A brief item by Michael Shear in Friday's paper, 'Huntsman Makes Bid To Step Out From Crowd,' faulted moderate Republican candidate Jon Huntsman for not sufficiently 'standing apart from the pack' of conservative presidential candidates by calling for higher taxes – or in Shear's words, 'revenue increases.' Shear called it a 'missed opportunity,' as if Huntsman should have argued the liberal line on raising taxes solely to stand out from the conservative crowd.
Jon M. Huntsman Jr. is eager to stand out. Just not too much.
In a Twitter message sent Thursday afternoon, Mr. Huntsman wrote: 'To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.'
The message was a direct shot at his newest rival, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, who said this week that climate change was 'a scientific theory that has not been proved' and called evolution 'just a theory.'
But Mr. Huntsman's efforts to stand apart from the pack only go so far. At the debate in Iowa last week, the candidates were asked how many would oppose a plan in which spending cuts outweighed revenue increases by 10 to 1.
All hands went up, including Mr. Huntsman's.
That could have been a missed opportunity for Mr. Huntsman to draw a distinction between himself and his Republican rivals on a national stage - and attract more attention than a single Twitter message.