This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Put your checkbook away. If you want a peek inside a Jon Huntsman fundraiser (and who doesn't, really) look no further.During his quick visit to Utah recently, the former governor addressed a crowd of about five dozen for a little over 12 minutes - click here for audio recording of the event.
His best line of the evening is about 2:40 in when - in perhaps keeping up his more pointed criticism of his GOP opponents he takes a little swipe at his fellow Republican contenders.
"This is an interesting experience, for those of you who haven't run for president," he said. "You stand up on the stage in the debate like we did the other night and look around and say, "Whoa, where'd these folks come from? What an interesting assortment of characters!"
Huntsman goes on to walk through his campaign strategy - sitting out Iowa before New Hampshire and South Carolina, where he says the race will be won after the "dust and the drama of Iowa settles."
Making what appears to be a reference to his sluggish campaign, Huntsman writes off August as a "dead month" and says that next month he expects things to pick up. "The drama of today is temporary, it's ephemeral and it passes," he said.Huntsman then moves to some policy issues, calling the U.S. debt a "cancer growing in this country" and warning that "it is eating us alive and we've got to do something about it."
"We can't have any sacred cows in this debate about the budget," he said. "Some people are saying Medicare is sacred, Social Security is sacred. Military. B.S. We need everything on the table, its got to be analyzed its got to be scrutinized."He takes some shots at "Obamacare," then warns against "foreign entanglements," including U.S. involvement in Libya - this, of course, before the capitol of Tripoli was overrun by rebels.
"I look at Libya where we're becoming more and more entangled. I can't for the life of me see a definable national security interest. I can't see a definable goal. I see no exit strategy," he said.
He goes on to say that it is time for the U.S. to remove its troops from Afghanistan, which is supposed to be a counter-terrorism mission, not one of nation-building.
Robert Gehrke, Twitter: @RobertGehrke