Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Huntsman Shares Vision for US


Jon Huntsman, former presidential candidate, governor and ambassador, discussed his vision for the future of the United States during a speech in Lohrfink Auditorium Tuesday evening.

In the aftermath of the Republican Party’s defeat in both 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, Huntsman called for reform, especially regarding social issues.

“Let me just say this about my party, which I want to see succeed. We deserve better than what we’re getting today,” Huntsman said. “I’m embarrassed about what we’re going to hand over to the next generation.”

Huntsman, who supports certain liberal positions such as immigration reform and same-sex marriage, has drawn criticism from fellow Republicans. Huntsman, however, argued that such positions are aligned with original Republican ideals.

“If Abraham Lincoln were here, he would be arguing for the principals of equality under the law,” Huntsman said. “I think we should be promoting long-term, stable relationships.”

Despite criticism of his liberal views, Huntsman said he remains a committed conservative.

“I think we can get back to a party that is inclusive, that is courageous,” Huntsman said. “We have an obligation to your generation, and sometimes that doesn’t come through in our discourse.”

Huntsman, who served as a staff aide in the White House under Ronald Reagan, added that the U.S. political landscape is more partisan than in previous administrations.

“Republicans and Democrats would tend to pull together more,” Huntsman said. “I think that is still within us, but we’ve been divided.”

In addition, Huntsman, a former U.S. ambassador to China, discussed the relationship between the two countries, arguing that despite tension on issues such as Taiwan, it has seen marked improvement in recent years.

“Our shared values have yet to be defined in any kind of bilateral dialogue,” Huntsman said. “[But] it’s been the most profound change in international relations, I think, in the last 50 years. It’s akin to the end of the Cold War.”

Huntsman also spoke about improved relations with Myanmar, one of China’s key allies, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

“[Myanmar] was always the one issue that caused a rift in the ASEAN-U.S. dialogue, and that’s no longer the case,” Huntsman said.

Overall, Huntsman expressed optimism about the future of the U.S.-China relationship.

“I like Chinese food, so I call it kind of a sweet-and-sour relationship,” Huntsman joked.

Students were enlightened Huntsman’s insight on domestic and foreign policy.

“I think he really touched on the point that [the U.S.-China relationship] depends on what kind of leadership both the countries have in the future,” Harry Xu (SFS ’15) said.

Joshua Weiner (COL ’15), who voted for Huntsman in the 2012 Republican primary, agreed.

“I thought it was amazing, and I stand by my choice of Jon Huntsman in the 2012 election,” Weiner said. “He is still my favorite of the ones that ran.”

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