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Huntsman won't be at Republican convention

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Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman says he will not attend this year's Republican National Convention or any other until the party changes its ways. Jan. 10 file photo. UPI/Matthew Healey | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/206db2e98d6eef26be8dbcd50a8ed22c/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman says he will not attend this year's Republican National Convention or any other until the party changes its ways. Jan. 10 file photo. UPI/Matthew Healey | License Photo

SALT LAKE CITY, July 6 (UPI) -- Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman says he will not attend this year's Republican National Convention or any other until the party changes its ways.

Huntsman, who dropped out of the presidential race after finishing third in New Hampshire, told The Salt Lake Tribune he has been at every convention since he was a delegate for President Ronald Reagan in 1984. In 2008, he was tapped to introduce Sarah Palin as the designated vice presidential nominee.

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"I will not be attending this year's convention, nor any Republican convention in the future, until the party focuses on a bigger, bolder, more confident future for the United States -- a future based on problem solving, inclusiveness, and a willingness to address the trust deficit, which is every bit as corrosive as our fiscal and economic deficits," Huntsman said.

He said that from Lincoln through Reagan, Republican leaders put their country ahead of politics and political advantage.

Huntsman angered many in the party by accepting President Obama's appointment as ambassador to China.

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A number of officeholders from both parties, generally ones in tough races like Rep. Jim Matheson, the only Democrat in the Utah delegation, have decided to avoid the conventions. Huntsman is the first Republican presidential candidate to make the decision.

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