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Liberal Guide to Jon Huntsman in 2012 Election

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Liberal Guide to Jon Huntsman in 2012 Election
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On June 21, 2011 while standing near the Statue of Liberty, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. announced his candidacy for the Republican 2012 presidential nomination, declaring "For the first time in our history, we are about to pass 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. And it need not, must not, will not be our permanent condition! We will not be the first American generation that lets down the next generation."

Jon Huntsman Jr. served as President Obama's Ambassador to China from August 2009 through April 2011, and as Ambassador to Singapore for President George H.W. Bush from August 1992 through June 1993.

Competitors - Although feared by Democrats as one of very few Republican candidates who could beat President Obama in 2012, Gov. Huntsman has consistently trailed his conservative competitors, who include former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and House members Rep. Ron Paul and Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Jon Huntsman on the Issues - Gov. Huntsman is staunchly conservative on most, but not all, issues. He differs from mainstream Republicans on two main issues: civil unions for same-gender couples, and the importance of stemming global warming.

Gov. Huntsman's political stances include:

  • Pro-life, especially on abortion. As governor, he signed three bills to limit access to abortions.
  • Supports a voucher system for "school choice" in public education.
  • Strong supporter of free trade and globalization in trade.
  • Opposes gun control, and would veto any ban on assault weapons.
  • Is quite admired by the CATO Institute, conservative-libertarian think-tank for his conservative tax-cutting proposals and policies.
Jon Huntsman in Elected Office - Huntsman was elected Utah governor twice, in 2004 and 2008, although he resigned in August 2009 to become the Obama administration's Ambassador to China.

Jon Huntsman's Many Political Appointments - Before his sole elective office, however, Mr. Huntsman received a number of plum political appointments from 1987 to 1993, and again from 2001 to 2003, including as:

  • White House staff assistant - Reagan administration
  • Deputy Assistant Commerce Secretary, East Asian/Pacific - Bush I administration
  • US Ambassador to Singapore - Bush I administration
  • Deputy US Trade Representative - Bush II administration
Huntsman was the recipient of this myriad of political appointments largely due to his suavely mannered communication style and personal attractiveness, his knowledge of and family business connections to China and the Far East, and presumably due to the prominence of Huntsman's billionaire father in the Republican party.

From 1993 to 2001, Jon Huntsman Jr. served as CEO of Huntsman Corporation, which was founded in 1979 by his father. The highly profitable company boasted $9 billion in sales and 12,000 employees in 2010.

Huntsman Corporation is a "global chemical company" that is "a manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemical products," per Wikipedia. The company went public in 2005, and spurned a $6 billion take-over offer in 2007.

Jon Huntsman's Personal Background

  • Birth - March 26, 1960 in Palo Alto, California, the first of nine children born to David and Karen Huntsman, a devout, generations-long Mormon family.

  • Education - Dropped out of high school in Salt Lake City, Utah to devote his attention to a music career as a keyboardist with a youthful band. Instead, Huntsman earned a GED.

    Two years at University of Utah, where he was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity. Transferred to University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a BA in international politics in 1987.

    Huntsman served two years a a Mormon missionary in Taiwan before he transferred to University of Pennsylvania. In Taiwan, he mastered the Mandarin Chinese language.

  • Family - Married since 1983 to Mary Kaye Cooper, his high school sweetheart. Seven children, including five adult children and two younger, adopted daughters.

    The Huntsman family adult children are Mary Anne (1985), Abigail (1986), Elizabeth (1989), Jon (1991) and William (1993). The younger Huntsman family children are Gracie Mei (born in China in 1999) and Asha Bharati (born in India in 2006).

  • Faith - Christian, Church of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon) denomination.

    Of Huntsman's religiosity, Time magazine excerpted its May 2011 with the former Utah governor, " 'I'm a very spiritual person,' as opposed to a religious one, he says, 'and proud of my Mormon roots.' Roots? That makes it sound as if you're not a member anymore. Are you? 'That's tough to define,' he says. 'There are varying degrees. I come from a long line of saloon keepers and proselytizers, and I draw from both sides.'"Interests - Motorcycling, shooting

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