Huntsman: No-Label Libertarianism?

Mitch Daniels seems to be the potential Republican presidential candidate getting the most attention from libertarians if one excludes the forthrightly libertarian candidates Gary Johnson and Ron Paul. Our own Grover Cleveland has expressed his man-crush here, while Ilya Somin puts the case for Daniels here.

But I want to take a look at Jon Huntsman, widely viewed as a “moderate” Republican, but whose policy positions appear to stake out a position that may be more libertarian than Daniels’, even though he rejects any label other than pragmatism (see also Sven Wilson on Huntsman):

  • Voucherizing Medicare
  • Ending the Libya intervention
  • Civil unions for gay couples
  • Expanded immigration rights

Support for the stimulus is problematic, but in my view should not be a killer in the way that, say, support for an individual health-insurance mandate would be – or, for me, Daniels’ opposition to any legal status for gay families. Daniels might be more economically libertarian than Huntsman, but from all reports he’s a social conservative. And you’ve got to give a guy points for signing a proclamation declaring “Dream Theater Day” in Utah!

11 thoughts on “Huntsman: No-Label Libertarianism?

  1. A recent (hostile) Kevin Drum piece summarising his positions piqued my interest in Huntsman.

    Thinking about (GOP) candidates, my order of preference is Johnson, Paul, Daniels, Huntsman… ? Then who? Pawlenty?! Certainly not Gingrich, Bachmann, Santorum or Cain (thankfully don’t have to worry about Huckabee).

    It’s interesting the extent to which this matches onto 538’s chart, all clustered on the moderate far left-hand side (along with Trump and Giuliani, but hey).

  2. I have trouble understanding how one can support keynesian economic suicide and still call oneself a libertarian. For heavens’ sake there are CONSERVATIVES who have figured out that it doesn’t work. I can’t get excited about a presidential candidate who doesn’t even understand the austrian theory of the business cycle. That’s why I’m not too keen on Johnson either, who still clings to the flawed notion that a government central bank is necessary to ensure price stability.

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