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Huntsman highlights record at Hudson gathering

HUDSON — Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman spoke at the American Legion in Hudson on Veterans Day, pointing out his experience as Utah governor and ambassador to China and describing himself as a &#';good old American patriot.&#';

The son of a billionaire chemical magnate, Huntsman did not serve in the military, but said as governor he was commander-in-chief of the Utah National Guard, which has been deployed both to Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years.

&#';The hardest thing I ever had to do as governor&#'; came after a trip to Kabul, Afghanistan, he told the audience of nearly 100 people.

A Utah soldier had died in the line of duty, and it fell upon Huntsman to eulogize the man.

Returning home, the governor brought the soldier&#';s belongings to his widow. &#';She turned to me and she said something that I&#';ll never forget,&#'; Huntsman said. &#';&#';My husband died doing what he believed was right for his country, and because of that I&#';ll be okay.&#';&#';

&#';Only in America,&#'; was Huntsman&#';s reaction. &#';Only in America.&#';

Trumpeting his credentials as ambassador to China under President Barack Obama, Huntsman said that as one of the world&#';s two greatest economies, the United States needs to share values with No. 2 China, elaborating on how we should educate the Chinese as to who we are.

The candidate said he was an underdog when he ran for governor in 2004.

&#';Are we going into the New Hampshire primaries an underdog? Absolutely. Do I like that position? Absolutely,&#'; he said.

With a net worth estimated by Forbes magazine at $50 million, Huntsman said he supports tax breaks and supported that aspect of President Obama&#';s stimulus package.

As for the Occupy movement, Huntsman said, &#';I don&#';t like the anti-capitalism messages that they&#';re yelling out, but I believe that they have a right to gather and I believe that they have a point when they say trillions of dollars have disappeared, like through the stimulus package.&#';

Jorg Dreusicke of Pelham, who served in Korea, was among the veterans sitting in the front row, clad in full veteran patches, leather vest and garrison cap.

&#';I liked what I heard,&#'; Dreusicke said. &#';His strong points are the foreign policy solutions.&#';

Peter Dolloff, 68, stood to tell Huntsman to leave Social Security alone. After the event, he said he wasn&#';t satisfied with the answer he got, which was that Social Security should be &#';on the table.&#';

&#';There are so many people like myself that are just living off the Social Security,&#'; Dolloff. &#';Because it&#';s self-perpetuating,&#'; it should be considered sacrosanct.&#';

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