How else to explain Jon Huntsman, who enters the GOP predidential race today as the biggest Ryan budget backer in the field?
Talking Points Memo:
The committed moderate and former Obama administration ambassador to China kicks off his campaign today, and according to previews, he plans to make strong support for Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) proposal to end Medicare as we know it a key component of his kick off speech.He was non-commital about the Ryan plan in May, basically saying, Well, it's an idea," but he has warmed to it considerably since then.
Politico's Mike Allen spilled the beans about Huntsman's Reagan-themed kickoff in Jersey City, NJ.
"Huntsman will lean into his support for the Ryan budget, and will say that defense spending should be on the table, including base closures," Allen reports. He writes the opening week of Huntsman 2012 will include taking on Obama over foreign policy, too, specifically, "his contention that Obama's plan for getting out of Afghanistan is too slow, and that intervening in Libya was not in our national interest."
Huntsman was one of the first to wrap both hands around Ryan budget, telling ABC a couple weeks ago that he'd vote for the Medicare changes contained in it if he got the chance.
This at the same time a Florida Tea Partier is warning the GOP will lose if they stick with Ryan's plan, and polls show voters are set against it.