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Huntsman Pitches Utah Success On S.C. Stump

Candidate is looking to secure some post-New Hampshire momentum.

GOP 2012 primary candidate Jon Huntsman returned to the Lowcountry on Saturday, speaking frankly about his vision for the executive branch and what we should expect from a Congress when he's in office.

A former Utah governor and former ambassador to China, Huntsman has focused most of his attention on a good showing in make-or-break New Hampshire. But he has also put together a solid team on the ground in the Palmetto State.

The candidate spoke to a crowd of roughly 80 at the Berkeley County Republican breakfast, spending time working his way from one personal chat to another before speaking to the entire audience.

Huntsman said he'd tackle a "trust deficit" in Washington, calling on Congress to do its job and institute term limits for legislators. "The roots go very deep and it keeps them there forever," he said.

He wants to correct the nation's fiscal deficit with tax reform, manufacturing growth and a tough stand on spending cuts that accommodates no sacred cows.

"I'm going to get this economy moving, just like I did in my state," he said.

Huntsman seems to be pinning his campaign on more primary voters weighing that record, where he says he cut taxes and ended up with a more efficient state government and a fast-growing Utah.

"I have a track record," he said, confident that voters will find something to like. "Nothing else I could say would be that instructive."

Huntsman said after the speech that he favors the slow growth he's seen in the polls to the swift climb of other candidates. "We haven't lit our hair on fire," he said, noting the attention others have received has been followed by a steep drop in the polls.

The meeting gave Huntsman a chance to speak with local voters, but the shadowy presence of surprising front-runner Newt Gingrich was ever-present. Gingrich stickers peppered lapels in the audience while bumper stickers quickly disapeared from a table in the back of the room.

Bill Bates, a member of Goose Creek 9-12, said Huntsman performed better than he did for a town hall forum earlier this year. "He better understands his audience," he said.

But Bates is still deciding between three other candidates who might have his vote, including one he never thought he'd vote for: Gingrich.

Mimi December 04, 2011 at 02:37 AM
The only candidate in the Republican circus with a brain. He doesn't spew enough vile hatred for the Mushroom tea party or enough class ware fare for the right wing extremist or enough abortion and racism for the religous zealots and that is the bulk of what is left of the Republican Party. Jon Huntsman is too moderate for this group. I hope in the coming years that the Republicans can remember who they are and seperate themselves from the extremist they married in 2008 for political gain that has really damaged the Republican party and its name.
Gretchen December 04, 2011 at 04:59 PM
I would never vote for a man who has WORKED FOR A DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT, as Ambassador to China. What kind of Republican is he anyway?
Bob Moore December 13, 2011 at 06:15 AM
JON HUNTSMAN is anti-establishment & the most successful Governor alive :::FACTS:: as Governor, REFORMED healthcare (w/out mandate), education, & taxes. PEW ranked #1 governed state. Now state #1 eduation spending, #1 JOB GROWTH. often >90% approval in office. Passed pro-life amendments. Safeguarded 2nd amendment. Now, WSJ ranked economic plan ***MOST FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE*** & UNLIKE NEWT AND MITT, wants to: end too-big-to-fail, drastically cut deficit with Paul Ryan sized cuts, end loopholes, end subisidies, flatten, simplify taxes, reform Congressional lobbying :::END FACTS::: Newt is polarizing, a DC idea man, not a consistent sturdy leader. Romney is a phony. He literally says whatever the majority of his audience wants to hear at any given moment. If he doesn't want to answer a question, he evades it, talks in circles, and changes the subject by attacking Obama. Most of all, he's a PROVEN FAILURE... he left Governor's office with 34% approval! Everything that's wrong with Newt and Mitt, is right with Jon Huntsman. He's the one! He's the one who can beat Obama and unite this country! GIVE HIM A FIRST LOOK!!!

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