Huntsman pushes term limits, balanced budget during Hilton Head visit

achristnovich@islandpacket.comJanuary 14, 2012 

About 250 people huddled around heat lamps on the deck of the Skull Creek Boathouse on Hilton Head Island Saturday to see GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman.

Huntsman, who finished third in the New Hampshire primary behind Ron Paul and Mitt Romney , had just come from the GOP debate in Charleston. His wife, Mary Kaye, and four of their seven children were there to provide the hopeful support.

Former South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster introduced Huntsman and said he had three types of experience he wanted to see in the 45th president: business knowledge, executive leadership and a person who "knows the world."

During the 30-minute speech, the crowd cheered most heartily when Huntsman promised to set term limits for Congress.

"And I want to dock their pay until the budget is balanced," he said which brought even heartier cheers.

Huntsman took questions just as the sun fell below the trees across the water.

Three boys approached Huntsman -- the tallest asked what he thought of gay marriage.

"Who told you to ask that?" Huntsman said as the crowd chuckled.

"No one," the boy said. "I thought of the question myself."

"Well, I'm in favor of civil unions," Huntsman responded.

Huntsman told the boys if he was elected president he would work to help give them a better future.

"It's unacceptable that we're about to hand down the greatest country in the world to the next generation less good than we got it."

Jackson Puckey, 14, and his father, Dennis, have been examining those who would be president as they've visited the area. The two were among those who gathered around Huntsman once his remarks ended.

"I agreed with the term limits for Congress," said Jackson, who has been a political junkie is since he was 8, according to his dad. The teen wanted to ask Huntsman what he thought about the National Labor Relations Board, but decided not to wait with the crowd after the speech.

"He looked kind of tired," Jackson said of the former Utah governor.

Follow Anne Christnovich on Twitter at twitter.com/blufftonblogip.

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