In a campaign so far dominated by domestic issues Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman looked to separate himself from the rest of the GOP field Monday, delivering his first major foreign policy speech in New Hampshire and saying "more ships, more troops and more weapons are not a viable path forward."
The former Utah governor and U.S. ambassador to China laid out views in sharp contrast with those of Republican rival Mitt Romney, who on Friday called for a hawkish boost in defense spending, 100,000 new troops and expanding the size of the navy. Comparing his plan to Romney's, Huntsman said, "mine isn't bumper sticker sloganeering."
Huntsman's plan calls for a combination of trade expansion, tax reform and scaling back America's involvement in international conflicts like Afghanistan in order to focus on rebuilding the U.S. economy. "America cannot project power abroad when we are weak at home," he said.
Huntsman is hoping his foreign policy experience will help him gain some traction in the race. He was ambassador to Singapore under President George H.W. Bush, a deputy US trade representative under President George W. Bush, and ambassador to China under President Obama before stepping down last spring to run for president.
While Huntsman says less involvement in foreign conflicts will keep America's military from being stretched too thin, he did draw one distinction, promising the U.S. would stand by Israel and protect that nation from growing threats in the middle east. "I cannot live with a nuclear armed Iran," Huntsman said. "If you want an example of when I would use American force, it would be that."
This is the second major policy speech Huntsman has delivered in New Hampshire, showing that he is now counting on the "First in the Nation" presidential primary state to keep his campaign alive.
Huntsman also recently relocated his national campaign headquarters from Florida to the Granite State.