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Was anti-Huntsman ad really anti-Ron Paul?

Published time: January 10, 2012 22:20
Edited time: January 11, 2012 02:38
Texas Rep. Ron Paul (L) shakes hands with former Utah governor Jon Huntsman (R) (AFP Photo / Mandel NGAN)

Texas Rep. Ron Paul (L) shakes hands with former Utah governor Jon Huntsman (R) (AFP Photo / Mandel NGAN)

A recent attack ad waged at GOP hopeful Jon Hunstman might not have been the most scathing of the stones cast between conservative competitors as of late, but it was without a doubt the most bizarre.

Now the Ron Paul camp is exploring any connection between the questionable ad purported under a mysterious pro-Paul YouTube account and a Hunstman insider who might have uploaded the video as part of a backwards blow meant to make Americans pity their candidate of choice.

The video, a homemade ad that calls into question Republican candidate Jon Huntsman’ s connection with China, made its round on the Internet in recent days. Although the clip is marketed as the product of a Ron Paul supporter using the username NHLiberty4Paul, skeptics think that the attack could have been a move by Huntsman’s own supporters so damage Paul’s race for the GOP nod.

Throughout his campaign, Texas Congressman Ron Paul has seen an increased surge in support among Republican Party voters and independents alike. On the day of the New Hampshire primaries, Rep. Paul is largely being perceived as the only rival for frontrunner Mitt Romney. While Romney and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum came within barely a dozen votes in the race to win the Iowa caucus last week, Santorum has since slipped out of the top-tier while Ron Paul has only increased in popularity. According to the latest polls, Paul’s only competition other than Romney at this point is Huntsman.

With the video surfacing in the interim between the Iowa caucus and Tuesday’s primary, analysis are considering if the clip comes as a last-ditch effort by way of the Huntsman campaign to give their candidate one last chance at the top-tier. As an investigation opens up, however, more and more evidence is leading Huntsman opponents to point the finger at the former governor of Utah.

For starters, the NHLiberty4Paul YouTube account was created on the same day that the video was uploaded and has seen no activity since. Coincidently, one of the first sources to locate and discuss the video was Huntsman’s official website, jon2012.com, which web analytics link back to the video before any major social media sites picked up on the clip.

“Based on the evidence above and the coincidental timing of the release and subsequent events, it seems likely that a party close to the Huntsman campaign posted and distributed this video impersonating a Ron Paul supporter in order to cast Ron Paul and his campaign in a negative light,” reads a write-up from CanDo.com, a company commission by Paul to investigate the clip.

The video in question, titled “Jon Huntsman’s Vales” asks an Internet audience if the governor’s ideals are "American Values or Chinese?" and if "China Jon's Daughters [are] Even Adopted?" The video ends with the wording "American Values and Liberty Vote Ron Paul,” though the congressman has disavowed the clip. Both Huntsman and his daughters have repeatedly appeared on the mainstream media to voice their complaints with the clip.