Huntsman to graduates: Hold onto optimism

AP News
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Posted: May 07, 2011 9:58 AM

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is telling graduates at the University of South Carolina that they must hold onto their optimism and that the United States' potential remains as strong as ever.

The potential Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. ambassador to China on Saturday said the world is looking to America for inspiration, both in business and in creativity. Huntsman's remarks largely stayed away from politics and he instead opted to use his first public appearance after stepping down as a diplomat to paint himself as an above-the-fray figure.

Huntsman says the nation "needs new thinking" and a fresh generation of innovators, leaders, risk takers, entrepreneurs, scientists and activists. Although his advisers have been portraying Huntsman as that figure, Huntsman instead said those qualities are found among recent graduates.