Jon Huntsman: Can detailed jobs speech give him a boost in New Hampshire?
As Jon Huntsman struggles to emerge from the shadows of Mitt Romney and Rick Perry with an economic speech in New Hampshire, voters will be given more than the usual amount of detail on his proposals.
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By issuing more details than his opponents have offered so far, the former Utah governor may get the ear of potential voters. But political analysts disagree on whether he can break out of the shadows of Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.
With recent polls showing Mr. Huntsman has only about 1 percent of the primary vote nationwide, the title of his economic speech, “Time to Compete,” seems to apply to his campaign as well. His back-of-the-pack position may open the door for giving voters more detail than they usually see at this stage of the game.
“Ordinarily candidates avoid specificity, because the more details you give ... that raises criticism of individual points ... [but Huntsman] may break that mold a little, because in a way, he doesn’t have a lot to lose,” says Matthew Burbank, a political science professor at the University of Utah.
In a speech at Gilchrist Metal Fabricating in Hudson, N.H., Huntsman “will focus on the need for serious, long-term solutions paired with the removal of regulatory burdens for short-term relief,” says a statement from his campaign.
Huntsman plans to unveil a plan to restructure the tax code by removing all loopholes and deductions; creating tax brackets at 8 percent, 14 percent, and 23 percent; eliminating capital gains and dividends taxes; eliminating the alternative minimum tax; and lowering the corporate tax rate to 25 percent, according to the campaign.
Middle-class voters will need more details – Would he eliminate the home mortgage deduction? – to see how Huntsman’s plan would play out for them individually, Professor Lacy says.