Huntsman tweet makes clear, he felt betrayed by Chaffetz

Posted at 7:14 PM, Oct 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-07 09:35:07-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- It's been clear for years that Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz was not politically aligned with former Utah Governor, Ambassador to China, and Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman Jr., but until Monday evening, they never shared personal animosity in the open.

That changed with a Tweet from Huntsman:

Interim Director of the Hinkley Institute Jason Perry said both men are great leaders, but it's clear they are no longer great friends.

"I've had a chance to work closely with both Gov. Huntsman and Congressman Chaffetz and all I could think about was there's some history there that must have gone into that tweet," Perry said.

What history?

Huntsman gave Chaffetz his big break in politics by making Chaffetz his campaign manager and then his chief of staff in the Governor's Office.

Chaffetz only led the Governor's office for 10 months before leaving for the private sector, but he quickly emerged onto the political stage as a formidable candidate in his own right.

He lined up to the political right of incumbent Republican Congressman Chris Cannon, won a Congressional seat, and went on to become one of Mitt Romney's greatest political allies.

That was at a time when Romney was Huntsman's greatest political foe, both men competing for the same political "lane" in the race to the Republican Presidential nomination.

Perry says Chaffetz doesn't make such decisions out of personal animosity.

"Things like this are rarely personal with him," Perry said of Chaffetz.

But Huntsman's tweet makes clear, he saw his former protégé’s defection as a betrayal.