Jon Huntsman, former Utah governor and ambassador to China under the Obama administration, plans to formally launch his presidential campaign on June 21 at Liberty State Park in New Jersey, which sits between the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. It is the same spot where Ronald Reagan began his general election campaign after winning the Republican presidential campaign in 1980.
Huntsman, who once worked as a Reagan White House staffer and only resigned from his ambassador’s post about a month ago, has some hurdles ahead of him. Like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, he is a Mormon, which many conservative Christians still aren’t quite comfortable with. And, like Romney, he has flip-flopped a time or two on such issues as carbon emissions.
There also will be some questions about Huntsman Corp., the chemical company founded by his father, which Bloomberg News reports saw its revenues in China “surge” during the period when Huntsman was ambassador there. And, the Washington Post is reporting that the company, where Huntsman once worked as a top executive, recently agreed to pay $33 million to settle a lawsuit that alleged price fixing.
In the meantime, Huntsman’s not-quite-yet-a-campaign has released a strange video of a helmeted man riding down a canyon road to the tune of country music. Nobody speaks but there are two subtitles: “In 6 days” and “Did not become famous with his band ‘Wizard.’”
Huntsman’s wife, Mary Kaye, sent the video in a message to supporters.
“In less than a week, a new generation of conservative leadership will emerge,” she wrote. “No loud voices or drama, instead a vision for America that reverses the course we’re on.”
That brings us to another problem Huntsman will have. There will be some people who will have a problem with him challenging someone for whom he so recently worked.
(Photo: Brendan McDermid/Reuters)