The Boston Globe endorsed Jon Huntsman
for the Republican nomination in New Hampshire. Politically, this might be the final nail in the coffin of Huntsman’s campaign, but that isn’t why it interests me. The editors there seem to think that Huntsman’s foreign policy is substantially better than Romney’s, and they describe the latter’s views this way:
His foreign policy ideas, however, show none of the same wisdom. Backed by a team including many Bush-era hawks and neoconservatives, Romney offers bellicose language about Iran, forceful denunciations of Chinese currency manipulation, and unyielding – and entirely uncritical – support for Israel.
As one of my commenters pointed out, Huntsman is much more hawkish on Iran than Romney. Huntsman is just as insistent as Romney that there shouldn’t be an “inch of space,” or “no blue sky,” as Huntsman puts it, between the U.S. and Israel. Except on China, Huntsman’s foreign policy is fairly difficult to distinguish from Romney’s, and to the extent that they have differed on Iran Romney has been the relatively less bellicose one. This is not to argue that Romney is any better on foreign policy (he isn’t), but that Huntsman seems to have won this endorsement partly because of a serious misunderstanding of his views. If Romney’s foolishness on Iran and Israel counts against him, it should count against Huntsman equally or perhaps even more.
Reading through the entire editorial, I can’t find a single mention of any Huntsman position on foreign policy that doesn’t relate to China. His admirers always describe his views as “nuanced,” but I suspect that they say this because they think Huntsman agrees with them on foreign policy even when he doesn’t. They probably think he agrees with them because they have not spent much time finding out what his positions are.