Former Utah Governor, and GOP presidential nomination candidate Jon Huntsman, who served as the US Ambassador to China in the Obama administration, was brutally frank in his views about the GOP in an interview published Sunday in the UK Daily Telegraph.
The Republican Party moderate told The Daily Telegraph: "The party (the GOP) right now is a holding company that's devoid of a soul."
According to The Daily Telegraph, Huntsman said the Republican Party would need to change if it ever wants to regain power. He berated the party for being outdated in its political views and relying on fear-mongering tactics in politics.
He said: "We can't be known as a party that's fear-based and doesn't believe in math. In the end it will come down to a party that believes in opportunity for all our people, economic competitiveness and a strong dose of libertarianism."
He also accused the party of a tendency to being lax about the truth in the quest for political advantage. He criticized the party for its unwillingness to negotiate with Democrats even at the expense of the overall advantage of the nation. He said: "In my party, compromise cannot be seen as analogous to treason, which it has been recently."
According to Mediaite, he said it was disturbing that the GOP now does not have a leader or a properly articulated agenda, being in disarray. However, he said he expects to see a new party agenda take shape in time as the party reforms in a process that re-empowers the people.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Huntsman criticized the last party presidential nomination process as having, in the early stages, favored extreme right-wing candidates rather than what he described as "long-term competitive candidates" who could challenge the Democrats.
The Daily Telegraph notes that the trauma of Mitt Romney's massive defeat may have opened a door of opportunity for socially moderate but fiscally conservative Republicans to assert themselves once again. He called on the Republican Party to "reflect a little bit on our winning chapters" and come to terms with the shifting demographic character of the country in which white conservatives represent a shrinking portion of the electorate.
Huntsman, who dropped out of the Republican nomination race after a poor showing at the New Hampshire primary, also expressed views that were very critical of the Republican Party in an interview with The Huffington Post. He decried what he considered the obstructionist policies of the GOP. He described the agenda of the GOP as "thwart the opposition, stymie the opposition, obfuscate, be a flamethrower, go out there and destroy the system, and here we are." He added: "In my party, compromise cannot be seen as analogous to treason, which it has been recently."
The Daily Telegraph reports that Obama campaign officials had openly acknowledged that the Mandarin-speaking Republican could pose a threat to the Democrats in a general election, but his failure to gain attention in the Republican primaries crammed with extreme conservative candidates led to the early collapse of his bid.
Huntsman said that the fact that he had worked for Obama, his belief in climate change and his liberal attitudes towards gay rights worked against him, drawing attention away from his conservative position on key issues such fiscal policy, gun control and abortion. He said: "You get caught up in a lot of the issues on which you're easily dismissed without people giving you proper consideration."
Huntsman, however, felt that Republicans have an opportunity, in spite of the present downturn in political fortunes, because, in his view, the Democrats, flushed with victory, would become "lazy." He said: "The one thing that is as sure as the sun rising tomorrow is that the Democrats will become lazy and they will take their [eye] off the ball. We will see more crony capitalism in Washington as the state grows and that's the kind of thing Americans hate."
He remained noncommittal on the question of the possibility of his running for president in 2016. He told The Huffington Post: "Life is full of serendipity. This is a total BS way of answering it, but I never would have guessed I'd be a governor. I never would have guessed I'd go to China as ambassador. I never would have guessed I'd run for president."