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Politics

Wall Street Journal Hearts Huntsman

September 1, 2011

With Jon Huntsman's conservative credentials and campaign viability questioned of late, the former Utah governor found help Thursday from the conservative editorial page of The Wall Street Journal.

In an editorial published Thursday night, the paper showered Huntsman's jobs plan, unveiled Wednesday, with sterling praise. The agenda, the paper said, was "as impressive as any to date in the GOP Presidential field, and certainly better than what we've seen from the front-runners.

"Perhaps Mr. Huntsman should be asked to give the Republican response to the President's jobs speech next week," it wrote. "The two views of what makes an economy grow could not be more different."

Huntsman's proposal would reduce personal income tax rates to three lower rates - 8 percent, 14 percent, and 23 percent -- while eliminating tax breaks. It also seeks to scale back regulation from agencies like the EPA and FDA. The Journal wrote the plan would create a "flatter, more efficient tax system."

The editorial comes as Huntsman has struggled to gain traction among Republican voters. The former ambassador to China registers at only one percent in many national polls, and Thursday his campaign revealed it had fired the manager of his New Hampshire effort.

The praise from the Journal, which in the past has sharply criticized Granite State front-runner Mitt Romney, could help him get a little traction, particularly if he can use it to highlight his fiscal conservative accomplishments as governor.

"Republican Presidential candidate and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman is lagging in the polls, but the economic agenda he rolled out this week may start getting him more attention," the Journal wrote. "And deservedly so."

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