Salt Lake City — (KUTV) Former governor of Utah, Jon Huntsman Jr., endorsed Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination in an interview with Politico.com last week. People are reacting to his statements.
"We've had enough intraparty fighting. Now's the time to stitch together a winning coalition," said Huntsman. "And it's been clear almost from the beginning that Donald Trump has the ability to assemble a nontraditional bloc of supporters ... The ability to cut across traditional party boundaries like '80, '92 and 2008 will be key, and Trump is much better positioned to achieve that."
On social media, people accused Huntsman of being loyal to his party before his country. One person said his support of Trump is "sickening."
Jason Perry, Director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics, knows Jon Huntsman, but has not talked to him specifically about his statements. However, he believed the moderate Republican was not trying to keep Democrats out of the White House, but instead was trying to united the Republican Party.
"And to remain very relevant, needs to expand the tent to get more voters involved. And certainly, for Jon Huntsman, he has tried to get people involved," said Huntsman. "For Utahns, if you don't show up and vote, it's not just the candidate for the President of the United States that's being impacted, there are candidates all up and down the ballot."
Perry encouraged voters of all backgrounds to get involved.
"People that don't traditionally vote, The non-traditional voter, people who are going to cross party lines, people who haven't shown up for some time because they've been disillusioned."
Perry said Indiana will be critical in the race for the Republican nomination.
"Because it could, in essence, be the last stand of the true "Stop Trump" movement," said Perry. "For Ted Cruz, this is an absolute must-win state."
Fifty seven Republican delegates are at stake. Cruz is 672 delegates short of the nomination, but there are only 571 left. Cruz's only chance at the Republican nomination is to be able to win the bid in the contested convention.
"It's impossible to get him to be the presumptive nominee going into the convention."
Polls show Donald Trump has an edge in Indiana, which is why Perry believed Cruz announced Carley Fiorina as his running mate.
"[He did it] a little earlier than you sometimes do, sort of a Hail Mary pass," said Perry. "She was one that took shots from Trump and she was one that gave shots back. She's proven that she can hold her own in any political race."