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

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition More

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends 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.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs