The Washington Examiner's David Freddoso interviewed Jon Huntsman on a number of different topics, giving him a chance to demonstrate his conservative instincts (or lack thereof). All the questions and answers are worth reading in order to get a sense of Huntsman's approach, but the section on social conservative issues is particularly interesting:
As we talk about your new outreach to conservatives, one area where - to my knowledge - your record as a social conservative is fairly sound. I understand that you're focusing on New Hampshire, not Iowa, but can you tell me what sort of appeal can you make to social conservatives, and do you plan to make that appeal more?
You can look at my record. It is what it is. I'm pro-life, I always have been. I have two little adopted girls to prove that point. I'm pro-Second Amendment, always have been. People can look at my record and see what it is. It doesn't vary, it doesn't shift, it isn't opportunistic, it is what it is. Some will find things to like there -- maybe not 100 percent of the time, but I think based on where I come down on some of the important social issues, I think people will find something to like.
And can you explain your position on same-sex marriage?
I believe in equality under the law, which brings me to support civil unions. The same position that William F. Buckley, my hero growing up, had. The same position George W. Bush has. I'm to the right of Dick Cheney in terms of same-sex marriage. I still believe in traditional marriage, as a married man for 28 years with seven kids. But I think that the civil unions are appropriate given my belief in equality under the law.
I wasn't aware that William F. Buckley favored civil unions for gay couples. Nor can I find where he endorse them -- can anyone help?