Former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman spoke at Claremont McKenna College’s Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum Thursday, following Anita Hill the night before.
Huntsman, who resigned from his position as Ambassador to China in 2011 to enter the Republican presidential primary only to drop out of the race in January of 2012, chose not to use all of his time to discuss his personal career. (He jokingly described himself as: “just a failed rock and roll musician.”) Instead, he discussed foreign policy, economic issues and what he sees as the flaws of government.
Huntsman also spent time explaining what he perceives as a lack of quality politicians in the contemporary political world, adding words of encouragement for students to get involved in politics and become active participants rather than passive bystanders.
“My first word of admonition to you is get involved,” he said. “Don’t become a cynic. Don’t become a critic. Become somebody who is a seeker of solutions, who finds out how to fix the problems.”
Huntsman told the crowd of students that one of the problems they will encounter is campaign finance reform.
“Super PACs are destroying democracy,” he said.
Huntsman also spoke about China’s unavoidable connection to our economy.
“At the end of the day, we are married [to China],” he said. “Divorce isn’t an option, we gotta make it work.”
Regarding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Huntsman spoke of the changes in the American approach to resolving Middle Eastern conflict.
“We don’t stop to reflect on the sacrifice we have made over the past 10 years,” he said. “We’ve paid a huge price in the Middle East and all I can say is it’s time to clean up the mess.”