Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, already under siege from his rivals competing with him in lead-voting Iowa, is now the target of new criticism in the next electoral state, New Hampshire.
Jon Huntsman, in a new video being released this morning, accuses the Texas congressman of being too extreme.
The video includes clips of Paul promoting a controversial series of newsletters he authored in the 1980s and 1990s – the same newsletters for which Paul now says he was not personally responsible.
In one, Paul stated that “95 percent of black males in that city (Washington, D.C.) are semi-criminal if not entirely criminal.” He also called Martin Luther King Jr. a “pro-communist philanderer,” and referred to a “federal homosexual cover-up” of AIDS.
It concludes with the line, which will also headline a campaign press release, “Can New Hampshire voters really trust Ron Paul?”
Huntsman, the former Utah governor, has only recently starting going after Paul, who is leading in the polls in Iowa and on track to take third place in New Hampshire, behind former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Were that to happen, it would hurt Huntsman, who is banking his campaign on a strong performance in the Jan. 10 New Hampshire primary.
In attacking Paul, he seems to indicate the congressman is the easiest target among the top three candidates.
The New Hampshire Union Leader, the state’s largest newspaper, adds to the assault in an editorial today branding Paul “truly dangerous.” The newspaper has already endorsed Gingrich.
Last night, Huntsman told reporters in Pelham, N.H., that he believes Paul cannot get enough support to win an election.
“His positions are extreme enough to where you wouldn’t get enough mainstream support rallying around him,” the former governor said.
Huntsman pointed to Paul’s foreign policy and his drug policy.
“You’re not going to get mainstream support around a sense of isolationism, when you’ve got threats like Iran that are on the ascent,” Huntsman said. “Things like legalizing drugs, I just don’t think is a position that is going to sell with a lot of people.”
Huntsman spokesman Michael Levoff said today: “Representative Paul’s newsletters raise serious questions about his judgment, character, and whether New Hampshire voters can trust him to lead. The newsletters also make it impossible for Ron Paul to take on President Obama successfully in November.”