Washington: Jon Huntsman, till recently
the US Ambassador to China, formally announced his 2012
presidential bid on Wednesday, calling for 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
"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.
"He (Obama) and I have a difference of opinion on how
to help the country we both love," said the former Governor of
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 said.