Huntsman heading to South Carolina in May
April 8th, 2011
02:29 PM ET
12 years ago

Huntsman heading to South Carolina in May

Greenville, South Carolina (CNN) - Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, a potential candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, will deliver a commencement address at the University of South Carolina on May 7, a university spokeswoman confirmed Friday.

It's Huntsman's second scheduled appearance in an early presidential primary state: the former Utah governor is also slated to deliver the commencement address at the University of Southern New Hampshire on May 21.

The speech to graduates of USC's Honors College and College of Arts and Sciences places Huntsman in the Palmetto State on the same week as the first GOP presidential primary debate, scheduled for May 5 in Greenville, as well as the South Carolina Republican Party's annual convention in Columbia.

But a source close to Huntsman's potential presidential campaign told CNN that it's unlikely he will participate in the debate. The source said, though, that no final decision will be made until he returns from China. Huntsman's stint as ambassador concludes on April 30.

If Huntsman does seek the GOP nomination, he will have a team in place in South Carolina, one of the first four states on the presidential primary calendar.

Longtime GOP strategist Richard Quinn, who steered Sen. John McCain's two presidential campaigns in South Carolina, is working for Huntsman's political action committee and has said he will support Huntsman if he runs.

Filed under: Jon Huntsman • South Carolina
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Randy, San Francisco

    The big question is whether or not Huntsman, a moderate Republican, will move to the right of the political spectrum to appease the extreme conservative wingnuts and Tea Party activists.

    April 8, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Mr. Huntsman faces a very slippery, uphill climb. He needs to resonate with the hard right without sounding like the rest of field. Personally, I think that it is an impossible balancing act without some other type of catalyst coming into the picture. This is a job for the GOTP spin machine.

    AH! Manufacture a plot by Obama to garner himself political points by causing a government shutdown. That way, when we do it shut it down, he will not be able to ride the inevitable surge in the polls all the way to Election Day. In fact, let's play the victim on multiple fronts: by throwing in our sufferring troops families, for example.

    See how it all begins to fit. Seemingly unrelated pieces of rhetoric are coming to light from different directions. Newt, Rove, Rubio. Stay tuned, and stay alert.

    April 8, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. ConservaFascists/FUBAR

    Tough luck trying to win a ConservaFascists primary. You served in the administratio which automatically disqualifies you.

    April 8, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |