RedState’s Erick Erickson posted a long reflection on Mitt Romney and the Republican primary race this morning in which he ponders giving long-shot Jon Huntsman a second look. “I’m starting to think I need to walk it back on my rejection of Jon Huntsman,” Erickson writes. “Because I’m starting to think even he would be more faithful in his conservative convictions than Mitt Romney.”
Erickson is a great proxy for the thinking of conservative activists.
Huntsman was initially rejected outright by much of the conservative base, even as he was viewed as the party’s saviour by the likes of the Wall Street Journal editorial board and The Weekly Standard. But Huntsman’s campaign tacked to centre as the rest of the party moved to the right, and instead of rising in the polls, barely registered in them.
As conservative groups plot to take down Romney — fearing he will abandon Republican principles in the White House — a Huntsman second-look would be the continuation of the months-long anti-Romney boom-bust cycle.
But Huntsman is mathematically the most electable of the Republican candidates — and given the time and resources to introduce himself to national voters, he could prove his bona fides to conservatives. Save for Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman has the most conservative record in the Republican field on taxes, gun-rights, and abortion.
Huntsman told ABC News this morning that voters “should not confuse a moderate temperament with a moderate record.”
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