Gingrich, Huntsman Agree: Iran Is Scary

GOP candidates exchange foreign policy views in New Hampshire debate
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2011 6:35 PM CST
Republican presidential candidates, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, left, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich participate in a one-on-one debate in Manchester, N.H., Monday, Dec. 12, 2011.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman engaged in a friendly, rather academic foreign policy debate today that saw more agreement than fireworks, the Los Angeles Times reports. Modeled on the Abraham Lincoln-Stephen Douglas debates of 1858—in which candidates spoke for long uninterrupted stretches—the two Republican contenders discussed issues including Iran, China, and Afghanistan at a college in New Hampshire. “I can see my daughter nodding off over there,” quipped Huntsman.

Among the medium-lights:

  • Both were hawkish on Iran. Gingrich equated a nuclear-armed Iran with a second Holocaust, and Huntsman called it “the transcendent threat of this decade.”
  • Huntsman, a former ambassador to China, described a "nationalistic, hubristic generation" emerging there, but said its rise to power could lead to better dialogue with Washington, the Atlantic notes.
  • Huntsman wants US troops out of Afghanistan.
  • Gingrich called Obama's foreign policy dangerously unfocused: "We're randomly using our forces," he said.
  • Gingrich also disapproved of Obama's handling of former Egyptian ally Hosni Mubarak: "Obama dumped him in a very unceremonious way."
Visit Politico to see how the candidates and audience reacted after the debate. (Read more Jon Huntsman 2012 stories.)

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |  
62%
1%
13%
3%
20%
0%