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Wikipedia Summary for Jon Huntsman, Jr.

Jon Meade Huntsman Jr. (born March 26, 1960) is an American businessman, diplomat and politician who served as the 16th Governor of Utah from 2005 to 2009. A member of the Republican Party, he served as the Ambassador of the United States to Russia from 2017 to 2019, to China from 2009 to 2011, and to Singapore from 1992 to 1993.

Huntsman has served in every presidential administration since the presidency of Ronald Reagan, not counting the Biden Administration. He began his career as a White House staff assistant for Ronald Reagan, and was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Ambassador to Singapore by George H. W. Bush. Later as Deputy U.S. Trade Representative under George W. Bush, he launched global trade negotiations in Doha in 2001 and guided the accession of China into the World Trade Organization. He served as CEO of Huntsman Family Holdings, a private entity that held the stock the family owned in Huntsman Corporation. He has also served as a board member of Huntsman Corporation, and as chair of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. Huntsman is the only American ambassador to have served in both Russia and China, having served as the U.S. Ambassador to China under Barack Obama from 2009 to 2011 and as the U.S. Ambassador to Russia under Donald Trump from 2017 to 2019.

While governor of Utah, Huntsman was named chair of the Western Governors Association and joined the Executive Committee of the National Governors Association. Under his leadership, Utah was named the best-managed state in America by the Pew Center on the States. During his tenure, Huntsman was one of the most popular governors in the country, and won reelection in a landslide in 2008, winning every single county. He left office with approval ratings over 80 percent and was succeeded by Lieutenant Governor Gary Herbert. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. He ran for governor again in 2020, but narrowly lost in the Republican primary to Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox.


In a day and age of global competition and instantaneous financial flows, you have to be highly sensitive to the way in which tax policy impacts your overall competitiveness as a country.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

The real secret about diplomats is that we're trained to say something, when there is nothing to say, and to say nothing when there is something to say.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

I'm a true native of the Bay Area.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

I respect the president. He and I have a difference of opinion on how to help the country we both love. But the question each of us wants the voters to answer is who will be the better president, not who is the better American.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

America is the primary engine of growth in the world and we are the only beacon of free trade left, and open markets.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

Science is the process of crash testing ideas: you ram the idea head-on into a brick wall at 60mph, and knowledge is gained by examining the pieces. If the theory is solid, the pieces are from the wall. Then we build a bigger wall.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

A crisis allows us the opportunity to dig deep into the reservoirs of our very being, to rise to levels of confidence, strength, and resolve that otherwise we didn't think we possessed. Through adversity, we come face to face with who we really are and what really counts.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

Normal people don't just wake up in the morning and say I think it'd be a good idea to run for president of the United States.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

Our political debates today are corrosive and not reflective of the belief that Abe Lincoln espoused back in his day: that we are a great country because we are a good country.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

In any walk of life, a positive, upbeat outlook trumps any adversarial act. Revenge is counterproductive. Unproductive emotions limit one's ability to move forward, to focus, to think positively, to act creatively.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

For those of us who have lived abroad and seen our nation in a highly competitive 21st century, and kind of see where this world is going -- unless we are able to strengthen our core, we're going to see the end of the American century. And that is totally unacceptable.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

I can't stomach the thought that we are passing down to the next generation a country that is less viable, less good, less competitive, less compassionate than the one we got.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

I don't think you need to run down someone's reputation in order to run for the office of president.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

I had the trade minister in China sit down as we were preparing for trade negotiations. He said, 'Please don't let people in the United States lose their confidence because when you lose your confidence, the rest of the world suffers'.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

My sense is that we're ready for another industrial revolution in this country. The great minds and innovators of Silicon Valley would come through China and say, The pipeline is full of ideas -- there's personalized medicine, biotechnology, new forms to power ourselves, clean energy, etc., etc.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

Today, I'm a candidate for the office of president of the United States of America. My kids can't believe I just said that.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

This is a time when the United States should be standing tall. There is no other leader in the world today. We shouldn't be approaching conflicts as a team sport. We either get in an we lead and we do a good job, or you don't get in at all.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

That's what governors do, they wrestle with the issues, they find solutions and they move the agenda forward. At the appropriate time we'll talk about all of these issues, while remembering that our party is a big tent party. We lose when we try to become exclusive to one particular set of issues.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

If you can't define a winning exit strategy for the American people, where we somehow come out ahead, then we're wasting our money, and we're wasting our strategic resources.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

It's a tribal state, and it always will be. Whether we like it or not, whenever we withdraw from Afghanistan, whether it's now or years from now, we'll have an incendiary situation. Should we stay and play traffic cop? I don't think that serves our strategic interests.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

I'm surprised that we've gotten to a point where we don't put our country first and put our party first.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

If we can't find cuts in the defense budget, we're not looking carefully enough.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

What is important is that you're honest with the American people.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

It's taken a lot of presidents to get us where we are today, a lot of deployments, a lot of wars, a lot engagements. You add them all up.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

I'm not competing in Iowa for a reason.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

This is the marketplace of political ideas. This is how America operates. It's a free market. It's free-wheeling. From the outside, it looks unpredictable. There's a circus-like free market.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

When America closes its doors, so does everybody else. We are the primary engine of growth in the world and we are the only beacon of free trade left, and open markets.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

But economic recovery must be earned. And it will be earned by entrepreneurs and it will be earned by small businesses.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

I'm not sure it's the stimulus money that will necessarily allow the economy to recover. It will help to fortify our budgets, frankly, to ensure that there isn't as much backsliding in the areas of education and healthcare, for example.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

I would vote to increase the debt limit if there was a corresponding level of cuts. And if there was some serious talk about a balanced budget amendment, which we as governors always had to deal with.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

And the trajectory that our debt is taking now beyond $14 trillion is going to have an impact on our currency. It goes south, and our currency's going to have an impact on our standard of living and affect every family in this country, and over time, our international competitiveness.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

In our own state, we came up with, I think, what was a very novel approach to closing the gap on the uninsured. To harmonize medical records -- which was a major step in getting costs out of the system.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

We're fighting an enemy that is far different than any we have got before. It's a nontraditional kind of war, and I think we need to step back, recalibrate how we go about protecting our borders and protecting our people, and resetting our position in the world.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

You can be stern and forthright, and that's my management style, but when you lose it totally, that's a sign of weakness.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

I come from a long line of saloon keepers and proselytizers, and I draw from both sides.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

I'm a very spiritual person, and proud of my Mormon roots.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

People truly reaching across boundaries -- be they religious or race, political or geographic. A state that is sincerely civil and respectful of each individual's pathway toward life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness will be our goal.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

I was criticized at some level within the Republican Party by those who say government should not be in the economic development business at all. My response is that the only country I know that doesn't have an economic development plan is Papa New Guinea.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

I love music, I love all kinds of music, particularly jazz. Jazz is an extension of America. There's no other country in the world that could have produced jazz.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

My father, one of the great entrepreneurs and philanthropists of this state, taught me that capital -- monetary or political -- is to be used to benefit others. I intend to continue that tradition.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

Politics is a lot of serendipity. You're in the right place and the right time and you've got the right message, and it either connects for you or, or it doesn't.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

The reality, sitting ten thousand miles away, is that we remain the country that inspires. We remain that shining city on a hill.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

Economic prosperity and quality education for our children are inexorably linked.

--Jon Huntsman, Jr.

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