"The president not only won re-election, he now owns the economy for the next four years," former Republican Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman said on Monday's Morning Joe in his first interview after the election. "Chances are, the economy's going to improve over the next four years, unemployment's going to go down, the GDP's going to go up, and four years from now the party could be in a really difficult situation with an improving economy."
The GOP is going to need to redefine itself if it's going to be successful in 2016, the former governor said. Huntsman briefly ran for the 2012 GOP nomination, dropping out in January after losing the New Hampshire primary to Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul.
"We have to become a solutions-based party," he said.
Working across the aisle to bring those solutions to problems will be key to the party's success.
"This is the time for us to talk about the phasing out of loopholes, eliminating deductions, and lowering the effective rate, this is something that's a Republican principal," Huntsman said. "This is a hugely important opportunity to take the upper hand in putting that on the table. There will have to be a compromise at some point."
Compromise is key, he says: "So long as compromise is seen as treasonous in the Republican Party, we're going to have a really tough time getting to that end point."
The party has devolved into "finger pointing, the blame game, and name calling" Huntsman said. "If we'd used all that energy that was spent on the president's birth certificate on tax reform, or Afghanistan, we'd be in a much different place today."