GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman said Friday a new online ad posted by apparent Ron Paul supporters painting him as a "Manchurian candidate" is "stupid" and out of line.
The ad, posted to YouTube by "NHLiberty4Paul," includes video footage of Huntsman with his daughters – he adopted two girls from China and India -- and wonders, “China Jon’s daughters: even adopted?”
Huntsman served as the U.S. ambassador to China under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2011, when he resigned from his post to explore a Republican bid for president.
The ad features clips of Huntsman speaking Chinese and says, "The Manchurian candidate. What's he hiding?"
"American values? Or Chinese?" it asks. The video ends with the words, "Vote Ron Paul."
Asked about the video during a campaign stop in New Hampshire Friday, Huntsman said, “First of all, it’s just stupid.”
"If someone wants to poke fun at me, that's OK," Huntsman said, according to the Associated Press. "What I object to is bringing forward pictures and videos of my adopted daughters, and suggesting there is some sinister motive there."
He said his daughter Gracie, now 12, was abandoned in China when she was two months old and left in a vegetable market.
"She was picked up by the police and sent to an orphanage. No future, nothing to look forward to. Now she’s in my family,” Huntsman said. His daughter Asha, 6, was left to die by the side of a road in India the day she was born.
Paul’s campaign told the Boston Globe it has no connection to the video and does not know who made it.
"We had nothing to do with it and we think it’s completely distasteful,” Paul spokeswoman Kate Schackai told the Globe. "Nobody who actually supports Dr. Paul’s principles would put together something like that."
Huntsman has put his campaign efforts into New Hampshire, opting to skip Tuesday's Iowa caucuses in favor of shoring up a base in the Granite State, whose first-in-the-nation primary will be held Tuesday. Huntsman's campaign has posted several ads attacking Paul, calling him unelectable.
Despite his efforts, the latest poll released Friday from Suffolk University has Huntsman in fifth place at 8 percent among likely Republican primary voters, ahead only of Rick Perry, The Hill reported. Iowa caucus winner Mitt Romney leads at 40 percent, followed by Paul in second place at 17 percent and Rick Santorum at 11 percent. Newt Gingrich is fourth at 9 percent.