Who is responsible for a YouTube video that paints Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman as “The Manchurian Candidate”? On the basis of rather scant evidence, Huntsman was quick to finger supporters of rival candidate Ron Paul. Since then, however, further evidence has called Huntsman’s rush to judgment into serious question, with some observers even suggesting that Huntsman himself — or his daughters, who have been involved in some rather odd videos before — may have uploaded the thing in an effort to garner sympathy and, in turn, votes.
The whole flap began on January 4, when, as the End Run blog put it, “a ridiculous, pathetic joke of a video” entitled “Jon Huntsman’s Values” was posted on YouTube. The amateurish production, which questions whether the candidate’s values are American or Chinese, shows photos of Huntsman in China and clips of him speaking Chinese (both only natural given that he was once U.S. Ambassador to China), images of him with his adopted Chinese and Indian daughters (with the caption “China Jon’s Daughters/Even Adopted?” — whatever that is supposed to mean), and a still picture with Huntsman’s face superimposed over Mao Zedong’s. It concludes with the words “American Values and Liberty/Vote Ron Paul.”
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Photo of Jon Huntsman: AP Images