The depths of personal attacks in the Republican party race sank to a new low yesterday when a video was released by a supporter of Ron Paul attacking Jon Huntsman, but using footage of his adopted children to question his “American values”.
The video, posted to YouTube by the account “NHLiberty4Paul,” first calls Huntsman the “Manchurian Candidate,” asking: “What’s he hiding?” It then shows footage of Huntsman speaking Mandarin, and photos and video of him and adopted daughter Gracie Mei.
It goes on to ask if Huntsman “shares our values” and is a “man of faith,” before cutting to a picture of him with possibly his adopted daughter from India, Asha Bharati. It closes with the message: “American Values and Liberty. Vote Ron Paul.”
“It’s just stupid,” the former U.S. ambassador to China said at a gathering in New Hampshire on Friday.
“If somebody wants to poke fun of me for speaking Chinese, that’s OK. What I object to is bringing forward pictures and videos of my adopted daughters, and suggesting there is some sinister motive there. I have a daughter from China who was abandoned at two months of age and left in a vegetable market, picked up by the police and sent to an orphanage.”
Huntsman joked that Gracie Mei, now 12, is “my senior foreign policy advisor.” But more, she and Asha are “part of my family.”
“I have two little girls who are a daily reminder that there are a lot of kids in this world who don’t have the breaks that we do, and who face a very, very uncertain future . . . and any sense of upward mobility. Now these two girls are on the presidential campaign trail. I say how cool is that?” he said.
Paul’s spokeswoman for New Hampshire, Kate Schackai, responded saying she didn’t know who was responsible for the footage, but said it was not connected to Paul’s campaign.
“The video was utterly distasteful and no one who actually supports Dr Paul’s principles would have made it,” she said.
Abby Huntsman Livingston later speaking to Fox’s Megyn Kelly on the matter referred to her adopted sisters as the “love of my dad’s life” who came from very unfortunate circumstances, saying they have been “what makes us happy every day” on the campaign trail.
“I was surprised to see this ad. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like this, so I think we’re all a little bit stunned by it,” she said, adding that she fears that her sister Gracie, who is 12, will come upon the video.
She also warned the apparent Paul supporters behind the video: “Unfortunately, the Ron Paul supporters don’t realize that these actions really affect the Ron Paul campaign.” It was brilliant to see a bright young lady putting family before politics and putting the distasteful nature of the attack into excellent perspective, proving she’s a credit to her father.
Later in the day Ron Paul’s campaign called on the person who put up the video to take the spot down, calling it “disgusting.”
More controversy is looming with a five page attack mailing going out to South Carolina residents attacking all of Paul’s competitors with a particularly harsh emphasis on Newt Gingrich. “Newt Gingrich has a long record of liberal appeasement, flip-flopping on key issues, and lobbying for insider millions even calling him a “counterfeit conservative.”
Paul also attacks Texas Governor Rick Perry’s immigration record and Mitt Romney on his flip-flops on abortion and “Romneycare” in Massachusetts.
There is no doubt regardless of the outcome, Rep. Paul will play a decisive part in the eventual destination of the GOP nomination however, at what cost to the party and his legacy.
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