Jon Huntsman, the U.S. Ambassador to China who recently stepped down to explore a White House run, once said that President Obama’s much maligned $787 billion economic stimulus package was too small.
“I guess in hindsight we can all say that there were some fundamental flaws with it,” Huntsman told Politico in 2009. “It probably wasn’t large enough and, number two, there probably wasn’t enough stimulus effect. For example, a payroll tax exemption or maybe even a cut in the corporate tax…for small and medium-sized businesses for three years, for example. “
Huntsman, a Republican then serving as the governor of Utah, added that his state would take the money, but agreed with some economists that the stimulus should have been close to “about a trillion dollars” and that Obama’s package “didn’t necessarily hit the mark in terms of size.”
Many conservatives, particularly Tea Party supporters, believe that the stimulus was nothing short of a disaster. Should Huntsman decide to seek the Republican nomination, his past embrace of the measure will almost certainly come back to haunt him and feed the narrative, already floated by some on the right, that the former governor is far too liberal for the GOP’s conservative base.