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Huntsman campaign: Is it crumbling from within?

By Andrew Adams | Posted - Aug. 5, 2011 at 10:19 a.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY -- A few weeks ago, Jon Huntsman's campaign manager David Fischer resigned, which shed some light on the state of his run at the White House.

Now, the former campaign manager describes why Huntsman may be struggling.

Fischer said the biggest fault in Huntsman's campaign is Chief Strategist John Weaver, who is to blame for all the drama inside the campaign. Fischer cites Weaver's "verbally abusive" management style as the reason.


Listen -- any organization -- you're always looking at fine tuning and perfecting; whether it's a business, whether it's a campaign, whether it's your family. Why wouldn't you look for ways to improve here and there?

–Jon Huntsman


As evidence, Fischer and a few unnamed "anti-Weaver" sources told Politico that four Huntsman staffers have left the campaign as a result of clashes with Weaver.

And if Huntsman's presidential announcement in New Jersey was underwhelming, Fischer said it was. Following Huntsman's announcement, Fischer said Weaver swore up a storm and yelled at several workers because he felt the announcement had not gone as planned.

The Huntsman campaign is responding to Fischer's claims by saying he was asked to leave because he usurped authority as a volunteer and threatened the campaign. Furthermore, Huntsman is defending Weaver and has elaborated on the staff changes during one of his campaign stops.

"We've got our campaign up and running," he said. "It is tooled; it's firing on all cylinders and we're preparing to win here in New Hampshire."

Huntsman later added: "Listen -- any organization -- you're always looking at fine tuning and perfecting; whether it's a business, whether it's a campaign, whether it's your family. Why wouldn't you look for ways to improve here and there?"

Meanwhile, Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne is adding to the assault against Huntsman, writing an op-ed in Politico, saying Huntsman claims to share the blame for the 2008 financial collapse because of his reversal on a Utah law that would have barred brokers from "naked short selling."

Email: aadams@ksl.com

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