Get Michael Steele and Howard Dean on the same panel, get them talking about the GOP presidential field, and something interesting is bound to happen, right?
Well, that happened this morning when Vogue’s Jacob Weisberg dropped by to talk about former Utah Governor and relatively chill moderate Jon Huntsman and his place in the 2012 fold. He’s got a new piece on him.
Steele came off as sort of a Huntsman fan, while Dean put the requisite smack down on the GOP. But not before calling Huntsman the real deal.
As you may have noticed (or may have not noticed), Huntsman has become something of a pugilist lately.
Here’s how Dean and Steele’s exchange played out.
Michael Steele: “…I think [Huntsman] would be a fine nominee for [the GOP]…because the party isn’t just one faction; it just isn’t one perspective. Particularly when you look at the broad array of views that exist on a lot of these issues today.”
Howard Dean: “Jacob wrote that this is the thinking man’s candidate; there aren’t any thinking people in the Republican Party. Name a thoughtful policy analyst in the Republican Party. Not Rick Perry. Not Michele Bachmann. Look at all these people. Huntsman is the real deal.”
Willie Geist: “Mitt Romney isn’t thoughtful?”
Dean: “The problem with Mitt Romney is…Mitt Romney is thoughtful, and he is smart, and he’s lived in the real world. But he’ll say roughly anything to get elected.”
It was a good, spirited debate.
The clip of Weisberg, Steele, Dean is about 11 minutes, and things start heating up around three minutes in.