Glenn Beck: A frank conversation with Jon Huntsman

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GLENN: I did a show two days ago with a live studio audience and my good
friend who I’ll introduce you to here in a second, and when I got off, the
producers we have I don’t even know, what do we have? Twelve producers that are
in the studio, twenty producers that are in the, you know, in the control room.
And there one of the guys, all he has to do is watch the time, watch the time,
make sure that everything is right for the network. He said you know it’s a good
show when I forget about the fact that there is a clock. He said, a couple of
times I got yelled at because they were like, what time? And he was like, oh,
oh, crap. He said, that’s never happened to me before. And the next day the crew
came in and they said to me, if we had to archive five shows, this would be the
number one show. They said this is the most amazing show we’ve ever done on
television. And it is a show on self reliance, it is a show on liberating
strife, on you can make it through anything. It is also one on misunderstanding
of wealth and stuff. And the best guy I know to talk about it and is a guy who I
just made him extraordinarily uncomfortable a few minutes ago, but I he can
never say this but I can because I believe it with everything in me. He is the
only man I have ever met that I believe has the character of George Washington.
Jon Huntsman, Sr. is a good friend and mentor of mine. Welcome to the program,
Jon, how are you?

HUNTSMAN: Well, Glenn, thank you very much. I’m

GLENN: I know.

HUNTSMAN: I’m overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed.

GLENN: Did you leave your white horse out on the

HUNTSMAN: My white horse is right by the Delaware River.

GLENN: Yeah. I know you’re a big fan of George Washington as well and know the
character of the man, and I know it’s something that you have strived for your
whole life is to be a man of real character. We were talking off the air a few
minutes ago, and I want you to try to address this, Jon. Jon, so you know, grew
up in a house so poor, that he had cardboard walls. He had one shirt, one pair
of shoes, right?

HUNTSMAN: Right.

GLENN: Yeah. Poverty unlike what most people understand poverty in America to be
like.

PAT: But they were Gucci shoes, I understand.

HUNTSMAN: Come on, Pat.

GLENN: And so Jon grew up, and he has seen it. Even when he was poor, his wife
told me this story, that when he was when he was poor, she would divvy out the
few dollars that they had so he could have lunch and everything else when he was
working long hours. She didn’t know, and he didn’t say anything to her because
he just, you know, he knew what she would say. He took that money for his lunch
and he gave it to the neighbors down the street because they were worse off than
they were. And so he made sure that they had something to eat every day and he
went without. And this is a long, long story in his life. Built Huntsman
Chemical Company which is the largest now chemical corporation privately owned
in the world and his lived his life ethically.

Jon, people are looking for answers on the country on what to do, and I think
they are looking for a magic bullet. I think they’re looking for a political
solution here. As a businessman, how much trouble is the country in?

HUNTSMAN: Well, Glenn, number one, thanks thank you very much, very much for
your kindness, Glenn. You’re always exceedingly thoughtful and gracious, and you
build me into an individual that sometimes I really have to pinch myself
because, you know, I have a hard time living up to your expectations, Glenn.

GLENN: Well, you wouldn’t have to pinch yourself. If you just fly commercially,
TSA will do it for you now.

HUNTSMAN: Just frisk myself. But, you know, Glenn, the key right now to America
is that we have to get back to being to trust one another. I think the word you
know, faith, hope and charity, I have these great pictures in my office of
faith, hope and charity that you gave me. And I look at them every day and I
think if we could just trust one another. If our handshake was our bond, if we
had that wonderful feeling of admiration and trust. And I think our Founding
Fathers, they would disagree but they weren’t disagreeable. They didn’t hate
each other, they didn’t want to kill each other off.

GLENN: They did, they yelled and screamed and they were passionate about their
point of view and they argued hard with each other. Thomas Jefferson and John
Adams. But they were decent men. They in the end George Washington said to them,
look, you have more in common. And they had the values and principles in common.
I don’t know, Jon, if we have values and principles in common anymore.

HUNTSMAN: Well, you know, I particularly love Franklin because I went to the
University of Pennsylvania and Franklin, of course, was a founder there. And
we’ve studied his life, and I loved his book on pragmatism, the pragmatic nature
of man. And coming back to your point, Glenn, we do. I think the basic majority
of people listening to this program are honest, God fearing people and they just
don’t understand what’s going on with their government. They don’t understand
this massive debt. They don’t understand what’s happened to them in the last few
years. But it’s not their fault. I think they themselves are God fearing, fine,
wonderful people who you’re honored to have as your friends. And I think that’s
a vast majority of Americans today.

GLENN: So if you’re looking for a political answer, I don’t think there is I
mean, we have to be vigilant, we have to, you know, play our role as a citizen
and vote and everything else. But I think the problems that are coming, I Jon,
would you agree about me that I don’t know if you can because of your position
in the world, but that the system is unsustainable as we have designed it today
and it needs to be reset in some form or another back to things that are true.
And faith, hope and charity, things that are the things that poor Richards used
to teach us. The common sense, you know, be thrifty and, you know, save your
money and there is there is a difference between good debt and bad debt and
honesty is the best policy, all of that stuff.

HUNTSMAN: Well, you know, we don’t have a choice, Glenn. I think the history of
the world suggests if one studies the Romans and one studies the early Greeks
and one studies the history of the world, they all eventually falter if they
don’t come back to the basic aspect of integrity and honor and feelings of love
one for another. I think of this great term that Churchill came up with
originally, that without integrity, nothing else counts. With integrity, nothing
else counts. And so what we’re saying is in essence, we have to bring integrity
back into the lives of the nation, our leaders, our people, our individuals. And
if we don’t, history has a way of changing events so that we will, and we must.

GLENN: People say it’s God. It really is God. It’s nature God sets up the laws
of nature and if you betray the laws of nature, after a while it doesn’t matter.
He doesn’t come and destroy you and punish you. You punish yourself because
you’re out of the laws of nature.

HUNTSMAN: Well, precisely true, Glenn. And, you know, I’ve always felt badly for
people who said, well, there is no God, I don’t believe in God. If someone does
not believe in a higher power and in the blessings of God and His son Jesus
Christ and I’m not trying to preach. I’m just saying my own beliefs it’s sad.
It’s sad to me because then what they believe in is themselves and money and
greed and how much do I get out of this world and how much can I take away from
it instead of, what can I contribute to it, what can I give to it. And you know,
I was so interested, Glenn, to see that most Americans today still give to
charity. More than any country in the world.

GLENN: I know.

HUNTSMAN: The United States of America.

GLENN: By far.

HUNTSMAN: Our citizens. And I found another interesting statistic. Those people
who make under $20,000 a year, they give an average of 4% of their income to
charity, whereas those who make more give an average of 2% to charity.

GLENN: Oh, my gosh.

HUNTSMAN: Isn’t that interesting? So our people, good, are good, solid people,
but we have to give back into a belief in God, into a belief in each other and
into a love and sustaining of one another.

GLENN: I have to introduce you to a friend of mine, Rabbi Daniel Lapin. I don’t
know if you’ve seen him on the TV show.

HUNTSMAN: I have, sure.

GLENN: He’s been teaching me so much, and he’s been trying to teach, in his own
way, the Old Testament to me in ancient Hebrew. Do you know what the word
"Love," how the word "Love" is described in ancient Hebrew? You know, the two
symbols, it takes two symbols to write the word "Love" in Hebrew. And the first
symbol is "I." The second symbol is "Give."

HUNTSMAN: Makes sense. Makes sense.

GLENN: So the definition of "Love," you can’t say I love something. For
instance, I love turkey. No, you’re consuming turkey.

HUNTSMAN: That’s right.

GLENN: If you really want to know how God, in the only language that hasn’t
really changed, Hebrew, if you want to know how God’s change, you He described
love, it was "I give." So if you are giving, it is showing love. And I was
talking to Marcus Luttrell the other night about, you know, marriage and because
he just got married. And I said, when you just want to serve them, that’s when
you know. That’s when you know. Just, I just want to serve you. I just want to
serve.

HUNTSMAN: Charity faileth not and, you know, it’s such a great privilege. In my
life it’s been an interesting situation because born in a small rural town in
Idaho with nothing and then having the blessings of reaping a huge fortune and
giving it away or trying to give it away and having a lot of problems in our
life, you know. No family out there listening to this program, no matter what
their wealth is, will go through life without stumbling and falling.

Our youngest son is severely handicapped mentally. Our beautiful 44 year old
daughter died this past year, leaving seven little children. I’ve had cancer
four times. But you know, Glenn, God has blessed me, and I feel so honored and
so privileged in the blessings of life.

GLENN: You I have to tell you, Jon, in the last year and I’m going to go all
Gayle King/Oprah Winfrey on you here in a second. In the last year when I first
met you, I didn’t know much about you. I just knew that you were a billionaire
and everything else and so I didn’t know very much and I liked you immediately.
And I saw that you were a good, decent man. And as I saw your planes and your
homes and everything else, it would be very easy for me to say, wow, what a
life. Look at this. Man, wouldn’t you like to be Jon Huntsman. And in many ways
my family and my friends have said that and I have said that. I mean, you know,
you lead, you lead an unbelievable life that very few humans have ever led. But
in this last year, Jon, I would never want to be you because I have learned and
that’s what this show is about. I have learned the incredible cost that you have
paid not for your wealth, but you have I think for your integrity. I think there
is a cost. The opposition grows in strength, and you have handled it with such
grace and dignity. I don’t envy any of your, any of your wealth. I envy your
integrity and I envy the way you’ve lived your life. It is remarkable,
remarkable life.

HUNTSMAN: Well, Glenn, you know, once again you’ve I’m overcome a bit by your
kindness, but I’m reminded when you say those things of my sweet mother. She
died very young of cancer and her mother before her died of cancer. But on my
mother’s tombstone in a little Utah town are etched these words by Shakespeare:
Sweet are the uses of adversity. And I think of it so often is each of us in our
own ways, in our own hearts, in our own respective jobs or families, sometimes
we’re alone, but we’re going to be tested and retested by adversity and if we
can bounce back and if we can keep telling ourselves, I know I can make it, I
know I can make it. And you go out and you do something for someone else and you
try, you put your arm around them, don’t feel sorry. Self pity is the worst
possible disease that can affect mankind. And if we do just the opposite, which
is love, then we have God’s feelings with us at all times. And that’s what
you’re saying, Glenn. I mean, that’s the only thing that’s going to salvage this
great nation of ours is to get back to God again.

GLENN: Firm reliance on the protection of divine providence.