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New book: Jon Huntsman Sr. source of campaign attack on Romney

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Posted at 8:16 PM, Nov 01, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-01 22:16:35-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Atlantic Wire and other sources say a new book about the 2012 presidential campaign will say Jon Huntsman Sr. is behind one of the stranger moments of the election... a moment that contributed to Mitt Romney's ultimate defeat.

In August of 2012, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid took to the Senate floor and denounced Mitt Romney.

"The word's out that he hasn't paid any taxes in 10 years. Let him prove that he has because he hasn't," said Reid at the time.

It was part of an ongoing attempt to get Romney to release his tax returns and other financial information.

For Jon Huntsman Sr., it's a silly distraction:

"I would chalk up any comments they made as supermarket tabloid trash. I was never involved in any such thing," said Huntsman, Utah's resident billionaire cancer fighter.

But "Double Down: Game Change 2012" authors John Heilemann and Mark Halperin have reputations to belie the "tabloid" characterization. The duo wrote the well-regarded best-seller "Game Change" about the 2008 presidential election.

True or false, the allegation has been overshadowed by another reported revelation in the book: that President Barack Obama considered bringing Hillary Clinton on as his Vice Presidential running mate, essentially kicking Vice President Joe Biden to the curb.

The authors credit that story to former Obama chief of staff Bill Daley, but Daley and President Obama have denied it's true.