Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman says the downgrade in the nation's credit rating shows America needs to do something about what he says is the Obama administration's unfriendly attitude toward business.
"You look at where the marketplace is today, you look at our downgrade, you look at all the economic woes that every American family has seen play out over the past little while _ we've done this to ourselves," he told reporters as he closed out a two-day campaign swing through early voting South Carolina. "It's time to reverse this business-unfriendly attitude of the past 2 1/2 years."
The GOP presidential hopeful, who is languishing in early polls nationally and in early primary states, supported last week's congressional compromise on raising the debt ceiling. All GOP members of the South Carolina congressional delegation opposed it.
But Huntsman defended his decision, saying he supported the compromise because default simply was not an option.
"I can only imagine what the marketplace would look like today if we had defaulted on our debt," he told reporters. "If we had defaulted on our debt, it would have been catastrophic."
Before meeting with reporters, Huntsman spent 90 minutes touring Boeing's new $750 million assembly plant. He reiterated his position that if the Obama administration is serious about creating jobs, it will get the National Labor Relation's Board to drop its case against Boeing.
The board has filed a complaint against Boeing alleging that the plant was built in North Charleston to avoid unionized labor in Washington State. The plant, which opened last month, is the single largest industrial investment in South Carolina history.