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Huntsman to rev up his campaign next week

Remember the motorbiking through the desert campaign video that bikelover Jon M. Huntsman Jr. released yesterday? Well, apparently the guy in the video actually on the motorbike is NOT Huntsman. It’s just some guy filmed by Fred Davis, Huntsman’s ad man, apparently on Huntsman’s bike and wearing Huntsman’s uniform. Released yesterday, the 26-second spot is supposed to reflect Huntman’s lifelong passion for bikes and introduce him as one cool Republican presidential candidate.

But it seems that the former Utah governor was too busy on the stump to shoot the video himself, despite the fact Huntsman isn’t formally in the 2012 race.

The former U.S. envoy to China will accelerate his campaign schedule next week when he announces his White House bid in Jersey City, N.J., at Liberty Park, the same place where Ronald Reagan announced his 1980 general election campaign. Huntsman’s week will include several fundraisers in early primary states, and also in Utah, where he just might bump into fellow presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who will also hold fundraisers next week in Utah.

Huntsman’s finance committee has already outlined three different types of donors groups, all demarked with “H:” H1 at $100,000, H2 at $75,000 and H3 at $25,000. Huntsman, who campaign with a few hundred thousand dollars of his own vast fortune, will hold several fund-raisers in California, and hit up donors in Texas, Illinois, Texas and New York over the next few weeks.

For his race for Utah governor, Huntsman, 51, raised about $3.5 million dollars, and personally loaned himself several hundred thousand dollars. Right now, Romney is the money leader, raking in $10 million in a single day last month.

While Huntsman didn’t participate in Monday’s debate featuring the seven declared Republican presidential candidates, which touched on the economy and foreign policy, he weighed in on the Afghanistan war in an August 2011 issue of Esquire.

“If you can’t define a winning exit strategy for the American people, where we somehow come out ahead, then we’re wasting our money, and we’re wasting our strategic resources,” he said. “It’s a tribal state, and it always will be. Whether we like it or not, whenever we withdraw from Afghanistan, whether it’s now or years from now, we’ll have an incendiary situation…Should we stay and play traffic cop? I don’t think that serves our strategic interests.”

Nia-Malika Henderson is a political reporter for The Fix.


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