'No Labels' pushes 2016 commitment
The centrist group No Labels is pushing presidential candidates to sign a commitment to take on an agenda of four weighty issues if they are elected president.
The group, led by former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) and former Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), are sponsoring a convention next month in New Hampshire that will bring voters and presidential candidates together to talk about how negotiations should happen.
“We’ll spend the whole day — Oct. 12 — not necessarily talking about what they want to do as president, but realistically how they are going to get it done,” Huntsman said in a New York radio interview with John Catsimatidis that was broadcast Sunday. “That is the question that all Americans should be asking these candidates. How are you going to do what you are talking about? Because that gets you right to problem solving.”
The group is pushing candidates to commit to a plan to create 25 million jobs in the next decade, to get the United States energy self-sufficient, to balance the budget, and to secure Social Security and Medicare funding for the next 75 years.
The candidates slated to attend have not yet been announced, but Huntsman said it is important for presidential hopefuls to target a “wide swath” of voters in the first-in-the-nation primary state.
Lieberman expects more Republicans than Democrats to attend, he said in the interview, just because of the sheer size of the GOP presidential field this cycle.
The former Democratic vice presidential nominee said that Congress too often governs by an agenda of “crisis or catastrophe,” failing to act until the last minute. He said the idea is to get candidates to negotiate and compromise, rather than turning everyone into a moderate.
“We always say we are not talking about everybody being a moderate, We’re talking about the fact that people have different opinions,” Lieberman said of the group, started in 2010.
Citing a congressional caucus of No Labels supporters that nears 100, Lieberman said “this is a bipartisan movement whose time has come.”