Iowa GOP leader calls Huntsman out for skipping caucuses
Over the weekend, former Utah governor and U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, a GOP 2012 hopeful, announced that he would likely skip the Iowa caucuses, over his strong opposition to ethanol subsidies.
Iowa’s Republican Secretary of State, Matt Schultz, released a statement Monday blasting Huntsman’s decision, calling his ethanol explanation a “dog ate my homework” excuse.
Schultz implied that Huntsman was afraid to explain himself on other issues, and called him out for “distancing himself from his Mormon faith.” (Schultz himself is a Mormon.)
“If Mr. Huntsman refuses to compete in a bellwether state like Iowa, he is not ready for the big dance,” Schultz said. “After all, our last two presidents won the Iowa Caucus before they went to the White House.”
Schultz’s full statement follows.
Over the years I have heard presidential candidates state reasons for skipping the Iowa caucuses. It always leaves me wondering if those are the real reasons for not coming to Iowa. The most recent example of this is Jon Huntsman’s announcement that he won’t compete in Iowa. Apparently, Huntsman believes that he will not get a fair shake in Iowa because he opposes ethanol subsidies. In my opinion, this excuse seems to have as much credibility as “the dog ate my homework.”
It is apparent that Mr. Huntsman is in need of a lesson in Iowa politics. Iowa is a bellwether state. We care about our families, our faith and our freedom. We are not single-issue voters. We just want to know how presidential candidates are going to make our country better. Hopefully Mr. Huntsman will change his mind and come to Iowa and explain how he plans on fixing the problems facing our country.
Iowans look forward to the opportunity to hear Mr. Huntsman’s vision for America. We will listen to him explain his support for Cap and Trade. We will listen to him explain why he took more than one billion dollars in federal stimulus money. We will listen to him explain why he wants to replace his former boss, Barack Obama. We will listen to him explain why he is distancing himself from his Mormon faith. Mr. Huntsman should know that Iowans elected me as their Secretary of State and my Mormon faith was never an issue.
Is Jon Huntsman not coming to Iowa because he opposes ethanol subsidies or because he is afraid to explain his positions on other issues? Iowa Congressman Steve King opposes ethanol subsidies and he continues to get reelected with large margins of victory. If Mr. Huntsman refuses to compete in a bellwether state like Iowa, he is not ready for the big dance. After all, our last two presidents won the Iowa Caucus before they went to the White House.