- (Photo: Reuters/Brendan McDermid)
Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman says he will formally join the 2012 race with a June 21 announcement near New York's Statue of Liberty.
After a month of planning and preparing, Huntsman has made it clear that he plans to pursue the GOP nomination for the presidency.
"I intend to announce my candidacy for the presidency of the United States of America a week from today," he said Tuesday during an event, featuring former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, to discuss China policy. Huntsman was the former U.S. ambassador to China up until about a month ago when he quit to plan his election campaign.
Huntsman's informal announcement comes just days after his interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” aired. During the interview, he told CNN's Candy Crowley that he used the last few months to make numerous visits to 12 different states, including New Hampshire.
However, he did not appear in the Monday New Hampshire debate.
During the interview, he revealed little about his intentional to run for president, except to say that he was "a week and a half out" from making his decision. When asked why he was waiting, Huntsman told Crowley he was still checking off the boxes on his check list, though many aspects had already been decided.
"Is your family supportive? Yes, you check that box. Do you think you can rally enough financial support to make it happen? Yes, you check that box. Do you think on the ground in the key early states – New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida – you can create the presence, excitement and the enthusiasm that will work? Yea, you check that box," he said.
The only boxes remaining, he said, are to meet one last time with the family and write his speech.
Huntsman, a Mormon, has a lot of work to do in the race. National polls put his name recognition at under 40 percent, the second lowest in the campaign.
Additionally, his informal announcement comes on the heels of House Tea Party Caucus leader Michele Bachmann's (R-Minn.) announcement. The Minnesota Congresswoman roused excitement and media attention with her mid-debate announcement in New Hampshire that she had just filed the papers for a presidential bid.