A video uploaded onto YouTube on Wednesday to ostensibly extol the virtues of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is coming under heavy fire from all sides for its xenophobic portrayal of Jon Huntsman Jr.'s two adopted daughters.
"An online ad posted by 'NHLiberty4Paul' includes video footage of Huntsman … with daughter Gracie when she was an infant," the Associated Press reported. "It also shows Huntsman holding Asha shortly after she was adopted from India. 'American values? Or Chinese?' the ad asks, ending with 'Vote Ron Paul.'"
The Los Angeles Times reports that, at a Friday gathering of New Hampshire college students, Huntsman responded to the video by saying, "It's just stupid. 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."
The candidate's adult daughter Abby Huntsman Livingston escalated the invective one notch higher: "I think it's unfortunate that the political conversation has become this vile. I think this video goes a bit far. My two little sisters are the love of my dad's life. They came from very unfortunate circumstances, and we feel blessed every day to have them in our lives. So, they're the ones I think about in a video like this."
Despite the uproarious response, Paul's campaign apparently had nothing to do with the video. Kate Schackai, spokeswoman for Ron Paul in New Hampshire, said, "The video was utterly distasteful and no one who actually supports Dr. Paul's principles would have made it."
However, Team Paul's disavowal of the video doesn't mean there's any love lost between the two candidates. Politico reports that on Tuesday, when Paul was surging in the Iowa caucuses as Huntsman lagged at the bottom of the pack because he decided to skip the caucuses, a member of the Texas congressman's staff logged into Paul's official Twitter account and tweeted, "@jonhuntsman we found your one Iowa voter, he's in Linn precinct 5 you might want to call him and say thanks."
The identity of YouTube user "NHLiberty4Paul" is unknown. A message sent to the ad's creator was not immediately returned, and no other videos have been uploaded to YouTube from that account.
Huntsman and his wife have seven children, including Gracie, 12, who was abandoned at a Chinese vegetable market at two months of age, and Asha, 6, who was left to die on a roadside in India the day she was born.
Speaking to New England College's "College Convention," he called the two girls "a daily reminder that there are a lot of kids in this world who don't have the breaks that you do."
When questioned by the audience, Huntsman also challenged Romney's assertion that "corporations are people."
"Of course corporations are not people. Who would say such an outlandish thing? I can't imagine anyone running for president would say something like that."
Huntsman is counting on a strong finish in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary to continue his campaign.
Associated Press contributed to this report.