Helen Whalen Cohen

Editor’s note: This post was co-authored by Mary Crookston.

Speaking at the Heritage Foundation, former Governor Jon Huntsman noted two separate deficits that are growing in Washington. The first is our ever growing debt. The second is a trust deficit.

“People no longer trust institutions of power,” the governor said. “Congress has an eight percent approval rating. I would like to know who that eight percent is!”

According to Huntsman, one solution can actually address both of those problems – increasing accountability in Washington and returning governing and regulatory power to the states. To that end, Huntsman favors enacting congressional term limits, ending the ‘revolving door’ between Congress and lobbyists, and letting states dictate policies that have usually fallen under the purview of the federal government.

“I was the first governor to opt out of No Child Left Behind,” Huntsman explained. “I believe that a one size fits all model for education fails.”

To that end, he created a voucher program for special needs children and enacted a charter school initiative.

“You can’t have one type of federal reform for education. I believe that these policies should start at the grassroots level. Before we enacted a state policy, we would try it out in individual schools,” he said.

Another topic that came up was free trade and foreign policy. Huntsman affirmed the need to base our foreign policy on American values and use economic leverage as much as possible. “We are the beacon of open markets, innovation and entrepreneurship, and other countries want to be like us.”

It’s no secret that Jon Huntsman is running for president. But this event was policy-centric, with no questions about the presidential race indulged. Instead, the audience (both in person and online) got to learn more about Jon Huntsman’s policy positions with a refreshing limit on surface-level campaign talking points.


Helen Whalen Cohen

Helen Whalen Cohen is Associate Editor and Community Manager at Townhall.com.