Jon Huntsman 2012 Campaign For President Set To Lauch: AP Sources

Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman is running for president and is expected to formally announce his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination next week, the AP reports.

The Republican hopeful will officially launch his campaign one week from today in Liberty State Park, New Jersey with Lady Liberty in the background.

The AP reports:

The officials familiar with Huntsman's thinking disclosed the plans to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the schedule was not yet public.

Huntsman resigned as President Barack Obama's U.S. ambassador to China earlier this year. The former governor's decision to step down from the post generated speculation that he could run for president in 2012.

The AP relays background on Huntsman's record and political views:

Conservatives who dominate the Republican presidential nomination contests will applaud parts of Jon Huntsman's five-year record as Utah governor: a statewide flat tax, business incentives and private school vouchers.


They're likely to cringe at others, including his support of cap and trade as a response to climate change, his backing of civil unions for gay couples, and his support for in-state tuition for illegal immigrants.

Real Clear Politics recently reported:

So far, Huntsman has been careful in describing how he has differed with the president, offering instead a vision in broad brushstrokes about how America's future should look. And while he may never eviscerate Obama verbally the way some of his fellow Republicans do, Huntsman does have something he'd like to clear up.


Asked to elaborate on their working relationship -- and if he liked Obama personally -- he replied, "I think he's a good man, and he's tried his best.

Huntsman has sought to distance himself from his former role in the Obama administration and his connection to the president.

"We don't have a personal relationship," he told Real Clear Politics. "I was asked to do a sensitive job, but it's not like it was based on a personal relationship."

Obama has made light of the prospect Huntsman could make a run for the White House. He joked that the former governor would be a great "asset" to the GOP field earlier this year.

While Huntsman was still working in the Obama administration in 2009, Utah-based station ABC 4 reported:

There is one republican presidential candidate that President Barack Obama's campaign manager fears the most in 2012...and his name is Jon Huntsman Jr.


While no republican presidential candidate yet makes Obama's team "shake in {their} shoes...," President Obama's campaign manager, David Plouffe, tells the U.S. News and World Report that Governor Jon Huntsman makes him, a "wee bit queasy...I think he's really out there speaking a lot of truth about the direction of the party."

Certainly much has changed since the time Plouffe made the remarks; however, the comments are nevertheless telling as the GOP primary race shapes up ahead of 2012.

Two new polls released this week show Huntsman garnering only a small percentage of GOP support as compared to other Republicans running for president in the next election cycle. The USA Today/Gallup and CNN surveys both show former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney to be running ahead of the primary pack.