Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, campaigning in South Carolina on Wednesday, stood up for capitalism and asked his Republican rivals to stop hammering Mitt Romney for his private-sector career. As reported by the Associated Press:
“Capitalism without failure isn’t capitalism,” Huntsman told the more than 100 students and a smattering of teachers in a hot, crowded faculty lounge.
Huntsman later told reporters that Republicans should temper their criticism of Romney’s role at Bain Capital in the 1980s and ’90s, when the private equity firm restructured dozens of companies. Jobs were created in some cases and lost in others. Presidential contenders Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry have seized on the lost jobs to paint Romney as a heartless profit-seeker who closed workplaces. Huntsman called the argument unfair.
“If you have creative destruction in capitalism, which has always been part of capitalism, it becomes a little disingenuous to take on Bain Capital,” Huntsman told reporters. Instead, he said, Romney should be judged on his four years as Massachusetts governor.
“He didn’t deliver any big bold economic proposals,” Huntsman said. “I delivered the largest tax cut in the history of my state.”
He said Romney raised taxes, required residents to obtain health insurance and had a far worse job-creation record than Huntsman had in Utah.
So you can criticize the dickens out of Mitt Romney without compromising the defense of capitalism! Was that so hard?