Romney is apparently utterly tone deaf, because yet another of his supporters has taken to the media to urge the Republican presidential candidate to withdraw his support from rape gift Indiana senate candidate Robert Mourdock. Hunstman told HuffPost Live, “I cringe. It’s like fingers on a chalkboard every time I hear men talk about women’s health issues.”
Watch Huntsman on HuffPost Live here:
ABBY HUNTSMAN: I want to bring in our Huffington Post Editorial Director, Howard Fineman. Howard, you’ve been following this story. I want to ask you, Dad, what did you think about this statement?
JON HUNTSMAN: I cringe. It’s like fingers on a chalkboard every time I hear men talk about women’s health issues. When I hear them talk about things like this, it makes me cringe. It doesn’t deserve to be part of our political discourse right now. People want the economy fixed, they want our competitive prospects enhanced, and they want Americans brought together as one. This is a complete waste of time for Americans, and they know it, and they’re angered by this kind of talk.
A. HUNTSMAN: Would you have taken your ads off if you were Mitt Romney?
J. HUNTSMAN: I think I would have simply said, “I’m withdrawing my support.”
Jon Hunstman is not just a Romney supporter, he was also a reasonable alternative for the Republican Party as a presidential hopeful, but he failed to capture the hate and bigotry that fuels the modern day Republican Party.
Huntsman is also a Mormon, and it’s important to note that while Romney’s Mormonism appears to be steeped in patriarchy, Huntsman’s does not. Just as there are Christian and Muslim extremists, so too are there Mormon extremists. While Huntsman was a Mormon missionary to Taiwan, I doubt you’ll ever hear Jon Huntsman claim that serving in a Mormon mission is the same as serving in combat. Huntsman has expressed interest in different religions and philosophies.
And most telling from CNN religion blog via Matthew Bowman, an editor at a Mormon studies journal called Dialogue, is the idea that Romney’s Mormonism embodies the 1960s and 70s, when the church “defined itself largely in opposition to the broader American culture, which was seeing cultural upheaval and the sexual revolution.”
That attitude prevailed through the 1980s. “Leaders of the church were very pessimistic about the way they talked about American society, using apocalyptic rhetoric, framing America as the new Sodom and Gomorrah,” Bowman said. “There was this real attempt to tell Mormons that we need to distance ourselves from the country, to be different.”
Suddenly Romney’s attitudes toward women working, birth control, and access to abortion even in the case of a threat to the mother’s life make sense. Romney has defined himself in opposition to the freedoms women won in the 1960s, and that’s why his social policies seem decidedly 1950s.