News / USA

Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Joins US Presidential Race

Jon Huntsman announcing his candidacy for US President, Jun 21, 2011
Jon Huntsman announcing his candidacy for US President, Jun 21, 2011
TEXT SIZE - +

In U.S. politics, the Republican presidential field continues to expand in the lead up to the 2012 presidential election.  The latest to join the race is former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, who until recently served as President Barack Obama’s ambassador to China.  

Jon Huntsman is a former governor and diplomat who is little known nationally, but hopes to have an impact on the increasingly crowded Republican presidential field.

Huntsman made his announcement in New Jersey with the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop, the same location where Ronald Reagan announced his White House candidacy in 1980.

“We have lost faith in ourselves.  For the first time in history we are passing down to the next generation a country that is less powerful, less compassionate, less competitive and less confident than the one we got.  This is totally unacceptable and totally un-American,” Huntsman said.

Huntsman is seen as a relative moderate in a Republican field that includes several conservative contenders who are severe critics of President Obama.

Huntsman promised to run a civil campaign based on the issues, not personalities.

“I respect my fellow Republican candidates and I respect the president of the United States.  He and I have a difference of opinion on how to help a country we both love.  But the question each of us wants the voters to answer is, who will be the better president, not who is the better American,” he said.

Huntsman was twice elected governor of Utah and left early in his second term to become President Obama’s ambassador to China.  During his tenure in Beijing, Huntsman was known as an aggressive advocate for human rights and pushed to expand U.S. economic ties with China.

Huntsman also served as ambassador to Singapore under President George H. W. Bush and learned to speak Mandarin while on a Mormon mission to Taiwan as a young man.

“I have lived overseas four times where the view of America from 10,000 miles away is a picture of liberty, opportunity and justice.  People secure in their rights and in love with their liberty,” Huntsman said.

Huntsman’s relatively moderate positions on some issues such as climate change and civil unions for gay couples could hurt him with conservative voters who play a key role in selecting the eventual Republican presidential nominee.

Analyst Stuart Rothenberg appeared on VOA’s Encounter program.

“He comes from a wealthy, successful business family in Utah, but has a more moderate tinge to his conservatism.  He has supported civil unions, he has talked about carbon tax or cap and trade, and greenhouse gases,” Rothenberg said.

Like Republican frontrunner former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman is a Mormon and his religious background could become an issue, especially with Evangelical Christian activists who are a key voting bloc within the Republican Party.  A new Gallup poll found that one in five Americans would not vote for a Mormon presidential candidate.

Huntsman is the latest contender to formally declare for the Republican nomination.  The crowded field already includes Romney, former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson and Georgia businessman Herman Cain.

In addition, Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin have also said they are considering a run for the White House next year.

You May Like

'Exceptionally Lucky' US Boy Survives Flight in Wheel Well

The boy was unconscious for most of the flight, and appeared to be unharmed after enduring the extremely cold temperatures and lack of oxygen More

US Anti-Corruption Law Snags Major Tech Company

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter in December, 1977 More

Cameron Criticized for Calling UK 'Christian Country'

Letter from scientists, academics and writers says the prime minister is fostering division by repeatedly referring to England as a 'Christian country' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid