In an exclusive interview with The Brody File, probable GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman says, “social issues are the gel that binds us as people”.
He also told me that while, “you can’t re-open the definition of marriage,” he would continue his support for civil unions saying:
"I think we sometimes don’t do an adequate job in talking about equality and in addressing fairness: hospital visitations, reciprocal beneficiary rights, insurance. There are a lot of these issues that I think we can do better with as people in the name of fairness and in the name of equality. I've been somewhat outspoken on this for a while. It's what I feel within and I’m not going to change my general direction on this. Some will understand it and agree. Others won't. You know what? I respect everybody's opinion on it. That's just where I come down."
The Brody File interviewed Jon Huntsman after his speech at Friday’s Faith and Freedom Coalition event. You can watch some clips from the interview below. Don't miss the clip of Huntsman speaking Mandarin Chinese! It's a classic!
Check The Brody File for other exclusive backstage interviews including Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump, Congressman Paul Ryan, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor
Ralph Reed’s event is an important stop for prospective presidential candidates. They’re speaking to hundreds of key GOP Primary voters, made up of both Evangelicals and Tea Party members. The Brody File calls them, “Teavangelicals.”
His Faith and Freedom Coalition organization made a huge difference at the ballot box in 2010 and they’re expecting to make an even bigger splash in 2012.
Video Courtesy: CBN News/The Brody File
Jon Huntsman On Whether Obama Administration Is Worried About Running Against Him:
David Brody: The Obama administration, there's a lot of talk that if they're scared to run against anybody, if you get in, that it's you. Why do you think that and do you think the Obama administration might be a little concerned about running against you?
Jon Huntsman: I don’t know that I believe it. I don’t know that I’m any better or in any better position politically than a lot of other good people who care deeply and passionately about their country. My life has been about public service. It's been about being a dad, raising seven kids, putting country before anything else and being mindful of the legacy we're passing to the next generation and I feel that that legacy is in jeopardy.
We're passing a sense of humanity onto the next generation. That’s values, that's our economy, that's the air we breathe, the water we drink. And in many ways you get the sense that we're coming very rapidly to the end of the American century and that's a very frightful position to be in.
So to the extent that I might be in a position to define and talk about the issues better than others, that might give rise to such talk. But I’ll have to consult the experts on that.
Jon Huntsman on Whether There Should Be a Truce on Social Issues:
Brody: This is more of an evangelical audience. They didn’t like so much of the talk about others wanting a truce on the social issues. What is your sense? There's so much going on fiscally in a negative way in this country, what about the social issues? Where do they fit in in your mind?
Huntsman: Well, social issues is the gel that binds us as people. That’s the gel that keeps generation after generation together. You've got to have societal values that allow young kids to grow up to be responsible adults and to carry on life in this great republic of ours.
Those values, they transcend the generations and they're about our beliefs and they’re about the respect we show one for another and they're about understanding respect for the Constitution, and life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, by the way, which is, I think, the bottom line of what we in this great country of ours believe in and aspire to.
So, it's always important, not only to talk the numbers, not only to talk about the economy. A job is about the most important thing one can have in life. But you've got to talk about the gel that binds us as a country and as a society and we should always be talking openly about values.
Jon Huntsman on His Support for Civil Unions:
Brody: On the civil unions issue, what is something you can say to Evangelicals to say let’s talk about this? Break bread a little bit more even though some may not want to?
Huntsman: I would say that on traditional marriage, I stand tall and proud for traditional marriage. You can’t re-open the definition of marriage, that would not be a good thing, It would be wrong for us to be discussing that. Subordinate to traditional marriage, one man one woman, I think we sometimes don’t do an adequate job in talking about equality and in addressing fairness: hospital visitations, reciprocal beneficiary rights, insurance.
There are a lot of these issues that I think we can do better with as people in the name of fairness and in the name of equality. I've been somewhat outspoken on this for a while. It's what I feel within and I’m not going to change my general direction on this. Some will understand it and agree. Others won't. You know what? I respect everybody's opinion on it. That's just where I come down.
Jon Huntsman Speaks Mandarin Chinese:
Brody: How can I let you go without saying something in Mandarin Chinese.... like ‘I’m concerned about the Obama administration in Mandarin.’
(Jon Huntsman then speaks in Mandarin Chinese)
Brody: That’s a great point. I never thought about that. What does that mean? Please translate.
Huntsman: I basically said it's a pleasure to be with you and although we have some challenges today, America will continue forward as the greatest country in the world.