TV ad for Huntsman from an unlikely backer
August 25th, 2011
05:50 PM ET
3 years ago

TV ad for Huntsman from an unlikely backer

Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) – The first television commercial of the 2012 presidential race to hit the airwaves in South Carolina is in support of Jon Huntsman and comes from an unlikely ally.

Lifelong Democrat William DeJean, a 49-year-old Chicago dentist, is throwing his support behind the Republican with an ad buy in two early primary states.

The one-minute commercial started running on CBS affiliate station WLTX in Columbia Wednesday. Beginning Monday, the same Huntsman ad will run for five days on CNN and Fox News in New Hampshire.

He said the ad buy is costing him a little under $10,000 to air the one-minute commercial that cost about $1,500 to make.

The ad opens with ominous music and the words "America is bleeding" over a map of the United States outlined in red with money streaming from the East Coast. Lines about the nation's debt crisis scroll over the screen and warn that when money runs out, "We could lose our nation. As America cries out for a leader…One candidate's resume stands out."

That's when the inspirational music kicks along with words of praise about Huntsman. The positive mini biopic appears harmless to the candidate, who is struggling with low national poll numbers since entering the race for the White House three months ago.

"We're thrilled to have such engaged supporters who are working hard to help bring Jon Huntsman's serious solutions to Washington," said Huntsman's spokesperson Tim Miller.

DeJean told CNN he met the former U.S. Ambassador to China and governor of Utah at recent fundraiser held at a Chicago restaurant. An ardent Hillary Clinton supporter who wrote-in her name on the 2008 ballot instead of voting for President Barack Obama, DeJean said he is drawn to Huntsman's centrist views compared to other candidates in the Republican presidential field.

"A lot of people think he's a Democrat in disguise, I don't," said DeJean. "My instincts tell me he is the right person for the job."

The Chicago dentist said he is hoping this commercial will help get Huntsman's poll numbers up. He said he might spend more money on air time in South Carolina and New Hampshire and possibly Florida, as well.

DeJean made headlines with a similar move 11 months ago, releasing a television ad endorsing someone who says she has no intention of running for the White House in 2012: Secretary of State Clinton.

But DeJean said he's been following Huntsman for a while and said he likes everything he says and thinks he's "the most honest candidate."


Filed under: 2012 • Jon Huntsman • South Carolina
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. WiredweirdinSF

    Check the Joe Wilson sick story on the Ticker and the libertard responses. Now what was that clown in the White House saying about civlity? This really shows the true face of democrat liberals and who is to blam for the problems of political rancor. Thank you once again democrat liberals for showing your true hypocritical faces.

    August 25, 2011 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The rest of the dentist in Chicago are doing just fine, they aren't pandering politics to get customers like this guy.

    August 25, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  3. jnpa

    I am a democrat, but I don't necessarily vote along party lines. I vote for the individual and not the party. I am impressed with Huntsman. He is the only republican who actually sounds normal. He is not an extremist and has some common sense views on alot of the issue. It is too early to say I would support him, but I do know who I will not support....the rest of the GOP lineup!

    August 25, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Good luck getting tea baggers to believe that Hunstman's resume is better than Palin's. Hell, most republican candidates are clueless and are so far in over their heads, they think being president is like being prom king. We know for sure that republicans have been wrong on every important issue for 30 years.

    August 25, 2011 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Remember, fair is fair is barely passing in most schools.

    August 25, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  6. Randy, San Francisco

    Wishful thinking. Tea Party hobbits and religious social conservatives will not accept a GOP moderate candidate.

    August 25, 2011 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  7. Melo-D

    Man, some PUMAs can hold a grudge. Why run the ad in SC, Huntsman doesn't have a chance there. Should have tried for New Hampshire. Or better yet he should have just donated it to charity. Any republican a democrat could support has no chance in he!! of getting the GOP nomination

    August 25, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    You are either with President Obama, or you are with the terrorists. Special thanks to "W" for reminding us.

    August 25, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  9. blake

    It is absolutely no surprise that the funding for this commerial comes from a Democrat. Huntsman is running in the wrong primary. He has far more in common with the Democrats than the Republicans. It is only the leftist media and the few remaining moderate Republicans that support him.

    August 25, 2011 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  10. Vosky

    What is not stated in this article is that Dr. DeJean always support a loser!!

    August 25, 2011 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  11. Lamental Jester

    Money well wasted

    August 25, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  12. Woman In California

    I know everything about this guy I need to. If he wants to keep throwing his money away fine. I could care less.

    August 25, 2011 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  13. Emmy Skaddittle

    well i am not so sure having a democrat pay for his adds, is going to go over well with the republican base

    August 25, 2011 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  14. BobRoss

    That's a waste of money for DeJean.

    August 25, 2011 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  15. diridi

    it is not bleeding, it has already bled.....with GOP thug's nasty treasury loot, sending jobs to India, China, GE is opening its xray plant in China, Ford its second plant in India, folks do not buy none of these.....watch for Made in USA, i do not know what you get, other than my backyard cucumbers, and Idaho Potatoes....etc, God rescue this nation...vote for Democratic ticket directly, GOP stands and Tea thugs stand for "corporate and Oil thugs". Not for you middle class. GOP want to cut Medicare, and Social security...watch...god bless....Obama2012......

    August 25, 2011 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  16. T'sah from Virginia

    [But DeJean said he's been following Huntsman for a while and said he likes everything he says and thinks he's "the most honest candidate.]

    DeJean is a person that refuses to vote for President Obama...............PERIOD!!! He claims he is a Democrat; he wrote in Hillary's name; and now he backs Huntsman, who is a Republican. Maybe DeJean is NOT a Democrat? In reality – who CARES!!!

    It is NOT the time for Huntsman. He is being DRAINED out from the far-RIGHT and he already 'missed' his calling.

    Obama/Biden 2012!

    August 25, 2011 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  17. tamashi

    Groan just what Huntsman needs. They already have a suspicion that he is a democrat in disguise, this will just seal the deal.

    August 25, 2011 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  18. The Elephant in The Room

    Ah ha ! Willie Dejean has "issues" that have little to do with the President`s performance.

    Wrote in Hiliary Clinton`s name on the ballot, eh?

    August 25, 2011 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  19. Adrienne

    Great Ad. America is bleeding.. BUT we are bleeding from 100 cuts. Tax cuts bei9ng one of them. The ad says Huntsman cut the deepest when Gov. That means a lot od blood his on his hands.

    August 25, 2011 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  20. NYC REPUB

    Give me a break......Obama 2012!!!!! All day everyday.......

    August 25, 2011 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  21. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I don't know if this is really going to help Huntsman at all since it is from a Democrat. I would hope that this is a sign that he could do better in the general election than the others running.

    August 25, 2011 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  22. FactCheck

    I thought all conservative "grass-root" efforts were bank-rolled by the billionaire Koch brothers.

    August 25, 2011 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  23. mary

    Sour grapes!!!

    August 25, 2011 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  24. Larry L

    He will support Huntsman because he is very much like a Democrat. He's not nearly irrational or bigoted enough to be a Republican in these days of Tea Party control of the GOP. I wonder if he'll stray to the far right enough to get the nomination? If so, he'll quit being the man he is and become just another clown in the Republican Circus.

    August 25, 2011 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  25. anahadwolves

    As a Democrat, I've said it before and I'll say it again: the one Republican who scares me is Jon Huntsman. He scares me because he is so not Tea Party/Far-Right Republican. He is sane, thoughtful, balanced, nuanced and middle-of-the-road. He actually believes in science over superstition, reality over fantasy and solutions over polemics. However, I'm not too worried that the Republicans will actually nominate him to run against President Obama: they have a suicidal death-wish and will nominate Perry, Bachmann or Palin. Thank God!

    August 25, 2011 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
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