Can You Name This GOP Candidate?

I’m driven to run for president… because I can’t stand the thought that we’re about ready to hand down the greatest nation that ever was to your generation less good, less competitive, saddled with debt, less hopeful than the country I got.

His tax reforms included $110 million in income-tax cuts, and would mandate a state-wide flat income-tax rate. Sales and food taxes were slashed too. The deal included tax credits aimed at attracting new business development, including mining.

He signed bills banning second-trimester abortions, reclassifying third-trimester abortions as a third-degree felony, and requiring abortion providers to explain the pain unborn children can experience during abortion. He signed a trigger law that would ban abortion outright if Roe is overturned. He opposes embryonic stem-cell research. And by establishing a state legal fund to defend these laws, he showed willingness to uphold state prerogatives.

He expanded the rights of gun-owners, abolishing some concealed-carry restrictions and allowing for more transport of firearms on roads. He signed a bill that would grant small-game hunting licenses to children under 12.

His administration routinely fought alongside business interests against the Interior Department and environmental groups to develop an energy economy.

One of the odder accomplishments of his administration was the reform of the state’s liquor laws. Before the reform, restaurants and bars had to comply with an arcane series of regulations that labeled them “private clubs” and required customers to pay extra fees to become members. He held dozens of meetings with business members and ecclesiastical authorities, hammering the message that this was a lost economic opportunity. Eventually he got even the most conservative stakeholders in civil society to give on the issue.

His state healthcare reform achieved more insurance coverage for residents without resorting to an individual mandate.

The majority whip in the state’s House of Representatives and perhaps the most stoutly conservative member of the state’s overwhelmingly right-leaning legislature, summing up his feelings on him, says:

I have an easy rule of thumb. If someone walks into the room and you cut $400 million in taxes and do school reform with him, you vote for him for president.

Some of you can name this candidate, and for those who aren’t sure – his name is Jon Huntsman. He is the most moderate candidate of the eight candidates. I want to make it clear that I support Rick Perry, and I will vote for Rick Perry in my state’s primary. I chose the most moderate candidate in the field to make a point. The point of this piece is to refute the notion that the 2012 GOP candidates are all weak and not up to the task of defeating Obama. It’s likely that Huntsman will drop out of the race after the New Hampshire primary. I believe that in the unlikely chance he wins the nomination he will be a better nominee than the 2008 GOP nominee, and he can defeat Obama to become the 45th U.S.President.

The Democrats are going to do more negative attacks than in any previous election. They will make stuff up, and try to destroy the nominee with false accusations. I’m not worried about you getting depressed and dispirited by the other side. What worries me are those Republicans who want you to believe that our nominee is too weak and Obama is too powerful. I don’t know if they think they are earning some respect from the mainstream media by picking the nits, but they are wrong to depress and discourage Republican voters. I will be disappointed if my choice does not win the nomination, but I will not be depressed and discouraged and sit out the 2012 election. It’s just too important for our nation that Obama must be voted out of office in 2012.

Cross-posted at Unified Patriots