Huntsman highlights record at Hudson gathering
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.';