The collapse of Muskie’s momentum early in the 1972 campaign is also attributed to his response to campaign attacks. Prior to the New Hampshire primary, the so-called “Canuck letter” was published in the . The letter claimed that Muskie had made disparaging remarks about French-Canadians – a remark likely to injure Muskie’s support among the French-American population in northern New England.
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The next day, Muskie mounted a flat-bed truck in front of the newspaper’s office. He started by refuting the Canuck letter, reserving his greatest ire for the attack on Jane.
One of Nixon's dirty tricks, as played on Democrats
1972 was truly a low point in American democracy. This was the year of the "Canuck Letter," a letter supposedly written by an aide to presidential hopeful Edmund Muskie, in which the aide claimed Muskie condoned the use of the perjorative term "Canuck" regarding the many French-Americans living in New Hampshire. This letter was published by right-winger William Loeb before the New Hampshire primary. The following day, the same publication displayed a scathing personal attack on Muskie’s wife. On the next day, when Muskie abandoned his prepared speech and uncharacteristically took off after Loeb for these pieces, Muskie inexplicably lost his famous composure and broke down into tears. According to Bob Woodward, his famous source "Deep Throat" told him the Canuck Letter came right out of the White House. According to another source, Ken Clawson, the man who originally provided Bremer’s identity to the Post’s editors when no one was talking, admitted to having written the Canuck letter. Clawson was then employed by the White House. But even more intriguing is what Miles Copeland, longtime CIA heavyweight, had to say about Muskie’s subsequent breakdown and Hunt’s possible role therein:
Edmund Muskie - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Canuck letter was a forged letter to the editor of the , published February 24, 1972, two weeks before the of the . It implied that , a candidate for the 's presidential nomination, held prejudice against . The letter's immediate effect was to compel the candidate to give a speech in front of the newspaper's offices, known simply as "the crying speech." The letter's indirect effect was the implosion of Muskie's candidacy. staff writer reported that Nixon White House staffer had bragged to her about authoring the letter. Clawson denied Berger's account. In October 1972, FBI investigators asserted that the Canuck Letter was part of the campaign against Democrats orchestrated by the (CRP). Loeb, the publisher of the , maintained that the letter was not a fabrication. Loeb later admitted of some doubt, however, after receiving another letter claiming that someone had been paid $1,000 to write the Canuck Letter. The purported author, Paul Morrison of , was never found.