Jon Huntsman: Campaign Issues

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

Where he stands


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  • In May 2011, Huntsman said in an interview on Good Morning America that he would vote for the Paul Ryan proposed budget resolution.
  • Huntsman elaborated on his Medicare position in a June 2011 op-ed piece, which he wrote for the Wall Street Journal:
      I admire Congressman Paul Ryan's honest attempt to save Medicare. Those who disagree with his approach incur a moral responsibility to propose reforms that would ensure Medicare's ability to meet its responsibilities to retirees without imposing an unaffordable tax burden on future generations of Americans.


  • Huntsman has refused to sign the No-Tax Pledge, a document pledging to oppose any tax increase of any kind.
  • As governor of Utah, he removed half of the state's sales tax on food.
  • While governor, Huntsman restructured taxes to be more business-friendly
  • He has a history of a pro-business agenda, including targeted tax cuts.
  • He pledges to push for broad and bold changes to the tax code and regulatory policies if elected president.


  • Huntsman threatened to veto a measure repealing in-state college tuition for the children of illegal immigrants, but the measure didn't pass during his time as governor.
  • On the subject of border fences, he has said: "I hate the thought of a fence on the border. As an American, the thought of a fence to some extent repulses me, because it is not consistent with the image that we projected to the rest of the world. But the situation is such today that I don't think we have a choice, and before we begin the conversation of processing 11 or 12 million undocumented workers, we've got to secure the border. There's got to be an alternative rather than sending people back. That's unrealistic."


  • While governor, Huntsman would not allow hotter levels of nuclear waste in Utah.
  • One of his chief goals as governor was to make Utah the premier destination for renewable energy.
  • Believes Congress should cap greenhouse-gas pollution.
  • Believes in using alternative sources for energy and efficiency.
  • In 2007, he signed the Western Climate Initiative in response to the global warming problem. Thus, Utah joined other state governments in reducing production of greenhouse gases.

Foreign Policy

  • Believes the U.S. should immediately cut its losses in Afghanistan and withdraw all troops since the U.S. has no "winning" exit strategy.
  • A strong supporter of Israel, Huntsman has visited the country several times.
  • Believes ground troops are too expensive and not critical for security.
  • Has said that playing Afghan traffic cop doesn't serve the United States' strategic interest.
  • Served as the U.S. Ambassador to China and also speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, both could come in handy in building stronger relations with China.
  • Wants to work closely with China to convince North Korea to stop its nuclear weapons program.
  • Wants to engage with China in areas where the U.S. disagrees, such as Taiwan, human rights, and Tibet.

Same-sex marriage

  • Huntsman supports civil unions and other rights for same-sex couples.
  • As governor, he supported legislation that would have allowed same-sex civil unions in Utah.

Source: Wall Street Journal, The Salt Lake Tribune, Jon Huntsman Official Website

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