Jon Huntsman criticized rival Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan, calling it a "nonstarter" in Congress.

"Number one, I think it's basically a nonstarter in Congress," Huntsman said Tuesday on the "Jeff Katz Show." "And if you've got a program that's going to die the minute it gets to Congress, why begin the journey? It makes for a good sound bite, but I like to think in terms of practical reality here. What does it actually do for the American people?"

Cain's 9-9-9 plan calls for a 9 percent national sales tax, 9 percent income tax and 9 percent corporate tax. The proposal appears to appeal to Republican primary voters. Recent polling has shown Cain as either the front-runner or near the front of the pack in the Republican primary.

Huntsman said that the goal should not be to radically change the tax code. 

"We don't want to radically remake the tax code, but you've got to deal with the framework that we have," Huntsman said.

Huntsman said that his tax plan, which phases out loopholes and deductions as well as corporate welfare and subsides, is better because it would not be dead on arrival in Congress.

"I'd like to say that that's the kind of thing that the country needs to get its arms around, because it is actually doable. It won't be jettisoned from Congress the minute it lands there," Huntsman said.