Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman, who often speaks of his adopted daughters from China and India while on the campaign trail, said Friday that Ron Paul's supporters were out of line in using the girls to argue that he is un-American.
An online ad posted by "NHLiberty4Paul" includes video footage of Huntsman, the former ambassador to China, with daughter Gracie when she was an infant. It also shows him holding Asha shortly after she was adopted from India.
"American values? Or Chinese?" the ad asks, ending with "Vote Ron Paul."
The "NH" in the group's name would stand for New Hampshire, where Huntsman and other Republican candidates have been preparing for Tuesday's primary vote in the monthslong nominating process toward the November election.
A message sent to the ad's creator was not immediately returned. Paul's New Hampshire spokeswoman, Kate Schackai, said Friday she didn't know who was behind the ad, but it wasn't anyone affiliated with the campaign.
"The video was utterly distasteful, and no one who actually supports Dr. Paul's principles would have made it," she said.
Huntsman said it was "stupid" to allege that he has Chinese values because he lived overseas and speaks Chinese.
"If someone wants to poke fun at me, that's OK," said Huntsman, whose campaign has posted several online ads attacking Paul as unelectable. "What I object to is bringing forward pictures and videos of my adopted daughters and suggesting there's something sinister there."
Huntsman and his wife have seven children, including Gracie, 12, who was abandoned at a Chinese vegetable market at two months of age, and Asha, 6, who was left to die on a roadside in India the day she was born.
Speaking to New England College's "College Convention," he called the two girls "a daily reminder that there are a lot of kids in this world who don't have the breaks that you do."
Huntsman skipped last week's Iowa caucuses and is counting on a strong finish in Tuesday's primary to continue with his campaign. He still lags far behind front-runner Mitt Romney.