A day after new polling that shows Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul with a clear lead over Jon Huntsman in the critical primary state of New Hampshire, the Huntsman campaign has released an aggressive new web ad attacking Paul for publishing racist and homophobic essays.
In the video, titled "Unelectable," the Huntsman campaign focuses on the newsletters published under Paul's name in the 1980s and 1990s, which included controversial comments about African-Americans. Paul has, insisting that he did not write the controversial comments, nor did they represent his beliefs.
Asked earlier this month by CBS News and National Journal if the newsletters were fair game, Paul responded, "I don't know whether fair is the right word."
Fairness doesn't count for much in politics, however. Huntsman has staked his campaign on making a strong showing in New Hampshire, and he may have to siphon off some support from Paul if he wants to claw his way into the top tier. In a CNN poll released Wednesday, Huntsman garnered just 9 percent support in New Hampshire. Mitt Romney took a commanding lead with 44 percent, while Paul came in second with 17 percent support.
Set to ominous music, the Huntsman video shows a montage of news clips about the newsletters before asking, "Can New Hampshire voters really trust Ron Paul?"
As he's gained traction in New Hampshire and Iowa in recent days, Paul hasfrom nearly all of his GOP rivals, though most of them have focused on Paul's foreign policy views, rather than the newsletters.
"He was a doctor of medicine, and that's what he was doing, practicing medicine," reflects James Williams, the African-American father. "It didn't matter who and what and why."
Revolution PAC is soliciting donations to air a broadcast version of the two-minute video.