A shadowy group of Ron Paul supporters in New Hampshire calling themselves “NHLiberty4Paul” has put up an anti-Jon Huntsman ad featuring the former ambassador to China with his adopted daughter from China, Gracie, and another adopted daughter from India, Asha. The ad features clips of Huntsman speaking in Chinese (with a background soundtrack of traditional Chinese music) and asks viewers whether they think he espouses “American values? Or Chinese?” It then ends with the declaration,“American values and liberty. Vote Ron Paul.”
The Ron Paul campaign has distanced itself from the video which Huntsman has slammed as “stupid”:
Paul’s New Hampshire spokeswoman, Kate Schackai, said Friday she didn’t know who was behind the ad, but it wasn’t anyone affiliated with the campaign.
“The video was utterly distasteful, and no one who actually supports Dr. Paul’s principles would have made it,” she said.
Huntsman said it was “stupid” to allege that he has Chinese values because he lived overseas and speaks Chinese.
“If someone wants to poke fun at me, that’s OK,” said Huntsman, whose campaign has posted several online ads attacking Paul as unelectable. “What I object to is bringing forward pictures and videos of my adopted daughters and suggesting there’s something sinister there.”
Of course, anyone can post anything on Youtube, and the content of the video – in the course of which Huntsman is called a “Chicom” – is not something an authentic Ron Paul supporter would say. The complete lack of evidence that the Paul campaign was behind it didn’t stop Huntsman, however, nor did it stop the Usual Suspects from glomming on to the video as “evidence” of Paul’s perfidy. The Huffington Post jumped on the “story,” as did Gawker (natch!), Breitbart.com, and RedState.com.
There’s just one problem with this “story” – it has a sequel. Hours after the now-infamous video was put up yet another video was posted by “NH4MittRomney,” and, subsequently, by “NH4Santorum” – the same video that is supposed to be the work of Paul’s supporters. What’s funny is that “NH4Santorum” is posting comments under the other two Youtube pages. On the page attributed to “NHLiberty4Paul” he advertises his latest masterpiece: “Watch our ad about Huntsman on our chanel [sic] !!! rick also dislikes huntsman!” He (or she) also points out to one commenter on the Santorum page that “Rick has the same opinion as the Paul-supporters [sic].” Meanwhile, “NH4MittRomney” pays a visit to “NHLiberty4Paul”’s page and advertises his wares.
It’s the political version of “The Three Faces of Eve.”
So who is behind all this? Someone took a screen shot of the earliest statistics of the “NHLiberty4Paul” page: it clearly shows that one of the first four visitors to the page (aside from its creator) came from the Huntsman web site, jon2012.com.
Huntsman recently skipped the Iowa caucus to focus his time and energy on the New Hampshire primary on Jan 10. He has suggested that he may withdraw from the race if he doesn’t finish within the top three. Latest poll results have him tied in third place with Newt Gingrich.