Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Jon Huntsman

  • Former 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate
  • Former Governor of Utah
  • Former U.S. Ambassador to China

Please note: IPS Right Web neither represents nor endorses any of the individuals or groups profiled on this site.

Jon Huntsman, a millionaire scion of the Huntsman chemical empire, is a former Utah governor who served as Barack Obama’s first ambassador to China and later as a candidate for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. In 2017, Donald Trump appointed Huntsman ambassador to Russia.[1]

Huntsman’s 2012 presidential campaign was short-lived and many speculated that the primary goal was to position the candidate for future campaigns.[2] During the 2012 campaign, Huntsman often endeavored to position himself as the moderate Republican in a crowded conservative field, famously tweeting that “I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”[3]

While Huntsman is often described as a centrist on foreign policy he has sought to distance himself from Democrats and pushed a hardline a numerous national security issues. A key focus has been promoting free trade deals, in contrast to the protectionist rhetoric of Donald Trump. He once criticized the Obama administration for stifling trade deals “unless the measures were coupled with expanded funding” for union-backed entitlement programs.[4]

Huntsman also criticized President Obama for his record on Afghanistan, telling the right-wing National Review, “The future of the United States is not going to be determined by firefights on the Hindu Kush.”[5] Huntsman opposed the Obama administration’s intervention in Libya, saying: “With all of our deployments and all of our engagements abroad, we need to ask a fundamental question: Can we afford to do this? That should be driven by the second point, which is whether or not it’s in our national security interest. I felt from the beginning that Libya was not in our core national security interest.”[6]

Huntsman has pursued a hawkish stance on Iran’s nuclear program. “I cannot live with a nuclear-armed Iran,” he once said. “If you want an example of when I would use American force, it would be that.” After the Iran nuclear deal was concluded in 2015, Hunstman co-authered with John Lieberman a blistering criticism of the agreement.

Huntsman has stressed the importance of the U.S. relationship with Israel, calling it the “most meaningful relationship in the Middle East”[7] and loudly criticizing President Obama’s “misguided” Middle East policies, which he wildly claimed “directly contributed to a breakdown of the peace process.”[8]

Huntsman accused the Obama administration of weakening the United States: “Once the United States vacates leadership responsibilities, others will be reluctant to turn to us in the future. These events do not unfold in a vacuum and the world watches closely how we carry ourselves. There is increasing talk and more speculation about our country’s trajectory. The administration’s actions portray us as a disengaged country in decline rather than a leader, and countries around the world will begin to discount the United States as a factor in their respective futures.”[9]

During his 2012 presidential campaign, Huntsman argued that the United States was “in many parts of the world that don’t make sense for our national security or our budget. He would also work to open more foreign markets for American businesses. In this economy, we should be aggressively pursuing more and greater free trade, not reverting to protectionism or waiting for sign-off from the unions.”[10]

Share RightWeb

Please note: IPS Right Web neither represents nor endorses any of the individuals or groups profiled on this site.

Sources

[1] Team Huntsman, “Welcome to Jon Huntsman for President!,” jon2012.com, August 25, 2011, http://jon2012.com/blog/Aug-25-2011/Welcome-Jon-Huntsman-President.

[2] Jonathan Chait, “Jon Huntsman’s Long Game,” The New Republic, May 20, 2011, http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/88780/jon-huntsmans-long-game.

[3] Jon Huntsman, Twitter.com, August 18, 2011, https://twitter.com/#%21/JonHuntsman/status/104250677051654144.

[4] Jon Huntsman, “Take It From Me: Obama’s Failed on Trade,” jon2012.com, August 22, 2011, http://www.jon2012.com/blog/Aug-22-2011/Take-It-Me-Obamas-Failed-Trade.

[5] Elise Jordan, “The World According to Huntsman,” National Review online, August 1, 2011, http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/273196/world-according-huntsman-elise-jordan.

[6] Jeff Zeleny, “Huntsman Criticizes Obama on Libya,” The Caucus, New York Times, May 20, 2011, http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/20/huntsman-criticizes-obama-on-libya/.

[7] Elise Jordan, “The World According to Huntsman,” National Review online, August 1, 2011, http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/273196/world-according-huntsman-elise-jordan.

[8] Jon Huntsman, “Palestinian Statehood Bid: Sign of a Larger Problem,” National Review online, September 22, 2011, http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/278089/palestinian-statehood-bid-sign-larger-problem-jon-huntsman#.

[9] Jon Huntsman, “Palestinian Statehood Bid: Sign of a Larger Problem,” National Review online, September 22, 2011, http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/278089/palestinian-statehood-bid-sign-larger-problem-jon-huntsman#.

[10] Jake Suski, “National Security for the 21st Century,” jon2012.com, June 28, 2011, http://www.jon2012.com/blog/Jun-28-2011/National-Security-21st-Century.


Share RightWeb

Jon Huntsman Résumé

Affiliations

  • Huntsman Cancer Foundation: Former executive
  • Envision Utah: Affiliate

Government

  • U.S. Ambassador to China (2009-2011)
  • Governor of Utah (2005-2009)
  • Deputy U.S. Trade Representative (2001-2003)
  • U.S. Ambassador to Singapore (1992-1993)

Business

  • Huntsman Corporation: Former executive
  • Huntsman Family Holdings Company: Former CEO

Education

  • University of Pennsylvania: B.A.

Related:

Jon Huntsman News Feed

Jon Huntsman resigns as U.S. ambassador to Russia to return to Utah for possible run for governor - Salt Lake TribuneAbby Huntsman returns to 'The View,' debuts twins Ruby and William - ABC NewsWhat could Sen. Mike Lee's trip to Russia mean for relations with the U.S.? - KSL.comGround broken for an 8-story expansion of Huntsman Cancer Institute - Salt Lake TribuneJon Huntsman returns to Utah for possible run for governor, more than 10 years after his last - Salt Lake TribuneU.S. Sen. Lee's Visit To Russia Stirs Controversy - WCAIJon Huntsman is exploring a return to Utah and possibly another run for governor - Salt Lake TribuneRobert Gehrke: If Jon Huntsman returns from Moscow to run for governor, how would another term be different? - Salt Lake TribuneFormer NASA Astronaut Dr. Scott Parazynski to Present 54th Annual Hanify-Howland Memorial Lecture - Holy Cross NewsTrump expected to nominate replacement for Jon Huntsman Jr. in Russia - Deseret NewsLatest Utah-BYU rivalry clash to feature pair of top-20 volleyball teams - Deseret NewsOutgoing US Ambassador Confident Russia, US to Extend New START Treaty in 2021 - Reports - Sputnik InternationalJeff Burningham declares his candidacy for Utah governor - Salt Lake TribuneReport: Sen. Mike Lee discussed loosening sanctions against Russia during Moscow visit - Salt Lake TribuneBehind the Headlines: Jon Huntsman resigns as ambassador to return home for potential governor run - Salt Lake TribuneUtah Gov. Gary Herbert donates $50K to Spencer Cox's gubernatorial campaign - Salt Lake TribuneHuntsman likely to come home & seek governorship - Utah PolicyJon Huntsman Jr. Resigns As US Ambassador To Russia And More On Behind The Headlines - Utah Public RadioExpect Utah's 2020 Gubernatorial Campaigns To Ramp Up Soon - KUER 90.1Trump’s Russia Ambassador Wants to Come Home - The Atlantic

Right Web is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

The Right Web Mission

Right Web tracks militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy.

For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

Featured Profiles

The brainchild of Sears-Roebuck heiress Nina Rosenwald, the Gatestone Institute is a New York-based advocacy organization formerly chaired by John Bolton that is notorious for spreading misinformation about Muslims and advocating extremely hawkish views on everything from Middle East policy to immigration.


Conrad Black is a former media mogul closely connected to rightist political factions in the United States who was convicted in July 2007 for fraud and obstruction of justice and later pardoned by his friend President Trump.


David Friedman is U.S. Ambassador to Israel under Donald Trump. He is known for his extreme views on Israel, which include opposition to the creation of a Palestinian state and support for Israeli settlements.


Jason Greenblatt is the Special Representative for International Negotiations for President Donald Trump primarily working on the Israel-Palestine conflict.


The neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies has re-established itself as a primary driver of hawkish foreign policy, especially in the Middle East, during the Trump administration.


Rupert Murdoch is the head of News Corp, the parent company of Fox News, and a long-time supporter of neoconservative campaigns to influence U.S. foreign policy.


Shmuley Boteach is a “celebrity rabbi” known for his controversial “pro-Israel” advocacy.


RightWeb
share