The co-chairmen of the bipartisan No Labels organization said Monday that Americans are hungry for government cooperation, praising the six White House hopefuls so far who have taken their problem-solver promise.
“[We are] focused on Republicans, Democrats and independents of all stripes moving the dialogue away from animosity, anger and finger-pointing towards actually getting things done instead,” former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R), himself a one-time Oval Office hopeful, said in a conference call with reporters.
“We’re not endorsing or giving any seal of approval,” Huntsman added. “The details have to be worked out [by the candidates]. That’s the beauty of governing.”
Candidates who sign the group’s promise are committing to one of four goals during their first month in the Oval Office: trying to create 20 million jobs over the next 10 years; securing Social Security and Medicaid for the next 75 years; balancing the federal budget by 2030; or making America energy secure by 2024.
Those who have taken the group’s vow thus far are Republicans Donald Trump, Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), Govs. Chris Christie (N.J.) and John Kasich (Ohio) and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, as well as former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D).
Co-chair and former Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman said that the voters are exhausted with their national government stalling along party lines.
“People want the government to work again,” the former Connecticut senator said. “People are really yearning for a return to the days when people didn’t necessarily agree with each other but [at least] agreed with each other on goals.”
Earlier Monday, O’Malley used his speech during the group’s conference to criticize Trump as campaigning contrary to bipartisan cooperation.
“Quite honestly, I think you are watering down and dumbing down when you bestow it on someone like Donald Trump,” he said via satellite.
“When Donald Trump says all Mexicans are rapists and murderers, that’s not being a leader, that’s not solving problems. There are other adjectives for that — one of them being racist.”