m. EST on CNN to watch the full interview.

soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Deep Blue

    Huntsman will not get support because he is too logical and intellectual. That never works for the neoconservative voting block, and Ron Paul has the true fiscal conservative voting block tied up, so Huntsman doesn't have anywhere else to find support.

    December 9, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Reply
    • Matt Colbert

      You just wait and see...

      December 9, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      If I were American, I would vote for Huntsman. He seems to be the sanest and most sensible candidate I've seen so far.

      December 9, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Reply
    • BeHonest

      I truly don't wish to be rude here, but since when do Americans vote for anyone who doesn't have 'novelty' value????
      And every time you do, the loonie you elect pushes your country further down the pan. But do you learn? Not a chance, you get rid of one loser; vote in another and despite the fact that half the population is scared stiff of the future. off you go – IGNORE a strong contender, and find entertainment with the frogs chorus from the Muppet show.

      AMERICA – Life isn't a rehearsal and you are not living in a movie. Sort yourselves out. Stop being led by the nose by the media. And vote a SANE, INTELLIGENT PRESIDENT for once. PLEASE!

      December 9, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Reply
      • j. von hettlingen

        Well, who in your opinion is a SANE and INTELLIGENT?

        December 10, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  2. Liberty Lives

    Ron Paul 2012!

    December 9, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  3. David G.

    HUNTSMAN 2012!! ~ The SANE one will be The Last One Standing.

    December 9, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  4. Jeannie

    Haven't heard anything about HOW Jon Huntsman is going to create jobs, is he going to tax the rich? Is he going to regulate the banks and Wall Street so they don't rip off the American people again? Is he being "bankrolled" by big Corporations, the Banks and Wall Street? I want to know who is he working for........the Average American/Middle Class or the top 1%? He can say alot of nice pretty things, but who is he going to work for???? That is what my family and I want to know!!!!!

    December 9, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Reply
    • Matt Colbert

      You would probably be happy to know that Jon released a courageous banking reform bill. It centers around the idea that a bank that is too big to fail is simply too big. Look it up and I think you'll like what you see.

      December 9, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Reply
    • Christine

      The news media needs to give him equal coverage so the people can get to know him. The media only covers the candidates who are willing to do and say bizarre things. It is a shame because it is making a segment of our society look like fools to the whole world.

      December 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Reply
    • Stephen

      As a registered Democrat, it can be tough to think about voting for a Republican; but I've about had it with Obama. As far as Huntsman goes, 1st: his plan to is to break up the big banks and impose fees that would then be used to reduce corporate taxes on companies in the non-financial sector as a way to boost US manufacturing. 2nd: He understands China and how they manipulate the market and have no intellectual-property rights; and he will address this matter. 3rd; He will simplify the tax code. These are a few things I read in non-conservative rags. The distrust I think I am reading should be aimed at Obama. And by the way, Obama works for Wall Street!!

      December 9, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Reply
      • BeHonest

        What a great post Stephen. Short, sharp, to the point AND honest.

        December 9, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
      • MIchaelAbsher

        Its a shame Huntsman can't say he is just an American who is running for President. I don't see him as Conservative or Liberal. While I might not agree 100% with him his is, by far and large, right, and has our interest at heart.

        December 10, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • BeHonest

      Huntsman has $5.4 Million in campaign funds. Half of that is his OWN money. So – NOBODY owns Huntsman. Now Obama's different. He has $43 Million campaign funds [ payback from the banks/business bailouts] Thay's twice as much as ALL the 8 GOP contenders altogether.

      December 9, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Reply
    • MIchaelAbsher

      He is being bankrolled out of his pocket and by people like me. Look at his life and you'd see someone that has traveled/worked the world and is stable, smart, and I'd trust him with my bank account. Who else, President included, would you do that with?
      I can assume, by his talks, he will create jobs long term by cleaning up Washington (limits on congress and there ability to Lobby) and pushing manufacturing jobs/laws/regulations here in the US so we'd be more manufacturing friendly.

      December 10, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  5. Neil

    coming from a left leaning independent, Huntsman is the only candidate in the republican primary i would consider voting for.

    December 9, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  6. Sean B

    As a Dem., I won't vote for Obama because he has continually weinered out on everything I judge important in American governance, (extended Bush tax cuts, just curbed access to contraception because of politics, bent over backwards for the GOP to seem moderate for appeal in 2012, backed off on universal health care, doesn't put much effort into anything other than his re-election). That leaves me with no one to vote for, not even Huntsman. He's still touting the same old conservative lines and not even suggesting we tax the rich fairly. Huntsman, while in contrast with the other Repubs. is remarkably sane and intelligent, is still a Republican with a flawed worldview. I'll be voting for the funniest name of a third party candidate this time around.

    December 9, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Reply
  7. Michelle G

    I like Ron Paul best, but I'd definitely take Huntsman over Gingrich or Romney.

    December 9, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Reply
    • MIchaelAbsher

      I also like Ron Paul. Truth is that sometimes he says things that don't add up with how it has to work. Like letting states regulate drugs. Some things, are better left off to the Federal Government, rare they may be though..

      December 10, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Reply
  8. Luis Almonte

    Now that's a leader. Jon Huntsman is a good candidate, he's very level headed and knows the issues and knows how to solve them. He's moderate and that helps because the future generations are becoming either liberal or moderate and that helps because it means he understands us. I would love to see Huntsman or Romney get the nomination, they are the only ones other than Obama that can move the country in the right direction.

    December 9, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Reply
  9. Kailim

    Huntman,"politics as show business". And Jeannie,"who is he working for?" Both of them are quite right.
    Now is the time for Americans to reform. What about only candidates with proven track records in lieu of rhetorics are eligible?

    December 9, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Reply
  10. Elvira Myers

    Even as a dyed in the wool Democrat I would seriously consider voting for Jon Huntsman. He is no clown and he seems to be an honest thinking indicidual. Abama is all of that but he is so darned s.l.o.w. And he seems scared to take steps which he seems to condider sill harm him politically. Granted he has a lousy congress to deal with, I can't help but feel he could have done more and better things for this country. E.G. how come a spy plane does not explode the moment it hits the ground be it because of malfunction or because it is shot down. We had a warning that our weapons could fall into enemy hands when the helicopter came down sduring the Bin Laden rescue. That should havea lerted everyone that such a thing should not be allowed to happen a second time. But it has, and now Iran of all places, has some of our secerets. Bad playing, Mr Obama and even worse, your militaruy advisors.

    December 9, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Reply
  11. MIchaelAbsher

    But I am for Huntsman, as he is right on most issues, and is electable. Ron Paul supporters need to back Huntsman so the vote isn't split.

    December 10, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Reply
  12. Bob Moore


    Jon Huntsman REFORMED healthcare (w/out mandate), education, and taxes as Governor.
    PEW ranked #1 governed state

    Now Utah is #1 in eduation spending
    Now Utah is #1 in JOB GROWTH

    Now WSJ ranked his economic plan the ***BEST, MOST FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE***

    He left office with 88% approval! often >90% in office.

    He passed pro-life amendments. And safeguarded the
    2nd amendment.

    Further, UNLIKE NEWT AND MITT, Huntsman is anti-establishment and wants to:
    -reform banking
    -end subsidies
    -end loopholes, flatten and simplify taxes
    -have large scale deficit reduction
    -reform Congressional lobbying

    If the GOP doesn't choose Huntsman, we'll lose.

    Newt Gingrich is polarizing, a DC idea man, not a sturdy consistent leader.

    Mitt Romney is a phony. He literally says whatever the majority of his
    audience wants to hear at any given moment. If he doesn't want to
    answer something, he evades the question, talks in circles, and
    changes the subject by attacking Obama. He's also a PROVEN FAILURE… he left Governor's office with 34% approval!

    Jon Huntsmans the one who can unite this country! He's anti-establishment and and the most successful Governor alive todady.


    December 10, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Reply
    • Zapatta

      Bob, thanks for a helpful post. As a Democrat who is a little sad about Obama's performance I would vote for Gov. Huntsman in an instant. Kindest Regards Sir.

      December 11, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Reply
    • Sean B

      Huntsman is a far-cry from anti-establishment, I don't know where you're getting this false zeal from.

      December 11, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Reply
  13. rojawi

    Every GOP candidate, from the loony to the lucid, toes the voodoo line when it comes to taxes. It is no different with Huntsman. You ask about tax increases (which are obviously necessary on the wealthy and large corporations), and they respond with "tax reform." Then they get all foamy at the mouth about how many pages there are in the tax code. This is what you need to do: look them in the eye and say these words: "If reforming the tax code results in increased tax revenues, Grover Norquist will call it a tax increase, and you will not have the spine to stand up to him." Every GOP candidate is bought by corporate interests and beholden to voodoo ideology. This version of conservatism has reigned in Washington for 30 years in both parties. It's time to opt for the opposite of conservatism: reason, compassion, cooperation and innovation. That's what I call liberalism.

    December 11, 2011 at 10:33 am | Reply
  14. Tanya Tweeton

    I am disappointed because you did not delve more deeply into the issue and problems with Fracking. Even though your guest tried to minimize the problems of water pollution, it appears that they are far greater than he was admitting.Tthis week the EPA announced that it has proof that Fracking pollutes our water source. Until the methods are really safe and fool proof and the companies are forced to use safer methods than presently out there, we the Public are at great risk. WHY did you not press the issue further? You need to give equal time to the problems of fracking ,not onlt to the fact that it creates jobs etc. Even if it has, so what? We will all die of poisoning or cancer from the polluted water , so where exactly are the benefits? You did not question him sufficiently and long enough to get to a thorough explanation of what the negative effects of fracking are.Surely you must know that the results of fracking are far more serious than what you discussed. Please be "fair and honest" about this subject. You Fareed have the option of making the public aware of the complete story of these issues you discuss. You should not treat this particular subject so superficially .If there is not enough time, then have fewer episodes during your hour, and make them more in depth. You do so on some subjects but not all .The environment affects us all. We cannot ignore the health of our environment because the health of all of us is at stake.

    December 11, 2011 at 11:29 am | Reply
    • kathryn kennedy

      @Tanya Tweeton
      Fareed, I whole heartedly agree w/ Tanya. Those of us who are living under the threat of Hydraulic Fracking in NYS are scared to death! The Delaware River in Upstate NY has the cleanest purest unfiltered drinking water in the world! Gov. Cuomo broke is campaign promise not to allow Fracking unless it was proven to be safe... NYC Mayor Bloomberg doesn't want fracking either... If "they" proceed the potential and REAL threat is that the watershed that supplies drinking water to over 15 million New Yorkers in NYC and parts of PA, NJ & Delaware will be contaminated w/ approx. 900 toxic chemicals including carcinogens & radioactive chemicals. Water treatment plants cannot clean the water and there have been numerous well explosions, chemical spills, and evil truck drivers that have been dumping toxic sludge into rivers across the USA. Creating jobs in the Nat. Gas Industry will be worthless if the people living near to & working on fracking wells all get sick as evidenced in many states. Did you know that the well operators have to wear hazmat suits and have to detox after their shifts? Weren't we taught that "Health is Wealth"?
      As the nation that revolutionized the world and invented electricity, light bulbs, cars, trains, airplanes, the telephone, radio, TV, space ships, the internet, computers and so much more, we have to move forward and begin to merge into solar, wind & biomass, etc. There was a time when people thought the earth was flat and Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers were crazy.... It took years to string electric & telephone wires across America.... So it can be done, and it will take time BUT the TIME is NOW! Germany is excelling in Solar and they are a cloudy little country. We have so much open space w/lots of sun & wind power to harness. Let's use what Mother Nature has given us and stop polluting our planet and making people sick. The Environmental Protection Agency published a 120 page report this week concluding that the process known as ‘fracking’ does indeed cause contamination of water supply. Source: Planetsave ( EPA confirmed Water Contamination in Pavilion WY this week! This wouldn't be happening if Dick Cheney & his evil Empire of GREED hadn't passed the Haliburton Loop-hole.... For God's sake, who would ever think that such a dirty polluting industry can go unregulated and be exempt from the" Clean Air & Water Act"? The Gas Co.'s refuse to disclose what is in the Frack fluid. We have a right to know what poisons are going into the ground and migrating into our aquifers... Water follows the path of least resistance and it will eventually contaminate the county's water supply if this madness doesn't stop. No creature, large or small, animal or vegetable can exist w/o clean air & water. Mr. Cheney should go Dimock, PA and visit the Sauntner's and drink a nice big cool glass of their brown stinky tap water which, BTW, he can also ignite w/ a bic lighter. This no joke, America, this is your wake-up call! And to all of you who leased your land, you won't think it was worth it when you and your family starts to get sick and and your land is destroyed and your livestock dies.... You can't take the $ w/ you and no amount of $ will cure you when you get sick from ingesting Benzene and it starts showing up in your blood tests in a few years; oh and don't forget about the odd clusters of brain tumors that people living nr Frack sites in small rural communities out west are now suffering from as well as the rashes, passing out while taking a shower from breathing in methane gas coming out of your shower head and don't forget about those chronic nose bleeds.... Hey kid's, doesn't Fracking sound like fun?

      December 11, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  15. Zapatta

    I hope he doesn't get the nomination as I will be forced to vote for a Republican. He is the only one they have which has a prayer against Obama.

    December 11, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  16. Fazli Sameer

    Would CNN have fired Fareed, like they did to Octavia Nasser, if he had posed the question of the imminent and real nuclear threat that Israel poses in the ME?

    December 12, 2011 at 1:35 am | Reply
  17. Andrew

    Huntsman is the real deal. Twice-elected, successful, popular governor; foreign policy experience as an ambassador to China and Singapore and a US Trade Representative; and executive business experience. His "Lincoln-Douglas Debate" with Newt Gingrich (which you can watch here at 4 pm ET today, 12/12 – should give him an opportunity to display his substantive policy proposals. It will also be broadcast on C-SPAN at 8 pm.

    December 12, 2011 at 3:52 am | Reply
  18. Wade Bachur

    The segment on Fracturing needs to be addressed in more further detail. I do like that individuals are taking an interest. The only set back is there limited knowledge. Like anything else in the world there is always sound bites of information and people start to run wild with there accusations. Here is some education. So lets get started. Yes chemicals are used, along with sand and water. Hydraulic Fracturing has been around for 50 plus years. The technology has advanced, companies are using less harmful chemicals, saving water by adding nitrogen, (which is an inert gas) the industry has managed to save 65% water usage using this system, on the shallow zones. Deeper zones do require more specialized chemicals, the gel based system used is from a plant called quar, in the past mixed with diesel, for the past 10yrs that has changed to canola based oil which is environmently safe. Disposal of the fluid is recycled and used again, to limit the need for fresh water. Does more need to be done? yes it does. This is an evolution like anything else, it takes people in the industry and people not in the industry to help invent new ideas. There was mention of radioactive elements being used, that's true, but it's used rarely, it's called radio active tracer sand, and used in small amounts, this is used to see where the frac has gone in the formation, after the job is completed. There are strict guide lines for handling and disposal. On Fareed's show the basic's where only shown. There is a good explaination on the Bloomberg site, a company called Southwestern has a good video and explanation of the process and shows what frac equipment looks like. One comment was about everybody wearing hazmat at wellsites, death, brain tumors, etc. I would like to see evidence of that, and for the record, I've been in the industry for 24 yrs, and Frac'd for 14 yrs in Canada, USA, & Offshore and for myself and my crew, we are alive and well. I hope people understand that everything they touch, from there iphone, Blackberry, computer, cars, heating, and air condition it is made from oil & nat gas, and from the process of fracturing. I personally would like to see more push toward greener technology, wind, electricty, but we as humans are consumers, that's the way our culture has evolved. If you want to stop the process of fracing, or using oil & nat gas, stop consuming. I hope i did not offend anyone, just please look at both sides of the issues and get the facts and understand them, then if people want to protest, that's great! at least you understand why your protesting.
    I like your show Fareed, i believe this topic needs more attention because it's complex and most people only heard about fracing in the last couple years or weeks, so it's new, it's scary ,and that's where fear starts. We need to teach the public, they do have a right to know, that only makes the industry better, the environment safer, and most important, Humans safer.

    December 14, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  19. Nelson

    oh god , this guy is human !

    December 18, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Reply

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