JERSEY CITY - Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R-Utah) was in New Jersey today to make his bid for the White House official.

Huntsman gave his first speech as a candidate for the Republican nomination at Liberty State Park in Jersey City.

The former governor entered the fight for the GOP nomination to take on President Barack Obama in 2012 at the same venue former President Ronald Reagan formally began his general election campaign in 1980.

The buzz in the crowd Tuesday was that Huntsman, known as a moderate governor and Obama's ambassador to China, could be the fresh GOP face needed to win in traditionally Democratic New Jersey.

Huntsman called the American economy "totally unacceptable" and took a gentle swipe at Obama's 2008 campaign themes of hope and change, saying the country needs "leadership that knows we need more than hope, leadership that knows we need answers."

Gov. Chris Christie's (R-N.J.) office said he would have no comment on Huntsman's announcement and that he has yet to make up his mind on whether or not he'll endorse any of the Republican candidates.