Obama fiscal chairmen commend Huntsman on debt stance

ADVERTISEMENT

“It is so refreshing to see a political leader have the courage and vision to put the national interest ahead of the howling special interests and make the hard, tough choices so necessary to rein in the destructive national debt,” they said.

During the Jan. 7 debate in New Hampshire, Huntsman came out in favor of the Bowles-Simpson plan to raise revenue by eliminating tax breaks and lowering overall rates.

“I would have ripped open the tax code and I would have done what Simpson-Bowles recommended. I would have cleaned out all of the loopholes and the deductions that weigh down this country to the tune of $1 trillion, $100 billion. We’ve got a corrupt tax code,” he said.

Huntsman’s embrace of the Bowles-Simpson plan, with its nearly $1 in revenue increases for every $2 in spending cuts, is in sharp contrast to the other GOP candidates. It is also something of a shift, since Huntsman during an August debate said that he would walk away from a debt deal with $10 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases.

The former Utah governor is trying this week to energize moderate Republicans and to save his flagging candidacy with a strong showing in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary. The praise from two figures associated with Obama could hurt Huntsman with more conservative voters, however.