Governor Huntsman of Utah in Granite State for McCain
Governor Huntsman of Utah, a prominent McCain supporter, is in the Granite State this weekend representing McCain at several events. I had the opportunity to do an email interview with the Governor about his visit. I thank the Governor for his willingness to share his thoughts which I post below.
QUESTION: Mr. Governor, we are very proud of our White Mountains, but you live and work in the Rockies. Don't tell us you're here in New Hampshire to go skiing or sightseeing. Why the trip to the Granite State?
RESPONSE: Utah certainly is a land rich in beauty as is New Hampshire. I’m afraid I won’t be able to hit the slopes during my short visit here. My efforts this weekend are focused solely on representing Senator John McCain at a variety of events. I am looking forward to speaking with many people from New Hampshire about Senator McCain’s views and values.
QUESTION: Well, obviously we are thrilled to have you here and we're honored that you are part of the McCain team. What attracted you to Sen. McCain and his prospective candidacy for president?
RESPONSE: Senator McCain embodies many of the leadership and character traits America needs to help direct us in both domestic and international efforts. He is a strong world leader who has a vision for what this country has the potential to become in the years ahead.
QUESTION: And so your role on the exploratory committee is to gauge peoples' reactions to the idea of a McCain candidacy? What's the response been like?
RESPONSE: The responses have been very positive. Senator McCain is a war hero who is widely recognized for his service and sacrifice to the nation. In many ways, Senator McCain has given more in the way of service to this country than most others who have occupied leadership positions in our nation’s recent history. People respect and admire his selfless service to causes larger than simply one’s own.
QUESTION: What is the substance of the message you are delivering to Granite Staters this weekend?
RESPONSE: My message is simple: Senator McCain should join the 2008 presidential race. In Ronald Reagan fashion, he has the values and international leadership to put the pieces of this nation back together while strengthening our world-wide alliances.
QUESTION: Some have said that there is a void on the conservative wing of the party. But I look at Sen. McCain record and I see a guy who has been a consistent Reagan conservative from day one. Have conservatives been responding well to the exploratory effort?
RESPONSE: Conservatives have responded very positively. Senator McCain has long been a strong conservative especially in regards to fiscal issues. He has constantly opposed earmarks and been a proponent for a balanced budget.
QUESTION: John McCain is a Senator. But he really seems to resonate with people outside the beltway. Governors like you and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota have chose to serve as leaders of his committee. Is McCain unusual in the sense that he's an anti-Washington figure, even though he's in the senate?
RESPONSE: Senator McCain has always been able to express the will of the people. He has an exceptional ability to bridge the divide by reaching across the aisle to build bi-partisan consensus on issues that matter most.
QUESTION: There was some discussion a few weeks back that Utah might make a play to hold its primary earlier, closer to New Hampshire's. Has that gone anywhere?
RESPONSE: The West will play a significant role in the 2008 presidential election. Subsequently, there will be a Utah primary, in conjunction with other primaries held throughout the Intermountain West. Right now, Utah’s primary is scheduled for February 5, 2008.
Gov. Jon Huntsman, Thank you so much for answering our questions.