Huntsman Joining 2012 Race Next Week Former China ambassador will make it official, sources say By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff Posted Jun 14, 2011 12:07 PM CDT 1 comment Comments Jon Huntsman (L), the new US ambassador to China stands with his adopted Chinese daughter, nine-year old Gracie Mei, during a news briefing at his residence in Beijing on August 22, 2009. (Getty Images) (Newser) – Jon Huntsman is making the rumors official: He’ll throw his hat into the 2012 ring next Tuesday, officials tell the AP. Huntsman left his post as US ambassador to China in the spring and started putting his campaign organization together. The former governor of Utah is seen as a long-shot, but if he does secure the GOP nomination, his moderate views could make him a formidable opponent for Obama. Huntsman’s problems with the conservative base are similar to those of Mitt Romney, the early frontrunner: Both may have difficulties winning over the far right (both are also Mormon). Huntsman also has a lack of national name recognition working against him, as well as the fact that Obama himself appointed Huntsman to the China post. Click to see why Huntsman won’t campaign in Iowa.