United States

Jon Huntsman

  • Status: 
  • Former Title: U.S. Ambassador to China (2009-2011)
  • Party Affiliation: 
  • Age: 
  • Birthplace: Palo Alto, CA
  • Religion: Mormon
  • Alma Mater: University of Pennsylvania (BA)
  • Website: http://www.jon2012.com

Obama’s former U.S. ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, was a two-term governor of Utah. Before serving as governor of Utah, he was a deputy U.S. Trade Representative in George W. Bush’s administration. He speaks fluent Chinese and was ambassador to Singapore in the early 1990s, when his appointment at age 32 made him the youngest head of a U.S. diplomatic mission in a century.

Huntsman has been described as a moderate, conservative technocrat willing to work with the other side of the aisle. He has strongly supported civil unions but not same-sex marriage and says he trusts scientists’ opinions that climate change is happening.

On foreign policy, he supports pressuring China to convince North Korea to abandon its nuclear program and to resolve its issue with Taiwan, Tibet and human rights within the country. He was a Mormon missionary in Taiwan as a youth. He and his wife have seven children, including adopted daughters from China and India.

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Huntsman on the Issues

  • Huntsman advocates tax reform via the implementation of a plan similar to the Simpson-Bowles Commission’s “zero plan,” as well as by reducing the corporate tax rate and eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax and taxes on capital gains and dividends. He would also unwind Obama’s financial regulatory reforms, remove the EPA’s “job-killing” regulations, and expand and enhance international trade agreements.

  • Huntsman supports heightened border security and has said that while the idea of a fence “repulses” him, America may have no other choice.

  • Huntsman has said that the Occupy protests are legitimate expressions of free speech and as such are “uniquely American” and “traditional.”

  • Huntsman supports an increase in domestic oil production, lifting restrictions on “fracking,” and pursuing new energy technologies such as coal-to-liquid fuel.

  • Huntsman favors the overturn of Roe v. Wade and opposes gay marriage, although he says he would honor state laws that have legalized same-sex marriage.

  • Huntsman believes that Social Security and Medicare are unsustainable in the long-term and supports means testing for both.

  • Huntsman supports a balanced budget amendment and "a real focus on entitlement reform" to address the national debt, which he says is “immoral” and will otherwise “metastasize and kill this country.”

  • Huntsman supports an American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and the expansion of international trade agreements. He opposes waterboarding and torture, which he says lowers America’s “standing in the world and the values that we project, which include liberty, democracy, human rights and open markets.”

  • Huntsman opposes the individual mandate and Obama’s healthcare law, which he says he believes will be overturned by the Supreme Court.

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