Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman attended the weekly “Bloggers Briefing” at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. yesterday to remind Republicans of his conservative credentials. But he also, perhaps in a preview of his remarks that he will give in Washington on Thursday, indicted Washington for being largely responsible for what he dubbed as the country’s “trust deficit.”
Huntsman discussed his record as Utah’s governor, specifically and repeatedly talking about how he wanted to “lower the rate, broaden the base, and simplify” the tax system like he did in Utah when he signed a flat tax into law. Huntsman’s economic plan has been praised by conservative economists and the Wall Street Journal for being the boldest, most pro-growth plan among the GOP candidates.
Huntsman discussed how he was concerned with the “out-migration of people” from Utah to other states and to retain Utah’s talented young people he knew he had to “deliver a 21st century competitive tax code” that ended up bringing the marketplace back to life.
He cited his enthusiastic embrace of Paul Ryan’s plan on reforming entitlements.
He reminded conservatives that he passed the nation’s second schools vouchers bill and was strongly critical of the federal government and the Bush Administration on the “No Child Left Behind” law.
“I was first governor to opt out of No Child Left Behind,” Huntsman said. “One size fits all approach to education does not serve education at all.”
Huntsman said that “No Child Left Behind” made good schools to look and “feel like failures” and he said he is still trying to figure out what value the Department of Education adds.
Huntsman said parents and local leaders do not want their schools to fail and education decisions needs to be left to localities because “every child has a genius within” and the “challenge is finding it.”
Huntsman also criticized the United Nations for often being “anti-American” and “anti-Israel.”
He spoke extensively about the country’s debt and how the country is on the “cusp of a manufacturing revolution” but only if the nation’s fiscal house gets in order.
Most importantly, Huntsman spoke extensively about the “trust deficit.”
“The people of this nation no longer trust the institutions of power,” he said.
He indicted Congress, the White House, Wall Street, and K-Street.
Huntsman said he wanted to “slam” the revolving door between Congress and K-Street and prevent those from trading in on “relationships and insider information” while being “courageous enough” to tackle Wall Street on “too big to fail.”
On Thursday, Huntsman will give a speech that addresses the “trust deficit” and offers solutions on restoring trust and confidence in this country’s institutions. That speech could be Huntsman’s last chance to revive his campaign by attacking the crony capitalism that Americans are enraged about and cannot tolerate.
Photo courtesy of the Heritage Foundation.