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Are you a Republican looking for a more viable alternative to Mitt Romney? Has the cratering of Rick Perry left you feeling hopeless? Do the scandals afflicting Herman Cain make you think he isn’t all that electable? Well, there is still a very electable conservative in the race!
Surprise it is Jon Huntsman!
He has been branded a moderate by the press and by people in his campaign. But take a look at his record and see if it doesn’t warm your heart.
It's the number one requirement of any Republican with national aspirations. So how does Huntsman stack up?
As governor of Utah, Huntsman won awards from anti-tax groups for enacting $225 million in tax-cuts during the 2007 session.
Huntsman lowered the top tax rate from 7 per cent to a flat rate of 5 per cent and eliminated market-distorting tax credits. He cut the sales tax on food from 4.75 per cent to 1.25 per cent, and lowered the overall sales tax a tenth of a per cent.
The libertarian CATO Institute named Utah #1 in Tax Policy in 2008.
Overall Huntsman cut $400 million in Utah taxes.
And his plan to simplify the nation's tax code into three brackets while eliminating deductions earned him high praise from the Wall Street Journal editorial page. 'Mr. Huntsman's proposal is as impressive as any to date in the GOP Presidential field, and certainly better than what we've seen from the front-runners,' opined the Journal.
By the time Huntsman left Utah, Forbes Magazine was declaring it the best state in the nation for business and careers. Here is what they wrote:
Utah's economy has expanded 3.5% annually over the past five years, faster than any other state except North Dakota. This is three-and-a-half times faster than the U.S. as a whole. Total employment in the U.S. has shrunk over the past five years, but in Utah it increased 1.5% annually, fourth-best in the nation. Household incomes have surged 5% annually, which is tops in the country and twice as fast as the national average.
The conservative American Legislative Exchange Council projected Utah as the top state for Expected Economic Recovery in 2007.
And The Pew centre on States Government Performance awarded Utah the title 'Best Managed State' in the country.
Rick Perry was supposed to be the jobs candidate. But his record as America's top job-creating governor has come under fire. The 'Texas miracle' has been criticised from the left as being a mirage of low-wage, no-benefits, dead-end jobs. It's been attacked from the right as the product of crony-capitalism.
And for all of Mitt Romney's talk of being a 'turnaround' candidate, Massachusetts was among the worst states in job creation.
Huntsman is a gun-owner's friend.
He signed one bill to expand the rights of Utah gun owners to transport their weapons in their cars.
He also signed another piece of legislation that allowed gun owners to carry a concealed weapon on their own property without needing a concealed-carry permit.
Huntsman also wants kids to get in on the fun you can have with guns. He signed legislation that would grant hunters under the age of 12 a licence to kill small game in Utah.
While governor of Utah, Huntsman made second-trimester abortions illegal and made third-trimester abortions a third-degree felony. He also passed a bill that required abortion providers to explain to their clients the pain unborn children can feel during an abortion procedure.
Huntsman put into force a 'trigger law' that would outright ban abortion the moment Roe v. Wade is overturned.
And Huntsman was willing to back it up. Huntsman's Utah administration helped to create a legal fund to defend their restrictive abortion laws from challenge in the courts.
Compare this to Mitt Romney, who claimed he was more pro-choice than Ted Kennedy. In a 1994 debate with the liberal lion, here is what Romney said:
I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years, that we should sustain and support it, and I sustain and support that law, and the right of a woman to make that choice, and my personal beliefs, like the personal beliefs of other people, should not be brought into a political campaign.
Obama won't attack Romney for having been pro-choice. But he will attack him for 'having no core.'
Huntsman has always had one position on this issue and a record to back it up.
Jon Huntsman considered using a Romney-care like individual mandate to expand health coverage in Utah, but he ultimately rejected it.
Instead Huntsman passed four bills that expanded consumer choice in health-care markets, creating competition where there was none.
The battery of legislation allowed Utahns to take a defined contribution from their employer and use it to shop for their own health insurance. And the state created a website through which employees can do price and coverage comparisons to find the best deal.
Huntsman also implemented reform to medical malpractice laws, demanding a higher level of evidence
Perry botched his attack on Romney as a flip-flopper.
But Jon Huntsman's ads 'Backflip' and 'Weather Vane' are absolutely devastating. They are a model of how Romney would be attacked in a general election as well.
Huntsman may have promised a high-minded campaign, but conservatives want someone to expose Romney for what he is: a shifty technocrat.
Isn't this the man who tweeted that he believed in Evolution and in Global Warming scientists?
Didn't he hire John Weaver, who basically hates conservatives, as his campaign manager?
Isn't this the guy who worked for the Obama administration? And earned the ire of conservative loyalists?
And that is why the Obama administration has always feared him.
Despite his stances on abortion, taxes, and guns, which are to the right of most conservatives, independents and Democrats like him. This is a good thing.
You want independents and Democrats voting for a pro-life, pro-gun rights anti-tax Republican, don't you?
In their hearts, conservatives are monarchists and they have always been envious of the glamour that the Kennedys brought to the White House.
The Huntsman family would top even the Kennedy's Camelot. Jon Huntsman strikes the figure of a frontier patrician. His wife and three daughters are individually beautiful and collectively very stylish. His two adopted daughters are button-cute too. Annie Liebovitz already photographed them once for Vogue - imagine this happening over and over again.
Conservatives deserve to have this kind of stylish image.
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