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On Tuesday, 1987 College graduate Jon Huntsman Jr. formally announced his presidential campaign at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J. Huntsman, a Republican, served as Ambassador to China under the Obama administration. Credit: , ,

With the Statue of Liberty behind him, 1987 College graduate and former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman Jr. formally entered the presidential race on Tuesday.

“I’m humbled,” Huntsman, a Republican, said at Liberty State Park — the same spot Ronald Reagan announced his campaign in 1980. “I’ve been a governor of the great state of Utah, I’ve been a businessman, I’ve been a diplomat, I’m the husband of the love of my life … and today I’m a candidate for the office of president of the United States of America.”

Huntsman mentioned differences between himself and President Barack Obama. “He and I have a difference of opinion on how to help the country we both love,” Huntsman said. “But the question each of us wants the voters to answer is who will be the better president, not who’s the better American,” he said.

Huntsman gave a peek into his platform by mentioning issues with the economy and changes in tax code and foreign policy.

“Jon Huntsman is running for the presidency four years sooner than he expected because the stalling of the economy’s recovery has made President Obama appear vulnerable, yet no Republican has emerged as a major challenger to him,” political science professor Rogers Smith wrote in an email.

On June 14, during a discussion on China with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Huntsman announced that he would officially declare his presidential campaign a week later.

Huntsman, who earned a bachelor’s degree in international politics from Penn, served on the Board of Trustees from 1996 to 2000.

“It’s always nice to have a Penn alumni — and a prominent Penn alumni — in a field [of presidential candidates],” political science professor Neil Malhotra wrote in an email.

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