Jon Huntsman says that he will not particpate in the Iowa primaries next year because he doesn't support ethanol subsidies:
"I'm not competing in Iowa for a reason. I don't believe in subsidies that prop up corn, soybeans" and ethanol, he said.
The ex-governor of Utah and former U.S. ambassador to China said subsidies "distort the global marketplace" and lead to food inflation.
"We will be competing vigorously here, in South Carolina and Florida," Huntsman told a small gathering of Republicans at the North Conway Grand Hotel. "I probably won't be spending a lot of time in Iowa. I understand how the politics work there."
Iowa would have been a challenge for Huntsman, who is viewed with suspicion by some conservatives because of past support for policies relating to climate change, immigration and civil unions. Also, Huntsman, like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, is a Mormon, and some of the evangelical voters who dominate the Iowa GOP caucuses were skeptical of Romney's 2008 bid in part because of his religious beliefs.
Huntsman demurred when asked whether his religion played a role in his decision to forgo Iowa. "I think it's more a function of our deployable troops and resources … and how those are best allocated and appropriated," he said during an interview.
To be honest, Jon Huntsman's excuse is lame.Avoiding a state just because some people in Iowa like federal subsidies is not a good enough excuse not to compete there.
Tim Pawlenty, who used to support ethanol subsidies, went to Iowa and began the first speech of his campaign talking about about his opposition to ethanol subsidies will participate in Iowa's primaries. Mitt Romney, who has consistently supported ethanol subsidies, will also be competing in Iowa as well.
I also don't buy the fact that John Huntsman's religion is a good enough reason not to compete there either. Mitt Romney will be competing in Iowa even though he is of the same faith as John Huntsman. Although some people will not vote on account of a candidate's faith, it is not a sufficient reason to abandon a state. Many people thought Mitt Romney would not be campaiginig in that state for that same reason but he's going to compete there despite what people think of his religion.
I think the real reason why John Huntsman is avoiding Iowa like the plague is because he worked for the Obama administration. Some Iowans may not like Mitt Romney or John Huntsman's faith. Some people will be unhappy with his opposition to ethanol subsidies. Some people may not like RomneyCare. But there is one thing that all Iowans do not like and that is people who are associated with the Obama administration in anyway, shape or form.
Jon Huntsman may be able to avoid Iowa, but he cannot avoid his ties with the Obama administration. No matter what state he campaigns in, he's going to find that there are alot of angry people out there. Angry enough to hand the Democrats a historic defeat in the midterm elections. They're are angry enough to take it out on anyone associated with Obama even if they were just an ambassador to China.