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In 2012 presidential race, Obama to face former China envoy

June 22, 2011 09:01 IST
Jon Huntsman, till recently the United States Ambassador to China, formally announced his 2012 presidential bid on Tuesday, calling for an a need to withdraw from wars and rebuild "our core here at home".

The Republican presidential hopeful, however, also warned against repeating "past mistakes" while managing the end of these conflicts. "Internationally, we will lead the world in a way that speaks to pre-eminence. And let us not forget that we are a nation at war," Huntsman said, in his speech in New Jersey overlooking the Statue of Liberty in the presence of about a 100 people.

"We're at war, ladies and gentlemen. And we must manage the end of these conflicts without repeating past mistakes that made our engagement longer and our sacrifices greater than they should have been," he said.

Hunstman's speech came a day before US President Barack Obama announces plans to draw down the 30,000 'surge' troops from Afghanistan.

"It's not that we wish to disengage from the world, don't get me wrong, but rather that we believe the best long-term national security strategy is rebuilding our core here at home," Huntsman said.

While launching his own presidential bid, Hunstman however made it clear he had no intentions to "run down anyone's reputation" and stated clearly that he respects his fellow Republican candidates as well as the President Obama.

"Obama and I have a difference of opinion on how to help the country we both love," said the former governor of Utah.

Huntsman was appointed as the US envoy to China by Obama in 2009, a post he held for two years, before deciding to leave his diplomatic assignment and seek a Republican presidential ticket for 2012.

"President (Ronald) Reagan launched the 1980 general election campaign from this very spot. It was a time of trouble, worry and difficulty. And he assured us that we could make America great again. And through his leadership, he did.

"Today, I stand in his shadow, as well as the shadow of this magnificent monument to our liberty. For 125 years, through triumphs and hardships of all kinds, her lamp has been a beacon reflecting America's highest aspirations and values," he said referring to the Statue of Liberty.

"We're not just choosing new leaders; we're choosing whether we're to be yesterday's story or tomorrow's. Everything is at stake. This is the hour when we choose our future. I'm Jon Huntsman, and I'm running for president of the United States," he concluded.


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