Reporting from Nashua, N.H. — The super PAC supporting Jon Huntsman’s bid for the Republican nomination launched its first attack ad of the political season Friday – releasing a new spot that describes Huntsman as the consistent conservative in the Republican race and New Hampshire frontrunner Mitt Romney as “a chameleon.”
The $300,000 buy aimed at New Hampshire voters, who will vote on Jan. 10, seeks to portray Romney as a political opportunist while elevating Huntsman, who was running 28 points behind Romney in the state in a recent Boston Globe poll.
"Two serious candidates remain," the narrator says after images of the GOP’s onetime front-runners flit across the screen, ending in a dual shot of Romney and Huntsman. “One willing to say anything, be anything, one who can actually do the job.” (Watch the ad below.)
After touting Huntsman’s job creation record in Utah, the narrator of the Our Destiny PAC concludes: “One state can stop the chameleon.”
With 11 days before New Hampshire voters cast their ballots in the first primary in the nation, the ad’s message echoes Huntsman’s recent arguments against Romney on the campaign trail. Huntsman has implicitly criticized Romney by telling audiences that he will not contort himself “into a pretzel to please whatever group I’m standing in front of.”
This week he has singled out Romney, as well as Texas Congressman Ron Paul, by name, urging voters not to accept the former Massachusetts governor as the Republican nominee despite his formidable lead in the polls.
“The establishment wants to tell you that we’ve already got somebody chosen in Gov. Romney – I say nonsense,” Huntsman told an audience Thursday night in Wolfeboro, where Romney owns a second home. “The last thing this country needs is a status quo president at a time when change is so desperately required.”
Romney’s campaign, which has largely ignored Huntsman in New Hampshire, had no comment on the super PAC ad, which is reported to be largely backed by Huntsman’s father.
With the new ad, spending by Our Destiny PAC has topped $2 million on Huntsman’s behalf, but the group has yet to reveal its donors. As Politico reported earlier this week, the PAC notified the Federal Election Commission on Dec. 24 that it planned to file its disclosure reports monthly rather than quarterly – meaning it will not have to reveal its donors until several weeks after the primary.