'Double Down': Huntsman Campaign Behind 2011 Smears of Herman Cain and Mitch Daniels' Wife

November 2nd, 2013 1:10 PM

Not surprisingly, the liberal media on Friday focused on leaked details from Mark Halperin and John Heilemann's new book "Double Down" that involved Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Mitt Romney, and Chris Christie.

Yet buried deep in Peter Hamby's review at the Washington Post was a paragraph claiming the campaign of former Utah governor Jon Huntsman was behind the 2011 smears of Herman Cain and Indiana governor Mitch Daniels' wife:

Jon Huntsman is the exception, and the authors’ rendering of him is not pretty. Perhaps most damning for a candidate who professed to be above politics-as-usual, the authors report that the Huntsman campaign was behind two of the cycle’s roughest news hits: peddling dirt to reporters on Mitch Daniels’s wife, Cheri, a warning shot intended to keep the former Indiana governor out of the GOP field; and facilitating Politico’s splashy story about Cain’s apparent extramarital dalliances, a revelation that drove the pizza magnate from the race.

For those that have forgotten, in May 2011, there were claims being made in the press that Cheri Daniels had abandoned her kids when she and Mitch divorced in the '90s before getting remarried years later.

Whether such allegations - or the fear of further scrutiny into them - were responsible, Daniels announced later that month he would not be running for president.

In a prepared statement to the Indianapolis Star, he also tried to set the record straight about his marriage.

As for Cain, readers will certainly recall an October 2011 hit-piece in Politico accusing him of inappropriate behavior with two women.

Although Cain denied the allegations, the media firestorm that ensued was so fierce that he eventually withdrew from the race.

Not surprisingly, as soon as he exited, the accusers went back into their holes and we heard nothing more about the matter. Nothing.

Funny how that happens.

As for Huntsman, readers will recall that he was the media's choice for Republican nominee having worked for the Obama administration as ambassador to China whilst possessing significantly more moderate views than the other 2012 candidates especially on social issues.

Is this why this section in Hamby's review went almost completely unnoticed?

Wouldn't surprise me in the least.

(HT Dan Gainor)