SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Ron Paul’s campaign claims a YouTube user who uploaded a video showing Jon Huntsman dressed as Mao Zedong is a “classic case of dirty politics” and that the unknown Internet poster is not affiliated with Paul’s campaign and has tarnished the candidate’s image.
The Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign Committee Inc. sued John Does 1-10 over an allegedly “malicious” YouTube video posted by “NHLiberty4Paul.”
“The video, which is accompanied throughout with traditional Chinese music in the background, begins by displaying the text ‘Jon Huntsman- American Values?/The Manchurian Candidate – What’s He Hiding?,” according to the federal complaint.
“The term ‘Manchurian Candidate’ is particularly offensive since it is derived from the title of a book and movie depicting an American captured by the Chinese who, after being brainwashed, returns to the United States as an agent of the KGB,” the complaint states.
The video questions former Republican candidate Huntsman’s allegiance to the United States, referring to him as “China Jon” and calling him “weak on China.”
Huntsman, who speaks Chinese, was governor of Utah before President Obama appointed him ambassador to China. He left that job to seek the Republican nomination for president. Huntsman dropped out the race this week.
“The video ends with a fictitious depiction of Mr. Huntsman in a Mao Zedong uniform and the text ‘American Values and Liberty – Vote Ron Paul,’ thereby falsely implying that plaintiff created, endorsed or is affiliated in some way with the video and its content,” the complaint states.
The Paul campaign sued John Does for false designation of origin, false description and representation, and common law defamation. It seeks a court order that the anonymous defendants stop using Ron Paul’s trademarks.
“Much of the press coverage and public commentary has been scathingly negative toward plaintiff and Dr. Paul, based upon the erroneous assumption – generated as a direct result of the misleading nature of the video – that plaintiff created, endorsed or was affiliated in some way with the video and its offensive content,” the complaint states.
The Paul campaign is represented by Jerrod Abeles with Arent Fox of Los Angeles.