Skip To Content

    Huntsman Staff Point Fingers Back At The Candidate

    No-drama Huntsman wouldn't get excited, former aides say, rejecting the family's version in a new book. They gave him advice, but he wouldn't listen.

    Mary Kaye Huntsman, the wife of former Utah governor and presidential candidate Jon Huntsman had some harsh words for the candidates advisers in a new book by Mike Allen and Evan Thomas.

    “From the beginning, I sat back and I thought, ‘I’m not sure that some of these people even care if he wins’ … What bothered me most is [them] saying, ‘You’re going into a more conservative group, so be more conservative,’” she's quoted saying in "Playbook 2012: Inside the Circus."

    In one revelation from the book, Press Secretary Tim Miller was "banished" from debate prep by Huntsman's family after being deemed to negative.

    But Huntsman's former aides say they were doing their best to handle a candidate who, in the end, didn't have what it takes.

    One senior adviser told BuzzFeed that Huntsman was unwilling to accept his situation — that if he wanted to stand a chance at the nomination, he'd have to get angry and attack Obama — and that Miller was just the bearer of bad news that the family grew frustrated with.

    "An unhealthy dynamic developed where the family became increasingly insular from the staff," the adviser said. "Other people at the top levels were afraid to deliver bad news because they thought it would put Huntsman in a little bit of a funk."

    "I think it was very accurate when he said that the staff wanted him to get more fired up, but he stated he just is not an angry guy and wasn't comfortable just throwing attacks for the sake of attacking," said one staffer.

    "Yes there is plenty of blame to go around," said the adviser. "Some of the frustration from the Huntsman family is well founded. He sucked up a couple of million dollars of his own money to go from 0% to 1%. You can blame staff for that, but it was also on him."

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form