Jon Huntsman

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Jon Huntsman, Jr.

Personal details
Born Jon Meade Huntsman, Jr.
March 26, 1960 (1960-03-26) (age 57)
Palo Alto, California
Political party Republican Party
Spouse(s) Mary Kaye Cooper (m. 1983–present)
Children Mary (b. 1985)
Abigail (b. 1986)
Elizabeth (b. 1989)
Jon (b. 1991)
William (b. 1993)
Gracie Mei (b. 1999)
Asha Bharati (b. 2006)
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania (B.A.)
Religion The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon)

Jon Meade Huntsman, Jr. is an American politician. He served as the 16th Governor of Utah and also served in the administrations of four United States presidents. Jon Huntsman is running for the President's office as a Republican candidate for the United States Presidential Election, 2012.

Huntsman served as the 16th Governor of Utah between January 3, 2005 - August 11, 2009. He also served as

  • 11th United States Ambassador to Singapore - George H. W. Bush Administration (1992-1993)
  • 9th US Ambassador to China - Barack Obama Administration (August 11, 2009 - April 30, 2011)

Jon Huntsman Timeline

October 2011

October 7: Governor Jon Huntsman issued the following statement on the September jobs report.

"The President refuses to take on the serious tax and regulatory reforms - like I did in Utah - that are needed if this economy is going to get on its feet. The current rate of job growth will still leave us above 9% unemployment for many months -- an unacceptably high level. Big problems require bold solutions; since the President is not willing to offer them Americans need to elect someone who will."

October 6

September 2011

September 7: Huntsman shows he's the only candidate with serious solutions prepared to defeat Barack Obama

August 2011

August 25: Gov. Huntsman announces South Carolina Finance Team

August 22: Jon Huntsman issues a statement on the developments in Libya.

"The impending fall of Colonel Gaddafi is one chapter in the developing story of a nation in turmoil. Gaddafi has been a longtime opponent of freedom, and I am hopeful -- as the whole world should be -- that his defeat is a step toward openness, democracy and human rights for a people who greatly deserve it."

August 17: Huntsman Campaign Builds Support in Florida

August 14: Jon Huntsman releases a statement on Tim Pawlenty ending his presidential campaign.

August 12: Governor Jon Huntsman Statement on ObamaCare Ruling by Appeals Court of the 11th Circuit

August 11: Huntsman Shows America He's Ready to Lead

July 2011

July 29: Jon Huntsman blamed President Obama for creating a huge budget hole, leaving young Americans with large debts and no jobs. Delivering a keynote address at the Lee Atwater Gala at the biennial convention of the College Republican National Committee, Huntsman pledged to create jobs if he becomes the president.

Pledges to create jobs for recent graduates

“I don't want you to become disillusioned, I want you to believe in the system. Your generation is going to be part of the fix.”

“The most powerful nation in the history of the world is just days away from default,”

“My fellow candidates, and I love them all, aren’t offering any realistic solutions or are ducking the debate entirely, A leader is not someone who sits on the sidelines during a debate of monumental consequences for our future.”

Speaks about missing presidential leadership in debt ceiling debate:
Jon Huntsman speaks to CNN's 'The Situation Room' anchor Wolf Blitzer saying that presidential leadership is missing in the ongoing debt ceiling debate. "The one thing that's missing in this whole debate is presidential leadership," Huntsman said. He said that his solution would be using the weight and the power of the presidency to define in specific terms where this whole debt ceiling issue goes. Calling debt a cancer to the country, Huntsman said that it needs to be radiated, excised and cut out.

July 28: Jon Huntsman urged the Republican Party leaders to protect the environment and acknowledge climate change as a real threat. He spoke at a Republicans for Environmental Protection event.

Urges Republicans to acknowledge climate change as a threat

“We will be judged by how well we were stewards of those (natural) resources. Conservation is conservative. I’m not ashamed to be a conservationist. I also believe that science should be driving our discussions on climate change,”

He said that energy independence should be the major focus of country's energy policy. “We have a huge opportunity in the years ahead to make energy independence a centerpiece issue in this country,”

Jon Huntsman blasts his fellow Republican presidential candidates for not publicly supporting a plan to solve the debt ceiling crisis. "The president has not put forward a concrete deal on the table, none of my opponents have supported a plan that would allow us to avoid default. This is not a time ladies and gentleman to be playing politics.", Huntsman said.

July 26: GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman began his attack on President Obama's handling of the economy. Speaking to an audience at Dartmouth College's "Leading Voices in Politics and Policy" lecture series in Hanover, New Hampshire, Huntsman said “So the president’s a good man, he’s got a good family, he’s earnest, but he’s fundamentally failed us on the most important issue of our time, which is job creation and the economy,”.

A statement released by Huntsman's spokesman Tim Miller said, “Republican primary voters will also face a historic choice — do they want to nominate a candidate who adopted President Obama’s budget approach as governor of Massachusetts?”

July 25: Associated Press reports that Jon Huntsman has 21 staff members in New Hampshire, almost triple than any other presidential candidate.

July 22: Jon Huntsman's spokesman Tim Miller sends a twitter message to Mitt Romney's spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom: "@EricFehrn spoxing for @MittRomney in '02 called Grover's pledge "gov't by gimmicry." Harsh. Why the change of heart?" He sends a link to a page which reported that Mitt Romney promised not to sign a no-new-taxes pledge as a candidate for governor.

July 21: Susie Wiles, Jon Huntsman's campaign manager has resigned. She will be replaced by the campaign's current communications director Matt David. Susie Wiles told that it was her decision to quit and that the campaign is in a good place now.

July 16: Huntsman has a busy day at the Salt Lake City where he met a number of Governors and several influential Republicans. Huntsman first met with the Iowa Governor Terry Branstad. According to sources, the two have discussed about China and also the Iowa politics. Speaking to the media later, Huntsman said “We had a great meeting. He spoke his mind. I spoke my mind. And I told him, of course in politics you never want to close out your options.” Huntsman also met with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Utah Governor Gary Herbert and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. The Governors are in Utah to attend National Governors Association annual meeting. Huntsman later rode a Harley along with 50 of his supporters.

July 15: Jon Huntsman says that his record of job creation and reducing taxes makes him the best choice to beat President Barack Obama in the 2012 election. Speaking to reporters in Salt Lake City, Utah, Huntsman said: "The president has had over two years to fix this economy, and he has failed. This very state led the nation in job growth. That's a good thing. That's what we want in the Republican nominee."

He also downplayed Utah's relevance in the GOP primaries. "Utah isn't an early primary state so we shouldn't be obsessing too much over that. But the polls over time in New Hampshire and South Carolina and Florida are going to be important."

July 12: Jon Huntsman says that he won't sign the 'Cut, Cap and Balance' pledge. Eight GOP presidential candidates have signed it, as have four governors, 12 U.S. senators and 35 House members have already signed the pledge that is sponsored by South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint. He said that he told Sen. DeMint "I don't sign pledges -- other than the Pledge of Allegiance and a pledge to my wife. You just have to understand that's where I come down."

July 11: Huntsman campaigns at a barbecue restaurant in South Carolina. He criticizes Mitt Romney, though not directly, saying: "When you look at the absolute increases in job creation, Utah led the way in the United States in terms of job creation. That, compared and contrasted with certain other states like Massachusetts, which I will just pull out randomly, not first, but 47th."

On health care and tax cuts:
"I am here to tell you, as you evaluate and look at the candidates, simply analyze where it is they have been and what they have done and what kind of achievements they have to show from their time as a chief executive, and whether it is has applicability nationwide,"

Hutsman tells reporters that his campaign plans to step up criticism on Mitt Romney. "I am here to tell you, as you evaluate and look at the candidates, simply analyze where it is they have been and what they have done and what kind of achievements they have to show from their time as a chief executive, and whether it is has applicability nationwide,"

July 8: Jon Huntsman reacts on the the unemployment numbers released today by the Department of Labor. The unemployment rate rose to 9.2% in June and only 18,000 jobs were added.

"Rising unemployment rates and extremely anemic job creation are not acceptable. Even in great hardship, the American people have been extraordinarily patient in waiting for the better and brighter times promised to them by this Administration. Their patience has rightly worn thin. We need free-market, pro-growth policies to spark a wave of job growth – the same policies we implemented in Utah to make it the fastest-growing state in the nation. America needs new leadership to turn our country around."

Jon Huntsman hires Mark McIntosh who is the former George W. Bush's environmental official as his presidential campaign's top policy director.

July 1: Jon Huntsman's camp hits back at former eBay CEO Meg Whitman who described Huntsman as a career politician in a recent Reuters interview. Matt David, Huntsman's presidential campaign communications director released a statement saying:

"Meg Whitman's comments are puzzling considering, as CEO, she shipped over 1,000 eBay jobs from California to Gov. Huntsman in Utah, which was the fastest growing state under his pro-business policies. What's more, the only thing separating the length of Romney's political career from Governor Huntsman is that Romney's lost two elections - and Huntsman's two for two. If I were advising Meg Whitman, I would recommend she not brag about losing elections."

June 2011

June 30: Reports emerge that Jon Huntsman's son, Will, attended a rally of his rival Mitt Romney at Salt Lake City and even posed with him for a photograph. However, Huntsman's camp immediately said that nothing should be read out of it and Will didn't do that to be disrespectful. They said that Will just wanted to see another campaign event.

Reports say that Jon Huntsman has reportedly raised $4.1 million so far for his presidential campaign. Sources from his camp says that they will not submit filings with the Federal Election Commission on July 15, as they are not legally required to do so because he started his presidential campaign late. It is also learnt that less than half of what he raised has come from him as a gift money for transportation.

June 24: Jon Huntsman opens his campaign office in Orlando, Florida. He and his wife Mary Kaye cut a ribbon to open his presidential campaign's headquarters. On having his headquarters in Florida, Huntsman said:

"You have to win the I-4 corridor to be competitive beyond Florida so obviously that will be part of our focus. So having our campaign headquarters here is critically part of our strategy,"

June 23: Jon Huntsman says that he is planning to capitalize on the New Hampshire and South Carolina rules that allow independent voters to cast their votes in the GOP presidential primary. Huntsman predicts the independent voter turn out to be as high as 40 per cent. He also says that he thinks the presidential primaries in NH and SC is a wide open affair.

June 22: Jon Huntsman says that he would pursue an aggressive approach for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. In an interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC on the "Good Morning America" show, Huntsman said:

"I think over the next year there’s room to draw down more… More than 10,000 over the next year. I think we have to see -- nine years and 50 days into this conflict, the money that has been spent on both conflicts, well over $1 trillion, I think we have to say, ‘What have we accomplished in Afghanistan?’"

Huntsman criticized Mitt Romney saying that Romney has little credibility when it comes to conservative case on health care. However, Huntsman said that he wouldn't hold Romney as a co-conspirator on Obamacare.

"If you’re talking about free market health care, the kind we did in Utah, and the kind that is needed in this country, then he has little credibility. Little credibility based on the model that was created in Massachusetts."

In an interview, Huntsman said that he intends to form a comprehensive economic plan for the country by creating a council of business experts. He also criticized the Obama administration for failing to improve the economy of the country.

Huntsman released a statement, ahead of President Obama's prime-time speech calling for steeper troop drawdowns.

“We need a safe but rapid withdrawal which encourages Afghans to assume responsibility, while leaving in place a strong counter intelligence and special forces effort proportionate to the threat. The War on Terror is being fought against a global enemy, and it is critical that we have the resources to fight them wherever they’re found.”

June 21: Jon Huntsman formally launches his presidential campaign at Statue Liberty Park near Hudson river.

In an interview to Sean Hannity at Liberty State Park, he said,

"I think he has failed in a number of ways, both in terms of economic governance and stewardship and also internationally. I wrote that after I was appointed. I thought he was a remarkable leader for appointing a Republican to a position as important and sensitive as the U.S. ambassadorship to China. And listen, during a time of war and economic hardship, I'm the kind of person that's going to stand up and serve my country. I'm going to take that philosophy to my grave and I hope my sons do the same thing. It's something I've always believed in, in where you can get in and in a unique -- and in a sensitive position, make your country a little bit better."

Huntsman ended his day, collecting $1.2 million for his campaign at a dinner hosted by Lynn Forester de Rothschild in Manhattan. Lady de Rothschild is known for his donation to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign for the 2008 Presidential Election.

Jon Huntsman Calendar

Date Time Event Location
October 10, 2011 1:00 pm Hosting a town hall event at Merrimack Valley Railroad Company with former Gov. Tom Ridge Tilton, New Hampshire
October 10, 2011 3:00 pm Speaking at Southern New Hampshire University Hooksett, New Hampshire
October 10, 2011 6:00 pm Delivering the Grafton County GOP Columbus Day Dinner address Plymouth, New Hampshire
October 9, 2011 3:00 pm Hosting a town hall meeting at Colby Sawyer College New London, New Hampshire
August 16, 2011 11:30 am Mary Kaye Huntsman speaks to Charleston County Republican Women Charleston, South Carolina
August 16, 2011 5:30 pm Mary Kaye Huntsman speaks to Midlands Republican Women Social Columbia, South Carolina
August 15, 2011 6:00 pm Mary Kaye Huntsman speaks to Palmetto House Republican Women Spartanburg, South Carolina
August 14, 2011 10:15 am Attends Meet and Greet Hillsborough, New Hampshire
August 14, 2011 12:05 pm Attends Meet and Greet with New Hampshire Young Republicans Manchester, New Hampshire
August 13, 2011 9:00 am Speaks at Breakfast at American Legion Post 3 Nashua, New Hampshire
August 13, 2011 11:00 am Attends Meet and Greet Derry, New Hampshire
August 13, 2011 1:00 pm Attends Meet and Greet Dover, New Hampshire
August 13, 2011 2:20 pm Attends Meet and Greet Newmarket, New Hampshire
August 13, 2011 4:30 pm Speaks at House Party Hampton Falls, New Hampshire
August 12, 2011 12:10 pm Attends Meet and Greet Concord, New Hampshire
August 2, 2011 12:00 pm Touring Cirtronics offices South Milford, New Hampshire
August 1, 2011 12:30 pm Touring FIRST Robotics with inventor/entrepreneur Dean Kamen Manchester, New Hampshire
July 30, 2011 Speaking to the Orange County REC Lincoln Day Dinner Orlando, Florida
July 30, 2011 Speaking to the Florida Medical Association annual conference Orlando, Florida
July 29, 2011 5:00 pm CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" Television appearance
July 29, 2011 7:30 pm Giving keynore address to College Republican National Committee's 2011 convention banquet Washington, D.C.
July 28, 2011 6:30 pm Speaking to the Republicans for Environmental Protection's 2nd Annual Theodore Roosevelt Banquet Washington, D.C.
July 28, 2011 10:00 pm Fox News's "On The Record with Greta Van Susteren" Television appearance
July 27, 2011 Fundraiser at his home Washington, D.C.
July 27, 2011 8:00 am Attending the Newsweek/Daily Beast Breakfast Club New York City, New York
July 26, 2011 12:00 pm Speaking to Dartmouth College as part of "Leading Voices in Politics and Policy" series Hanover, New Hampshire
July 22, 2011 Meeting with senior campaign staff Washington, D.C.
July 12, 2011 Announcement at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research Greenville, South Carolina
July 11, 2011 7:00 pm Spartanburg-Greenville GOP fundraiser barbeque Greer, South Carolina
July 9, 2011 Visiting Hillsborough GOP headquarters Brandon, Florida
July 9, 2011 Visiting Pinellas GOP headquarters Clearwater, Florida
July 9, 2011 4:00 pm Speaking to the Knights of Columbus Sarasota, Florida
July 5, 2011 8:00 am Meeting with local activists 202 Central Street, Woodsville, New Hampshire
July 4, 2011 9:30 am Participating in Amherst's 4th of July parade 80 Boston Post Road, Amherst, New Hampshire
July 4, 2011 1:30 pm Speaking at Fourth of July Barbecue 117 Cotton Hill Road, Belmont, New Hampshire
July 4, 2011 3:30 pm Speaking at a house party 1 Second Point, Moultonborough, New Hampshire
July 4, 2011 5:30 pm Speaking at Fourth of July Barbecue Hosted by Pimi/Baker Valley Republicans 601 Daniel Webster Highway, Plymouth, New Hampshire
July 3, 2011 12:00 pm Speaking at a house party 45 Dale Street, Manchester, New Hampshire
July 3, 2011 1:30 pm Visiting Creamland Ice Cream 250 Valley Street, Manchester, New Hampshire
July 3, 2011 7:30 pm Attending Manchester Independence Day Celebration Arms Park, Manchester, New Hampshire
June 30, 2011 Fundraising Reception New York City, New York
June 30, 2011 Fundraising Breakfast Boston, Massachusetts
June 29, 2011 Fundraising breakfast Houston, Texas
June 29, 2011 Fundraising Lunch Chicago, Illinois
June 29, 2011 Fundraising Dinner Grand Rapids, Michigan
June 29, 2011 Giving keynore address to College Republican National Committee's 2011 convention banquet Washington, D.C.
June 28, 2011 Fundraising reception San Antonio, Texas
June 28, 2011 Fundraising dinner Dallas, Texas
June 27, 2011 Fundraising breakfast San Francisco, California
June 27, 2011 Fundraising reception Los Angeles, California
June 27, 2011 Fundraising reception Orange County, California
June 27, 2011 Fundraising roundtable Silicon Valley, California
June 24, 2011 Fundraising Breakfast Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2011 Fundraising Breakfast Miami, Florida
June 23, 2011 Visiting & touring Everglades Lumber and Building Supply Miami, Florida
June 23, 2011 Finance Luncheon Naples, Florida
June 23, 2011 Meeting supporters and local businessowners Miami, Florida
June 23, 2011 Attending campaign headquarters opening Orlando, Florida
June 22, 2011 Fundraising Dinner Manhattan

Presidential Bid Announcement


Jon Huntsman chose the Statue Liberty Park to formally announce his presidential campaign. On June 21, 2011 Huntsman in his formal announcement introduced himself as a governor of Utah, a businessman and a diplomat and emphasized his foreign policy and global economy credentials. A little over 100 people attended the announcement.

"I don't think you need to run down anyone’s reputation to run for president... I respect my fellow Republican candidates. And I respect the president. He and I have a difference of opinion on how to help the country we both love. But the question each of us wants the voters to answer is who will be the better president, not who’s the better American,"
"For the first time in history, we are passing down to the next generation a country that is less powerful, less compassionate, less competitve and less confident than the one we got. This, ladies and gent, is totally unacceptable and it is totally un-American. 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."