Huntsman's whole strategy of course, is to try to win New Hampshire and go from there.
A poll taken a month ago there showed Huntsman with 8 percent support, a considerable ways off of Mitt Romney's 37 percent. That was taken a month ago, and there's still two months before New Hampshire voters go to the polls, but if he's going to make a move, it's got to be now (a strong performance in the next televised debate tomorrow night would help, obviously).
Over the weekend Huntsman was in Dunedin raising money. CL wasn't there, but former CL blogger Chris Ingram, a GOP political consultant, was. You can read his entire post at his Irreverent View blog here, but we're happy to publish his Q&A with the candidate here as well:
A summary of our Q&A
Irreverent View: What is the No. 1 issue facing our country?
Huntsman: Clearly it is jobs. The divide we’re seeing in America is driven by joblessness. People have lost hope. It’s unnatural and will continue to drive this divide until we address it. The lack of employment in America is a shipwreck on our economy, our homes, our families and our community.
I.V.: So how do we fix it?
Huntsman: It’s an intractable problem, but it is fixable. We need to drive confidence and the market will follow. We have to change the psyche by showing the market is ready.
I.V.: It seems to me that most elected officials are more concerned with getting re-elected than doing the people’s business and giving people what they need versus what they want. That said, would you be willing to take a pledge to only serve one term and solely focus on the important matters facing America like managing the debt, reforming the tax code, and reducing burdensome and job killing regulations as opposed to worrying about getting re-elected?
Huntsman: Well, I have made it a policy to not sign pledges of any kind.
I.V.: Fair enough, but would you be willing to accept in your own mind that you would address the nation’s problems without regard to your own re-election, and accept that by showing real leadership in giving people what they need, not what they want that you would have to sacrifice your own political future and re-election?
Huntsman: Of course I would. I would say “hallelujah!” if I could serve just four years and get things done. You need 2-3 structural steps to infuse the market with the confidence it needs to turn around the economy. If I could repeal Dodd-Frank, have meaningful tax code changes, make us energy independent, and reform the E.P.A., I would sacrifice re-election in a heartbeat.
To do these things you’ve got to do the following: you’ve got to rebuild our manufacturing muscle and attract capital.
Manufacturing is currently only nine percent of GDP — that is not sustainable. Next you have to lower taxes and fix the tax code by getting rid of corporate welfare, and all the loopholes. And we have to have meaningful regulatory reform. Regulations and the unseen costs of regulation cause this lack of investment. And finally energy independence — primarily through expanded exploration of natural gas in America is key.
These would fix the engines of growth and create a burst of confidence.