Making a stop at Washington D.C.’s Faith and Freedom conference, former Utah Republican Governor Jon Huntsman told attendees about not only his social conservative background but also how he believes he can help improve the U.S. economy. Governor Huntsman made it clear that the Republican Party should not compromise it’s values.
“I do not believe that the Republican Party should only focus on our economic life, to the neglect of our human life. That is a trade we should not make,” he declared.
Governor Huntsman also talked about the various times he was overseas in Asia as the U.S. Ambassador to China and the adoption process of their 12 year old daughter who was abandoned at a vegetable market in China.
Though the Utah Governor demonstrated his knowledge of the Mandarin language after Faith Freedom Coalition head Ralph Reed introduced the former Ambassador, Mr. Huntsman later jokingly assured the audience: “Don’t worry…I have a U.S. birth certificate.”
Mr. Huntsman waded into the size of government and the weak economy, saying, “What so many people don’t get about this fight about the debt ceiling is it’s not just about debt.” He added, “It is about the size of government and the role of government in our society and our lives.”
China is indeed on the mind of many Americans these days from owning trillions of dollars of our debt and just divested 97 percent of its holdings in U.S. treasury bills.
Governor Huntsman went further when asked about his thoughts on Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan’s budget plan:
“I think it’s an excellent start and we got to deal realistically with Medicare. Medicaid block granting out to the states…any governor knows that it’s increasing at a rate that’s likely to blow hole in a state budget, so I think he’s off to an excellent start. Now it will be debated. It’ll be synthesized into policy options along with input with others and that’s exactly where we should be in this discussion. The thing that concerns me more than any of these plans is the escalation of federal debt.”
Mr. Huntsman previously served under George H.W. Bush as U.S. Ambassador to Singapore from 1992 to 1993 and is most recently coming out of the Obama administration as the U.S. Ambassador to China I asked the governor how he plans on finding support from the grassroots, particularly tea party activists.
“I think they’ll look at my record. I think they’ll look at what I did as governor. I think they’ll look at my family. I think they’ll look at things I stood for and a dedication to serving our country during war and economic difficulty and I think they’ll make it based upon that.”
I also asked Mr. Huntsman his thoughts on reports regarding Chinese cyber-attacks against White-House G-mail accounts. Mr. Huntsman considered the cyber-sttack to be a “more serious emerging threat” coming out of China.
“They’re very aggressive and we need to make sure in this country that we have certain counter-measures that understand their capabilities and are able to withstand some of their cyber-attacks that don’t necessarily respect boundaries in private or public sectors.”
Later, Governor Huntsman spoke with reporters and said he would not be debating in New Hampshire next week with other already declared GOP presidential candidates but an announcement on his presidential candidacy is on the way soon.