Jon Huntsman: Romney is Lousy at Creating Jobs

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/worldeconomicforum/3909233228/">World Economic Forum</a>/Flickr

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.


While touting his economic record as Utah Governor during a South Carolina campaign stop Monday night, Jon Huntsman took a passive-aggressive swipe at Mitt Romney’s job creation credentials:

When you look at the absolute increases in job creation, Utah led the United States in job creation. That compared and contrasted with other states — say, Massachusetts, I’ll just pull that out randomly — not first, but 47th.

Huntsman spokesman Tim Miller upped the ante Tuesday morning by stating Massachusetts’s job growth under Romney was “abysmal by every standard,” and that it edged past only Louisiana, Michigan, and Ohio:

You know your job creation record is bad when you brag about leapfrogging a state ravaged by Hurricane Katrina…We assume Mitt Romney will continue to run away from his record.

Some of the media reaction to these statements was overblown. For instance, Slate‘s David Weigel took this to mean that Huntsman had completely abandoned his campaign’s “civility pledge” (apparently confusing “civility” with not saying anything at all), and ABC News characterized it as “go[ing] nuclear” on Romney.

Nevertheless, in strongly criticizing the Republican frontrunner—certainly more sharply than Tim Pawlenty did with the short-lived “Obamneycare” critique—the Huntsman campaign really doesn’t have anything to lose. Less than a month into his presidential run, Huntsman is still saddled by unimpressive poll numbers, lack of name recognition, and a low second-quarter cash haul (Romney leads him nearly 5 to 1 in fundraising). So his challenge to Romney sort of feels like that time the director of BloodRayne challenged Michael Bay to a boxing match: some media buzz, but with minimal immediate impact.

That doesn’t mean the jobs issue won’t matter down the road. Huntsman’s critique is largely accurate: as Mother Jones‘ Andy Kroll reported, Romney’s claims of being a great job-creator are dubious at best. Huntsman has highlighted something that could become a big liability for the GOP frontrunner in the coming months. But will Huntsman still be in the race to see it?

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you'll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate