Jon Huntsman, Republican presidential candidate and former ambassador to China under President Barack Obama, made a gaffe Tuesday night while criticizing Obama’s jobs package at a town hall in New Hampshire.
Huntsman called the $447 billion bill “irrelevant,” according to the Associated Press. The former Utah governor said that after two years, political leaders are ineffective, inadvertently criticizing the power of the very job he is seeking.
“The will of the people will give you about two years, and the patience of the legislature and Congress will give you about two years,” he said at the New England College town hall. “So when people talk about the new stimulus plan … the new jobs plan, I’m inclined to think it’s irrelevant because no one’s paying attention to it. We’re beyond the two-year mark in politics where you’ve got that opportunity to deliver.”
Huntsman was elected governor of Utah in 2005, was handily reelected in 2008, then resigned that post in August 2009 when Obama nominated him to become ambassador to China.
Obama is currently touting his jobs plan to Congress and to voters around the country, emphasizing the employment opportunities that can come from building stronger infrastructure. Huntsman insisted that the president was approaching the bill from the wrong direction.
“Instead of more money for infrastructure, we need some muscle around tax reform, and cleaning out the regulatory sagebrush,” he said.
“This country needs to focus more from a mindset of earning our way forward as opposed to stimulating our way forward,” he said.