Today former Utah Governor and former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman announced his candidacy for the 2012 presidential election at Liberty State Park in New Jersey. The location that Huntsman chose for his announcement is the same one that President Ronald Reagan used to kick off his official general election campaign in 1980.
Huntsman promised a civil campaign, and said that there was no need to disparage other candidates just to make himself look better.
“We will conduct this campaign on the high road. I don’t think you need to run down someone’s reputation in order to run for the office of president.”
He finished off his speech by emphasizing that “everything is at stake,” and that “this is the hour when we choose our future.”
Huntsman resigned as the U.S. ambassador to China under Obama almost two months ago, which led to widespread speculation that he would be running for president in 2012. However, he did not attack or bad-mouth Obama during his speech today. He instead expressed respect for the president, but also indicated that he feels the Obama administration has failed in its mission to fix the economy.
“You see Americans are experiencing, through no fault of their own, something that is totally alien to them – a sense that the deck is stacked against them by forces totally beyond their control. No matter how hard they work, save and plan the opportunities are not their for them that were present for previous generations.
Perhaps saddest of all 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 that the one we got. This, ladies and gentlemen, is totally unacceptable, and it is totally un-American.”
Huntsman is the latest to join the growing list of Republican candidates, which includes U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (PA), U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Governor Mitt Romney (MA), U.S. Representative Ron Paul (TX), former Governor Tim Pawlenty (MN), and businessman Herman Cain.
Watch the video of Huntsman’s presidential announcement here.
“I’m Jon Huntsman, and I’m humbled. I’ve been a governor of the great state of Utah. I’ve been a businessman. I’ve been a diplomat. I’m the husband of the love of my life – the greatest human being I’ve ever known, Mary Kaye, for 28 years. I’m the father of seven terrific kids. I’m the son of great parents who are here with me today celebrating a very important anniversary, including a birthday.
I’m from the American West, where the view of America is limitless, with lots of blue sky. I’ve 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. People who have done more good for more people than any other nation on earth.
And today, I’m a candidate for the office of President of the United States of America.