Posted by | February 23, 2012 11:37 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Former presidential candidate, Governor Jon Huntsman, may have endorsed Governor Romney but he was critical of the debate last night and thinks a third party is needed.

Gone are the days when the Republican Party used to put forward big, bold, visionary stuff,” Huntsman said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“I see zero evidence of people getting out there and addressing the economic deficit — which is a national-security problem, for heaven’s sake,” he said. “I think we’re going to have problems politically until we get some sort of third-party movement or some alternative voice out there that can put forward new ideas.”

I love the idea of not being restricted to two candidates but here’s the problem for a third party candidate this year.  If one were going to use a scale where Sen. Sanders is a 1 for liberal and Sen. Demint is a 10 for conservatives, President Obama would be at least a 4 and Mitt Romney (if one believes his record rather than what he says) would be a 6-6.5.  There is no room for a centrist candidate in there.  A third party candidate would have to be an extremist like Ralph Nader or Michele Bachmann but that would just throw the election to Romney or Obama respectively (something hopefully Nader understands now).

Now if Rick Santorum gets the Republican nomination, the dynamic changes, but after a weak performance last night, there is even less reason to think that will happen.

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Copyright 2012 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.