Hey Ron Paul Fans: Leave Huntsman’s Daughters Out of This!

Image via Joanne Bamberger/All rights reserved

Last time I checked I thought that using candidates’ children as targets of attack was pretty much off limits, especially after the 2000 presidential campaign when supporters of George W. Bush engaged in “push polling” to suggesting that John McCain’s daughter, Bridget, who was adopted from Bangladesh, was actually an African-American child he had fathered out of wedlock. The candidates themselves pretty much stick the straight and narrow when it comes to leaving young children out of the ugly world of national campaigns. But some Ron Paul supporters apparently didn’t get that memo.

Jon Huntsman’s two youngest daughters — 12-year-old Gracie who was adopted from China and five-year-old Asha, who was born in India — are the inadvertent stars of a new negative ad produced by some group calling themselves “NHLiberty4Paul,” asking in their “Manchurian Candidate” ad, as if its a bad thing, “China Jon’s Daughters: Even Adopted?”

In the 2000 presidential race, McCain tried to ignore the attacks, hoping they’d go away. Huntsman is taking the opposite approach, saying to reporters that he could only comment on how stupid it is to suggest there was something sinister or Manchurian Candidate-like in his family’s decision to adopt.

As a mom by international adoption myself, I am constantly battling what seems to be a common view in our society — that there’s something wrong with your family if you’ve got a child that you didn’t create the old-fashioned way.  But the larger question for me that’s raised by this negative campaign ad, is this — when will our society stop viewing families formed by adoption as something that’s “other.” News reports dealing with families generally don’t make a point of commenting about whether children are biological members of their families. So why do so many people feel the need to point out if adoption was involved? Are they scared? Nervous? Uncomfortable? I think it’s a combination of all those things, but most of all it’s just wrong.

As adults, we can handle it when an inappropriate remark is made about how our families came to be. But our kids can’t. Huntsman is doing a great job making both the press, and whoever this “NHLiberty4Paul” is, back away. But their actions and insinuations are going to linger with Huntman’s daughters — especially his twelve-year-old — forever.

I know because we’ve been there as a family. Obviously no one has ever suggested my husband and I were Communists for adopting our daughter from China. But every comment our daughter ever reads or hears that is in anyway negative, hurtful or insensitive about the fact that she came to us through adoption is like having a rug pulled out from under her sometimes shaky sense of self and where she belongs in this world.

So Ron Paul fans, you need to step off this one.  Attack Huntsman’s policies all you want.  But leave his children out of it.

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17 Responses to “Hey Ron Paul Fans: Leave Huntsman’s Daughters Out of This!”

  1. Marti Says:

    The ad is ugly and hurtful but, when we’re not thinking about our daughters, ridiculously funny. Imagine implying something sinister about someone’s politics by showing a picture of him with his adorable little girl. I think this will actually help Huntsman’s campaign. It certainly made me like him better, and I’m about as far from Republican as you can get and still be in this world.
    Bigots are always with us and this reminds us that when we leave our protectively diverse urban area, our cross-cultural families are viewed less positively.

  2. Carolyn Says:

    That ad is one of the most offensive ads I’ve ever seen. Considering the fallout from the Ron Paul newsletters, he would do well to censure the ad and distance himself from the people behind it.

  3. Adrienne Says:

    I’ve never been a Ron Paul supporter and believe he needs to occasionally stand up to his crazy supporters. This is offensive on so many levels.

    As a pro-life politician, Paul should condemn this video. Since adoption is frequently viewed as the best alternative to abortion, most pro-lifers are ardent supporters.

    Secondly, as a self-professed Christian, he should respect the Huntsmans’ decision to adopt internationally and help others around the globe.

    I think this is one issue you will get bi-partisan outrage over.

    Incidentally, we don’t agree on much, but I respect you a lot for adopting internationally. That’s something I hope to do one day.

  4. Dee McCollum Says:

    As an adoptive mom I am appalled, as a Republican I am embarrassed, and as an American I take a deep sigh and know we have freedom of speech which is a good thing…sadly used in a bad way by these people….

  5. Alison Crockett Says:

    So…speaking Chinese is a bad thing?! I thought we as a country wanted to be forward looking and part of the world. In my area, there are chinese language immersion schools to encourage the learning of these languages as a good thing for our children to learn for the future. And using the man’s daughters…I had some respect for Paul standing for what he beliefs, but…not cool. Not cool.

  6. Derek Says:

    Plenty of evidence out there that this was created by the Huntsman campaign or someone very close to it.

  7. kristen howerton Says:

    I completely agree with you. As an adoptive mom, it’s disturbing on so many levels that adoptive children can be dangled as some kind of cultural liability. I’m also quite concerned that we live in a society where a politician’s proficiency in another culture would be considered bad.

  8. PunditMom Says:

    I can’t believe this was created by the Huntsman campaign. Even if he wants to beat Ron Paul in N.H., I can’t believe an adoptive parent would dangle his or her children out there like that, knowing how it would impact them

  9. Tom Jasper Says:

    This ad came from the Huntsman camp, here is the proof! http://bit.ly/xkhcVt What’s sad is this proof has been available since yesterday yet the mainstream media has access to it and has not printed ANY retractions, SHAME!

  10. Mark Smith Says:

    Hey, PunditMom. The ad is a hoax. Same ad is appearing on two other YouTube pages under the names NH4MittRomney and NH4Santorum. You going to bash them, too??? You owe Ron Paul and his supporters and apology, as do all the other internet and media sources that fell for this studpidly transparent hoax, and printed it without any editorial scrutiny. Shame on you!

  11. Mark Matthews Says:

    I am (was) an admirer of Ron Paul, and appreciated his way of telling some incredible, previously ignored truths. He is the wise uncle in the room who at first you dismiss, then you listen to cause your curious, and eventually you can’t wait until you hear what comes out of his mouth.

    This ad makes me not a supporter, (to whatever degree I was) any longer. The most appauling political ad I have seen.

    By the way, the ad is NOT a hoax. I have no idea where that idea came from.

    The ad, however, is not by Ron Paul himself, but by Ron Paul supporters who say “Vote For Ron Paul” at the conclusion. Paul has tried to distanced himself, but as of recent I have not heard him condemmn it strongly, ask that the ad and his name be removed, made a public statement, and did the things he should do.

    Right now, he is the uncle at the party I’m no longer inviting.

  12. deborah l quinn Says:

    Whether the ad is a hoax or not, its presence suggests that someone in a campaign thought that Americans could be swayed by the thought of “foreign” adoption, and that’s terribly sad. This ad plays to every xenophobic impulse floating around the US and reinforces the idea that there is an “us” (the good guys) and a “them” (pretty much anyone else, including Chinese, Arabs, Mexicans, Africans, Jews, etc etc etc. It’s a pretty long list these days, sadly). It’s a deeply cynical piece of propaganda, regardless of what camp it came from, and illustrates an ugly aspect of US culture.

  13. Faiqa Says:

    I have to agree with deborah I quinn‘s comment. What I find most disturbing about this video is that we live in a political climate in which any group (even if it is small) would find this kind of xenophobic rhetoric appealing. Also, the ad displays an ignorance of our relationship with China and even Ron Paul’s views of China. Is it me or is Mr. Paul being “soft on China” himself in the following CNN interview conducted over one year ago? http://youtu.be/FKhlxldUD3U (forward to about 2 minutes in)

    Furthermore, some of the statements from Paul during the debates seem to suggest that the Ghost of Newsletters Past notwithstanding, he doesn’t seem very xenophobic and understands the role of globalism and diplomacy as it pertains to the the Executive Office skill set. I don’t think his campaign is responsible for this ad. Which is an entirely new disturbing proposition.

    Disclosure: It would be a cold day in hell before I voted for Ron Paul, however I do respect that his political views seem grounded it what he truly believes are best for our nation and less out of the demagoguery that other politicians in his party seem to favor as tools of the trade. I just don’t think he’s responsible for this video based on other contexts.

  14. PunditMom Says:

    I never said the ad was from Ron Paul, but clearly some of his supporters — or people out there who want to smear Huntsman, regardless of which candidate is behind it. Painting the idea of “foreign” children as a something that should keep anyone from voting for a candidate is horrid. There are many supporters of many candidates who will do whatever they believe will hurt their opposition — people with lots of money do it through Super PACS. People without a lot of money do it through quick YouTube videos.

    As I said, as a mom by adoption who continues to help her daughter navigate the issues of identity and belonging, I don’t believe Huntsman himself could have thrown his daughters under the bus to win New Hampshire. I have a feeling Mrs. Huntsman would kick him out the family for that one.

  15. Faiqa Says:

    Yes, the idea that Huntsman himself did it is also highly implausible, as well. In any case, bad form to whoever did it. It is, like you said, horrid.

  16. Foundersten Says:

    Punditmom and everyone else: You are clearly not looking at the evidence. Jon Huntsman and his daughters are very likely the producers and original posters of the video as a set-up. The evidence is overwhelming, thoroughly researched and plainly presented at The End Run linked above. It’s no less likely that Huntsman could be responsible for the video than Paul, but the evidence speaks volumes if you take the time to read it and follow the links. Here it is again: http://www.theendrun.com/huntsman-complicit-in-false-flag-style-dirty-trick-against-paul

  17. Foundersten Says:

    The idea that Paul would make such a video is disgusting enough, but that Huntsman’s own campaign (his FAMILY) would do such a thing to generate false sympathy at the expense of Paul and the assumption that people would just ignorantly accept it is significantly worse for Huntsman’s character and perception of the American people. Indeed, he and his daughters ALLEGEDLY did this, but there is no reason for the media to ignore the evidence and until the mainstream actually does its job the situation only looks bad against Huntsman to any objective observer.

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