Politics

Huntsman's Florida Friction with Dems

Jon Huntsman is taking his presidential campaign on a tour of the Sunshine State this weekend, in the midst of a Twitter tit-for-tat between his campaign team and the communications director for the Florida Democratic Party.

It started Thursday evening when Huntsman spokesperson Tim Miller tweeted from his @Timodc account, "Actual line from Florida Dems release... 'Huntsman supports radical Republican plan that would balance the budget' #outoftouch." Then Jon Huntsman's own Twitter account @JonHuntsman had this, "Looking forward to coming to Florida, where apparently the Democrats oppose a balanced budget. Explains a lot."

Eric Jotkoff, Communications Director for the Florida Democratic Party, shot back Friday morning with two Tweets via his @Eric_Jotkoff account: "Huntsman getting pretty desperate. He is attacking @FlaDems rather than defending his support for plan that ends Medicare as FL knows it" and "Stop falsely attack @FlaDems. Start defending Huntsman's support for ending Medicare as knows it as part of his reinvention tour."

Miller followed with "Tough words from someone who has no defense for 9.2% unemployment & thinks balancing the budget is 'radical'."Huntsman's communications team circulated this statement Friday morning, "The Florida Democratic Party is so out of touch with reality that they think Jon Huntsman's call to balance the budget is 'radical'. People in Utah didn't think it was radical when Jon Huntsman balanced the budget, tripled the rainy day fund, cut taxes and led the nation in job creation. After three years in power, all the Obama Administration has to show for it is trillions added to the debt, sustained unemployment, and no plan to turn the economy around."

Huntsman's campaign jumped on the 9.2 percent unemployment rate with this reaction, "...the American people have been extraordinarily patient in waiting for the better and brighter times promised to them by this Administration. Their patience has rightly worn thin. We need free-market, pro-growth policies to spark a wave of job growth".

The Florida Democratic Party plans a conference call this afternoon with media to formally respond. A news release indicates the call will highlight "stories of Floridians who would be burdened with excessive out-of-pocket expenses under the Republican budget plan Jon Huntsman supports."

Huntsman is making a big play for the pivotal state. Saturday he'll hit the central, west coast area with events in Trinity, Clearwater, Brandon and Sarasota.  And he had a ribbon cutting at his national headquarters in Orlando, just a few weeks ago.