Huntsman to step down
January 31st, 2011
06:08 PM ET
11 years ago

Huntsman to step down

Washington (CNN) - U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman submitted a hand-delivered letter of resignation to President Obama Monday, effective April 30th, according to two senior administration officials.

The news comes amid speculation that the former Utah governor will run for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.

At the White House briefing Monday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the administration expected the ambassador to leave his post in the first part of 2011.

"Ambassador Huntsman has told a number - told several people inside this building that he plans to leave in the first part of - during the first part of this year," Gibbs said. "The president, and I think the American people, expect that somebody that holds the post of ambassador from the United States to China would dedicate their full energy and time to that position. And we believe that Ambassador Huntsman believes that as well."

Filed under: Jon Huntsman • President Obama
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Whatever

    Appoint Sarah Palin as his replacement!!! Let's see if she can follow instructions and work with a world leader...
    Hmmm maybe not...

    January 31, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  2. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    Who? These days, you don't have much of a chance to win the nomination unless a lot of people have already heard of you.

    January 31, 2011 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  3. Purnell

    How are we going to be able to tell him from Mitt Romney?

    January 31, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  4. Liberal4Obama

    Talk about disloyalty.

    January 31, 2011 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  5. Name

    isn't he another crook?

    January 31, 2011 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  6. DB

    Why not, it is the best card that the Republican Party can offer so far.

    January 31, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  7. And the winner is ...

    Just what we need a moron...Mormon excuse me... president.

    January 31, 2011 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  8. Jay

    Speculation is that he'll run for President. So you'll run against the President that appointed you? Where's the respect?

    Oh? You're a Republican. That explains putting personal interest above right.

    January 31, 2011 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  9. john Gotti

    China already owns us! Now we are gonna give them the seat in the white house. Guess it doesn't matter anyway. The seat in the white house hasn't meant anything since kennedy. Sell outs!

    January 31, 2011 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    GO, MR.Huntsman!!!!!! Beat Obama!!!!

    January 31, 2011 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  11. whatnext

    I'm thinking of running for president in 2012. No other republicans are, are they?

    January 31, 2011 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  12. JJ

    Ambassador =who=? And he wants to run for =what=?

    January 31, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  13. Greg

    Jon Hunstman is a decent, moderate, commendable guy. Accordingly, his chances of being nominated by the kooks, witches and gnomes that populate the Republican Party are zero. Unless he prostitutes his principles completely.

    Jon, keep your day job and don't let your ego or sense of duty prompt you to run for the presidency. You are DOA politically if you do,. And nobody on the right is going to accept ANYONE who speaks Mandarin. In their eyes, you are a commie Red fellow traveler and never to be trusted. Plus, you don't have a rack like Palin (or her ignorance)

    January 31, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  14. Kara

    How sad. He's been utterly misled, and he's going to come in last in any primary. To democrats he will seem disloyal, to independents, he'll seem rabidly ambitious, and to republicans he'll seem untrustworthy.
    This was a serious career mistake, he actually has a chance in 2016, now he's blown it.

    January 31, 2011 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  15. geo

    Utah's loss was America's gain when he 'left' us to become ambassador... Frankly, he's one of the few R's that I'd consider voting for over Obama... And this is coming from a Utah liberal that didn't even vote for him during is first run for Gov. A true moderate!

    January 31, 2011 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  16. Guest

    Way to go..Good luck!!

    January 31, 2011 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  17. Chris

    Great. Just what we need. Another religious nut job who have mastered the art of hypocrisy and bitterness.

    January 31, 2011 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  18. tricia

    Why would anyone vote for someone that quits, just like Sarah Palin, good go and do something else, stay out of public service, then.

    January 31, 2011 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  19. Michael

    Huntsman, a fluent Mandarin speaker dating from his experience as a Mormon missionary, would bring considerable foreign policy credentials. that takes care of part of China now what about the rest of the world? Smokescreens begin with over a year to go until election time.
    And competition for Mormon Romney. Coincidence? I think not.....

    January 31, 2011 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  20. Randy, San Francisco

    Huntsman would have trouble winning the GOP nominatin for president because as a moderate he would be unacceptable to many in his party. It is unfortunate that the GOP has no room for a moderate even though he has the qualifications found lacking in so many of the top tier GOP candidates.

    January 31, 2011 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  21. Chris

    I don't think the American people are going to vote for a mormon to be President.

    January 31, 2011 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  22. Constitutionalist_Patriot

    Don't know much about this fellow, but the other prospective GOP candidates are all not going to get my vote. Only one possible candidate has my vote and that is Congressman Ron Paul. Ron knows he is there to serve we the people and that in America we don't have leaders but rather public servants and Ron is a humble and honest one. To those who call him a nut, what would you call the people who have allowed our country to get so screwed up and then propose we continue to do the same? That is nuts!

    January 31, 2011 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  23. Mike Hawthorne

    I hope he runs – he would get a ton of independent votes. He's by far the most centrist of all the Republican potential candidates. As a left-leaning independent stuck in Utah, I got to know Huntsman's governing style and personal convictions. I've listened to him speak and have some knowledge of his family values (through practice, not just preaching). Though I might still vote for Obama, Huntsman is the one Republican who could lead this country on the right path (no crazy wars, better economy, reasonable regulation, etc) as opposed to the many scary radical right folks who are itching to be prez (like Romney, Palin, etc). If Huntsman became president, I could still sleep at night.

    January 31, 2011 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  24. Desmond Thompson

    These are important times for U.S. Relations with China and this guy bails for his own selfish ambitions. If he leaves this post for a pipe dream shot at winning the Presidental election what makes you think he won't resign in the middle of an American crisis to pursue another life long pipe dream?

    January 31, 2011 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  25. pkfops

    I travel to China often. I hope they get someone in there who can get the Chinese to lower the visa cost back down to $30 for a USC.

    January 31, 2011 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
1 2