Last night, I contested their claim with the following (Most of the way down in the comments):
Seriously, what's the huge deal about Huntsman supporting McCain? It is not a "huge blow" and it WILL negate the argument that Mormons will blindly line up behind Romney just because he's LDS.
Romney will win Utah hands down. It won't even be close (and yes, I've seen the "cold-call" polls where McCain is beating Romney--by the slimmest margin of any state I might add. Most "everyday folks" in Utah still don't realize that Romney's a serious contender). Huntsman's political influence outside of Utah is not great.
Huntsman Jr. won't even be able to direct his billionaire dad's fortune to McCain since he's pretty excited about Romney.
This alliance with McCain is about an understandable "self-interest" on Huntsman's part. McCain's absolutely a top-tier candidate (who I could never support in a primary with the current alternatives)and he has a great chance of becoming POTUS. Notice how in the article Huntsman is posturing in the immigration/foreign policy areas. Huntsman is a former ambassador to Singapore and is fluent in Chinese. He is somewhat of a foreign policy expert on China and Southeast Asia, the next huge forefront of competition to our world dominance. I wouldn't be surprised if Huntsman's been promised a cabinet position by McCain for signing on board.
Well couldn't Romney promise the same kind of thing to Huntsman? People need to remember Romney will be reticent to fill up his cabinet with Mormons. Sec. of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt (former Utah Gov. and a Mormon) is VERY tight with Romney. I see him playing a high ranking cabinet spot if Romney wins so there won't be much room for another Mormon Utah Governor. It's a calculated political risk by Huntsman.
Am I just spinning? Maybe. I would like to have Huntsman Jr. in Romney's camp assuring the locking up of the Huntsman fortune. Also, being endorsed by a governor is always nice. However, this is just a "speed bump" on Romney's road. It is not a "huge blow" and should not be seen as Huntsman rejecting Romney's policies, stances, and candidacy.
This morning, an article just posted in the Deseret News and I commented at Krusty the following (including the quotes from the Deseret News article):
Looks like the Utah reporters read my comments above . . . ;)
Quoting the article that just posted a few minutes ago:"The governor's father, Jon Huntsman Sr., is one of Romney's biggest supporters. "It was absolutely a surprise," said Kirk Jowers, head of the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics and legal counsel to Romney's Commonwealth PACs. "The Huntsman family, including the governor, have been extremely supportive of Gov. Romney."
According to a recent Deseret Morning News analysis, Jon Huntsman Sr. had given Romney's PACs nearly $130,000 and is the Romney committee's national finance co-chairman."
"It's no secret that McCain has actively courted Gov. Huntsman, presumably because he sees Gov. Romney as his biggest rival if they both get into the race," Jowers said. Still, he said, Romney shouldn't be hurt by not having the support of Utah's governor."
And later:"This summer, McCain addressed the Utah GOP state convention at Huntsman's request. There, McCain cited Huntsman as a rising star in the Republican party who he expected to do big things on a national, or even international, scale. For Huntsman, that could include serving in a GOP presidential administration. But there's some suggestion a President Romney might be more cautious about appointing a fellow Mormon to a key role."
Anyways, it was sort of vindicating to see my "off the top of my head" comments and ideas show up nearly point for point in the press.