Huntsman makes July 4 appearance in Plymouth
|Former Utah Governor and Republican presidential primary candidate Jon Huntsman (center), his wife, Mary Kay, and two of their seven children stop for a July 4 campaign appearance at Bonnie Brae Deer Farm in Plymouth, hosted by Henry Ahern (right). (Marcia Morris) (click for larger version)|
July 06, 2011PLYMOUTH—The July 4 weekend in New Hampshire would not be complete without at least one visit from a presidential Primary candidate in an election year. The race is on.
Former Utah governor and Republican presidential Primary candidate Jon Hunstman put in an Independence Day campaign appearance in Plymouth during a busy weekend of events across the state, speaking to potential supporters at an afternoon barbecue hosted by Henry Ahern and Cindy Downing at the Bonnie Brae Deer Farm.
Just as he did during his Presidential announcement remarks before the statue of Lady Liberty on June 21, Huntsman kicked off his presidential bid in New Hampshire with an appeal to the crowd to consider the future of the country for the next generation.
The businessman, diplomat and former state executive said that he was running for president, first and foremost, as a parent of seven children.
"This is the greatest country that ever was, but we are about to hand down a country to the new generation that is less capable, less independent, less confident and less compassionate than the one we were given," said Hunstman. "That is unimaginable, unacceptable and un-American."
Hunstman said that the nation's $14.3 trillion debt is "unsustainable," and stressed the need to "get serious" about a balanced budget amendment.
"That is what I had to work with as a governor," said Hunstman. "I don't think we want to hand down a world that is fiscally broken. This election cycle is going to be a debate and a referendum on getting the numbers right."
Hunstman said that his tenure as President Barack Obama's U.S. Ambassador to China has given him a valuable perspective on our country from 10,000 miles away. While the Chinese are reveling in a sense of "blue skies" with an eight to nine percent growth rate into the future, Hunstman says he has also seen the "underside" of China that will lead to major challenges in the years ahead.
In contrast, he sees clearly the enduring strengths and successes of the United States.
"We have it all in this country, though sometimes we don't recognize it," said Hunstman. "We have rule of law, the longest surviving constitution, private property rights, the greatest universities and colleges in the world, great medical and health care facilities and the most innovative and entrepreneurial society that has ever existed."
He also praised the skill and "selflessness" of the armed forces of the United States, but suggested that the time had come for American's to look closely at our involvements overseas.
"It is a question of proportionality," said Hunstman. "We have 100,000 boots on the ground at $1 million per soldier. But the future of the United States is not going to be determined by what is happening in Afghanistan, but on how competitive we are in the 21st Century."
Other issues he identified as central to his campaign are the need for tax reform, regulatory reform and other measures to restore the confidence of the business community and stability in the markets.
Finally, he said that a movement towards energy independence was an essential part not only of our economic revitalization, but also a matter of national security in a dangerous and unpredictable world. He points to the potential for "clean, cheap natural gas" from abundant supplies in the United States as an essential element in creating and energy independent future.