Huntsman giving USC commencement speech

Jon Huntsman

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Expected GOP presidential candidate and U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman is giving a University of South Carolina commencement speech May 7.

The university confirmed Friday that Huntsman will speak to the graduating classes of its arts, sciences and honors colleges.

Huntsman's speech comes just days after the GOP's first presidential debate May 5 in Greenville, fueling speculation that Huntsman will participate in the Fox News Channel primetime gathering.

Both a Huntsman aide and the state GOP would not comment on his debate plans.

South Carolina Republican Party executive director Joel Sawyer says several potential participants are expressing interest in the debate. An aide for Texas Rep. Ron Paul said Friday Paul plans to be there.

Huntsman is a former Utah governor. He steps down as U.S. ambassador to China April 30.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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