Huntsman hints he won’t run for president in 2016

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer
Font Size:

Like in 2012, it looks there will be no Huntsman-mania in 2016.

Over the last several weeks, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has hinted that he will not make a repeat run for president in 2016.

The statements by President Obama’s former ambassador to China, first compiled by David Catanese at TheRun2016.com blog, indicate that Huntsman has given up on his presidential ambitions — at least for now.

“I might look crazy, but I’m not insane,” Huntsman told former Google CEO Eric Schmidt at the Zeitgeist Americas conference in Arizona last month, when asked about a potential 2016 run.

“We’ve given the best years of our lives to politics,” he continued. “I believe that there is a season for all things, as the saying goes, and I think our season now is probably to reconnect with private life, to recharge and see where things go.”

In Michigan last week, Huntsman told a group of businessmen: “Don’t worry. I’m not running for anything, and I don’t want anything.”

He was reportedly even more explicit at a speech in Hilton Head, S.C.

“After his talk, many in the audience said they hoped he would run as president in the 2016 election,” the Island Packet reported last week. “Huntsman said the 2012 process was a good experience, but he will not run again in three years, though he intends to continue to serve the public.”

Though he entered the 2012 GOP presidential primary relatively late, Huntsman quickly impressed viewers of MSNBC, readers of Vogue magazine and several Republicans who likely voted for President Obama in 2008. Surprisingly, this didn’t translate into actual votes needed to win a Republican presidential primary.

Huntsman skipped the Iowa caucus to focus on the New Hampshire primary, where he came in a distant third behind Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. He ended his quest for the White House and endorsed Romney shortly after promising to take his campaign to South Carolina.

If Huntsman changes his mind and decides to launch a 2016 campaign, Mother Jones magazine will likely be the first to know.

Follow Jamie on Twitter