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December 19. 2011 11:25PM

Huntsman puts spotlight on his wife in Rindge

RINDGE — Republican Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman showcased his wife, Mary Kaye Huntsman, at a town hall at Franklin Pierce University Monday night.

He also highlighted his experience as governor of Utah and as an ambassador of China when answering question from the crowd.

When Huntsman took the stage in Cheney Hall, he told the audience it was his 128th public appearance in New Hampshire and predicted a win in the Granite state Jan. 10.

“I’m just going to tell you right now, we’re going to win this primary,” Huntsman said. “I like our chances right here. It’s based on hard work on the ground, connecting with people the old fashioned-grassroots style.”

Before taking questions, Huntsman introduced his wife as the next first lady of the United States. “I always thought to understand the candidate and the candidate’s family it’s good to hear from someone they hang around with. It’s another insight into who you are.”

Mary Kaye Huntsman described “the man that she loves” as a focused, disciplined, wise, genuine and authentic man. “What you see is what you get. ... You may not agree with everything he says, but what you do know is what he says he will do, he will do.”

She said her husband has everything voters look for in a candidate, including experience running a state, an understanding of business and extensive foreign policy experience. “If you want a man that knows what’s going on in China and North Korea, he’s right here,” she said.

Huntsman then answered questions from the audience, the first from a man asking about the Huntsman opinion of what the current transfer of power taking place in North Korea.

“North Korea has been in the process of transition for over a year,” Huntsman said, from Kim Jong Il to his son Kim Jong Un.

He said bold shows of power on behalf of Jong Un can be expected, in his attempts to ensure his position as the new leader of North Korea.

Working with China and Russia is important in this he said. “Everybody has to be on high alert.”

China in particular has economic concerns, he said. “The Chinese are scared to death.”

When asked about how to keep higher-education affordable for today’s young people, Huntsman said he would work with the governor of each state to institute college and university collaborations with businesses and industries in a customs fit training program as he did as governor of Utah. The program allowed students to build skills wanted by employers.

“I would want to expand the opportunities for our young people in terms of their choices in higher education,” Huntsman said. “What I’m concerned about is the lack of two year programs and community colleges. Not everybody is cut out for a four-year institution. A lot of people that go to a four year degree are unable to translate that into a career.”


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