Today, on Morning Joe, on MSNBC, Jon Huntsman, the one-time Republican presidential candidate, called for the formation of a third political party, alleging that those candidates still in the field lacked big ideas. Huntsman has previously announced his endorsement of Mitt Romney, which may have lost some of its impact in light of today’s statement.
Huntsman stated, “Gone are the days when the Republican Party used to put forward big, bold, visionary stuff…I see zero evidence of people getting out there and addressing the economic deficit — which is a national-security problem, for heaven’s sake. I think we’re going to have problems politically until we get some sort of third-party movement or some alternative voice out there that can put forward new ideas.” Huntsman added, upon further questioning, that he is not interested in pursuing that candidacy himself.
Huntsman, who apparently was in an ornery mood (he may not be a morning person), stated that the Republican Party used to be the party of big ideas, but now seems to be mired in a battle being contested about trivial issues. He listed a number of issues that he wishes the contenders would discuss, including changing the tax code to improve the manufacturing climate, campaign finance reform, and term limits. He also decried what he called the culture war the GOP has been engaged in over the religious liberty issue in recent weeks. He claims that this is a political loser since it makes it less likely for suburban voters to support the ultimate nominee.
When asked why his own presidential bid was such a resounding failure, he claimed that he blames his lack of electoral success in the New Hampshire primary on two things: his unwillingness to pander to issues that the base cared about and his tenure as Ambassador to China under President Obama. Since he camped out in the Granite State for 6 months and didn’t waste any energy trying to engage voters in any of the other early primaries or caucuses, and still managed to garner very little support there, it’s interesting that he blames the voters for his fiasco there. Sometimes, the fault does not lie in our stars, but in ourselves.
Here is the video from Morning Joe: