Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Huntsman joins the field for president

JERSEY CITY, N.J. - Former Utah Gov. Jon M. Huntsman kicked off his campaign for president Tuesday with the Statue of Liberty looming behind him in the morning haze, promising to make the "hard decisions" required to restore America's greatness, in the same place Ronald Reagan announced his general-election candidacy in 1980.

"For the first time in our history, we are passing down to the next generation a country that is less powerful, less compassionate, less competitive, and less confident than the one we got," Huntsman, 51, said to about 150 people at Liberty State Park. "Ladies and gentlemen, that is totally unacceptable and totally un-American."

After the formal setting, Huntsman changed from a suit into a checked shirt and, after a 43-minute flight, delivered the same message to several hundred people packed into the steaming hot town hall in Exeter, N.H. That state is crucial to his plan to appeal to Republican moderates and independents who may have been overlooked in the rest of the field's rush to the right.

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