Why do Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, Jr. dislike each other so much?
(KUTV) Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, Jr. really don't get along, according to a new book coming out soon from The Salt Lake Tribune.
“They don't talk and they haven't talked for a while,” said Matt Canham, one of the co-authors of Mormon Rivals.
Written with fellow reporter Thomas Burr, the book delves into the complicated relationship between the two well-known politicians.
“It is a split, it's been a split for a number of years, and it played on the presidential stage,” said Canham in an interview with 2News.
But it wasn't always this way.
“Their fathers were good friends,” Canham said of Romney and Huntsman. “They were allies as families for a long time, and what got them away was presidential politics.”
While the Huntsman-Romney feud got its roots more than a decade ago when Romney was picked over Huntsman to lead the 2002 Olympics, Canham said the real bitterness began when Huntsman endorsed John McCain over Romney in the 2008 presidential race.
“Mitt Romney wasn't pleased about that,” Canham said.
In 2012 both men faced each other for the Republican nomination. Even though neither one is running for president this time around, Canham says their rivalry is still relevant.
“I think these men are both still very prominent in the state of Utah and in national politics,” he said.
Is there hope for this relationship to ever thaw?
“Who knows?” said Canham. “Jon Huntsman, Jr. told us that if he sat down with Mitt he thinks they could probably have a fine relationship. But would they sit down?”
Canham said unlike Huntsman, Romney did not grant an interview for the book, but the authors were able to speak with dozens of people close to him.
While the book focuses on the rivalry between Romney and Huntsman, Canham said the book is about more than just that.
“I think this story says a lot about how Mormons are perceived in the national stage and what these two people did to make it what it is today,” he said.
Mormon Rivals comes out June 2. The Salt Lake Tribune plans to hold a special event before that at the Alta Club in Salt Lake City on May 28 at 6 p.m. For more information about that and the book, visit this website.
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