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.


    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora