Daniel Larison writes “Huntsman lost almost all ‘primary voters who are tired of a hyperinterventionist foreign policy’ once he took an ultra-hawkish position on Iran.” Certainly Ron Paul, with his actual opposition to the war in Iraq and any subsequent preventive war against Iran, has a stronger case to make to such voters. But I can tell you anecdotally there are still antiwar Republicans who think Huntsman’s comments on Iran are just positioning and like the idea of a candidate with a more mainstream image than Paul.
Whether this is a large enough group to mean anything is another story. It’s worth noting that Huntsman also has an anti-Romney ad, taking on two of the three candidates with a good chance of finishing in the top tier in New Hampshire while hoping the Iowa results take care of the third (Newt Gingrich). Larison should remember from the Chuck Hagel experience that respectable-sounding realists get all kinds of benefit of the doubt, even when they are not timely opponents of any large war.
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