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. skarphace

    Republicans have it wrong. They think that the moderate Democrat support of Huntsman is a bad thing. They think this is a ruse to get a Democrat in Republican clothing (a RINO, if you will) against Obama.

    However, if they just realized that many Democrats would support a moderate Republican because of their dissatisfaction with Obama, they would see that Huntsman is one of the few, if not the only, Republicans that actually has a chance of beating Obama in 2012.

    Sometimes I wonder if Republicans actually want to win the Presidency in 2012 or if they actually just want to continue posturing.

    August 25, 2011 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  2. Aaron

    I can kind of see where the guy is coming from. Obama has no backbone and has accomplished little for the average American. Huntsman is the only Repub who doesn't look like a reject from a freak show, though if he keeps hanging with the SC teabagger crowd, he'll qualify for reject soon enough.

    August 25, 2011 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  3. John Addis

    What the heck is a resume-apostrophe? Could iMovie really not handle an acute accent?

    August 25, 2011 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  4. NoTags

    Is William DeJean a member of the LDS Church? LDS Church members are pushing hard to get either Huntsman or Romney nominated.

    August 26, 2011 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  5. ahetch

    He's a republican in disguise. Also known as a blue dog democrat. The worst kind of American.

    August 26, 2011 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  6. peace

    now we see why mrs. clinton lost.

    August 26, 2011 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  7. johnson

    The republican's feel that they have Obama backed into a corner. Why would you want to back your own president in a corner? I can't believe that there are people who would vote for the thugs, it's all a power grab. They are going to vote down any proposal that they thing would help the country.

    Obama / Biden 2012 all the way

    August 26, 2011 05:45 am at 5:45 am |
  8. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    These Hillary whiners need to get over it and listen to her as she has moved on. This guy threw his money away crying about Hillary. The teabaggers will never let this guy win.

    August 26, 2011 05:55 am at 5:55 am |
  9. Marie MD

    Yes, we are losing our nation to candidates who think that two secessionists and traitors, a woman who has visions and talks to "her" god and says slavery was a good thing, a millionaire who sends jobs overseas, a wife cheater, a pizza guy and to a nation who thinks that a C and D student is capable of running the country.
    Bleeding from the half brains they all have..

    August 26, 2011 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  10. proudmemberofglobalzero

    I guess the Democrat likes the Ryan plan that Mr. Huntsman supports. With democrats like these,,,,who needs republicans. Democrats like these kept the public option out of health care reform, democrats like these kept Gitmo open, democrats like these support tax cuts for the companies that ship jobs overseas. People better listen to what these candidates say...

    August 26, 2011 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  11. Terry - Indiana

    Dr. DeJean just threw his hat into the ring for "Surgeon General". Sorry Doc, you picked the wrong horse.

    August 26, 2011 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  12. Oh hai

    Damn i was hoping it was Stephen Colbert.

    August 26, 2011 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  13. Clwyd

    I never thought much of dentists since my first root canal. I guess he wants us to suffer a little more and not in the chair. Huntsman is a member of a religious cult!

    August 26, 2011 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
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