As Huntsman Sheds China Post, He Seeks to Don GOP Mantle

Monday, 09 May 2011 03:28 PM

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Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman stepped down from his post as ambassador to China and stepped up his political tour within days. He was in South Carolina last week and will be meeting this week with GOP operatives in Florida and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, USA Today reported Monday.

Jon Huntsman, ChristieHuntsman’s official last day as ambassador was April 30, freeing him up to run for the Republican presidential nomination. Since then, he has set up campaign apparatus with staff and a new federal leadership political action committee to pay for travel and political activities.

In a commencement speech Saturday at the University of South Carolina, Huntsman said he’s willing to put aside political differences to serve the greater good, such as serving as ambassador for a Democratic president. He encouraged students to, "work to keep America great. Serve her, if asked . . . I was, by a president of a different political party.

"But in the end, while we might not all be of one party, we are all part of one nation, a nation that needs your generational gift of energy and confidence," the former Utah governor said.

Huntsman spoke about a bright American future even as China rises.

"I know there are many in China who think their time has come, that America's best days are over,” Huntsman said. “And there are probably some in this country who have lost confidence and think that China is the next big thing.

"But these people aren't seeing things from my earlier vantage point of 10,000 miles away. The way I saw it from overseas, America's passion remains as strong today as ever."

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