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Jon Huntsman joins GOP presidential race

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Republican Jon Huntsman joined the presidential race Tuesday with the Statue of Liberty over his shoulder, asserting that he and President Barack Obama both love their country but have far different visions of its future. He pledged to halt an "un-American" fading of national power and confidence.

Huntsman, 51, also promised to run a civil campaign for the GOP nomination at a time of heated partisan rhetoric.

He vowed to create jobs, streamline the tax code and work to keep the federal budget from being swallowed by Medicare and other entitlement programs and interest payments on the national debt.

Huntsman, elected to two terms as Utah's governor and recently returned from his post as ambassador to China, made his announcement in the setting where Ronald Reagan launched his fall presidential campaign in 1980. Huntsman said, "The question each of us wants the voters to answer is, 'Who will be the better president, not who's the better American.' "

His wife, Mary Kaye, and six of his seven children joined him for the announcement.

More quit Gingrich team: Fundraising director Jody Thomas and fundraising consultant Mary Heitman have left Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign, spokesman R.C. Hammond confirmed. Earlier this month, 16 top aides and advisers to the former House speaker's campaign resigned over disagreements with the Republican candidate.

Jon Huntsman joins GOP presidential race 06/21/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 10:14pm]
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