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

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

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More