Still on the hunt

In December I said that all I wanted for Christmas was a Republican presidential candidate I can get excited about. Another former governor has entered the race, but I’m still on the hunt.

Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman announced his candidacy Tuesday. He could have been running for President Obama’s press secretary. He spoke of civility and President Obama’s patriotism.

I’m all for getting along. I teach it to my kids daily. But I’m also for differentiating, for creating distinctions. More civility is not the answer for us Republicans. We can’t get any more civil than John McCain in 2008, and that didn’t go so well. How much exponentially worse off are we now than then?

I appreciate Mr. Huntsman’s life of service, his commitment to a rather large family, his recognition of the need for fiscal reform.

But I want to hear my party’s nominee more squarely name the problem. I want him or her to speak clearly about the free market violations that led to and followed the financial crisis. The government interventions that did more harm than good.

For example, the government-endorsed giving of home loans to people who couldn’t understand them, much less afford them. The bailing out of those who borrowed and lent too much. The billion dollar “shovel ready” stimulus that was supposed to put people back to work but didn’t.

Even the language “shovel ready” indicates the economic cluelessness of the current administration. George Mason University professor Russell Roberts wrote this week about economist Milton Friedman’s visit to an Asian canal construction project.

He noticed no heavy machinery at work and was told that using shovels instead of bulldozers created more jobs. “Then why not use spoons?” the legendary free marketeer asked.

I want to see someone take on President Obama like Ronald Reagan took on Jimmy Carter. Reagan was friendly and in good spirits but he was passionate and direct. He was unafraid to call a spade a spade or an economic failure an economic failure.

In the 1980 speech that Governor Huntsman attempted to mimic Tuesday in New Jersey, Reagan described accurately the depressed state of affairs in America:

“Let it show on the record that when the American people cried out for economic help, Jimmy Carter took refuge behind a dictionary. Well, if it’s a definition he wants, I’ll give him one. A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.”

In Barack Obama, we have Jimmy Carter’s aloofness combined with Bill Ayers’ liberal activism. It’s a dangerous concoction that has done eight years of damage in two and a half miserable years. We need someone who can communicate this fact with equal parts grace and truth. From what I can tell, Mr. Huntsman has more grace than truth.

Kevin Thompson is a former chief of staff in the Texas House of Representatives and is currently Vice President of Texas Heritage Bank. He can be reached at

1 Response to “Still on the hunt”

  1. 1 Bennye Waskom June 25, 2011 at 04:13

    AMEN….Kevin!!! What we really need in the form of a candidate is a pit bull ready to take on the socialist administration and get nose to nose with Obama and call him out for what he really is… a person who hates this country and always has…whose plan is to destroy everything we have given our best youth to defend…B

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