An ad which targets the young daughters of Jon Huntsman, one of whom was adopted from China, the other from India, has been run online by a Ron Paul supporter. Paul denies any involvement with the ad.
The ad was run by NHLiberty4Paul and can still be seen online. In the ad, which alternates between graphics on a black screen and video, a graphic calls Huntsman 'The Manchurian Candidate' and there are shots of him with each of the two daughters. There's Chinese music in the background and one graphic reads 'American Values: or Chinese' and another 'What exactly does Huntsman really stand for?"
Ron Paul: it happens in all campaigns
Ron Paul disavowed the ad and claimed he did not know it was being run. He was interviewed on CNN and said that "people do that (run ads like the one in question) and they do it in all campaigns." He did not call Jon Huntsman to offer an apology for the ad. A Ron Paul campaign spokeswoman spoke out more strongly against the ad than did Paul; Kate Schackai called it "utterly tasteless."
Paul has been dogged during the campaign for reasons connected to a newsletter printed in his name back in the 1990s. There were racist and homophobic statements in many, written in the first person as if written by Paul. There were so many statements about racism Jonathan Chait, a columnist for The New York magazine, considered them to be a "consistent ideological theme." Paul says he did not write them but does not know who did. He has disavowed their content.
Huntsman trails in polls for GOP nomination
On Jan. 6 Huntsman condemned the ad and told media that "If someone wants to poke fun at me, that's OK. What I object to is bringing forward pictures and videos of my adopted daughters and suggesting there's something sinister there." His second oldest child, Abby, 25, said of the ad that is is "unfortunate that the political conversation has become this vile."
Huntsman trails in the polls to win the Republican nomination and finished last of 7 in the Iowa caucus. He's the former governor of Utah and former U.S. ambassador to China and Singapore. He and his wife, Mary Kaye Cooper, had 5 children together, 3 girls and 2 boys, before they adopted the 2 daughters targeted by the campaign ad.
The story of each adopted daughters begins with tragedy. Gracie Mei, 12, was abandoned when 6 months in a vegetable market in China while Asha, 6, had been left on her own in a field in India the day she was born. Both girls have been on the campaign trail with their father.