Two controversial political ads and an increasingly messy flap over contributing posts to a racy website have left Ben Quayle, a candidate for Congress who is the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, with a bit of "potatoe" on his face.
Good-looking, articulate and archly conservative, the young Quayle shares many of his father's best attributes, but he might also share his father's knack for stepping in it -- as the former vice president once did when he famously misspelled "potato" in front of schoolkids.
Quayle, 33, released Wednesday a tough-talking political ad in which he calls President Barack Obama "the worst president in history" and promises to "knock the hell" out of Washington.
"I love Arizona. I was raised right. Somebody has to go to Washington and knock the hell out of the place," he says directly to the camera.
In an interview with ABCNews.com, Quayle said he knew his comment would be controversial but it was not a claim he "made lightly."
Obama, he said, "increased the national debt by astronomical levels and left our borders unsecured."
Being the son of a well-known politician and the most successful fundraiser in a field of 10 Republican challengers has made Quayle a target in the lead-up to the Aug. 24 primary
The gravitas of Wednesday's commercial -- and it's timing -- has done little to tamp down allegations that Quayle wrote for a saucy website featuring gossip and racy photos from Arizona's nightlife scene.
Quayle said he wrote the copy for his latest Obama ad, but flatly denied he wrote a popular column on the website about Scottsdale nightlife three years ago.
The founder of that site now runs another incarnation called thedirty.com.
"The website pushing these smears about me is an offensive and I've never had any association with that website," Quayle told ABCNews.com. "This is a smear campaign by my opponents."
Asked if he was playing with semantics to distance himself from the now-defunct original blog, Quayle said: "I made a couple of comments on a blog that doesn't even exist anymore that doesn't have the character of this blog now."
In recent days, just as his ad hit the airwaves in Phoenix, Quayle seemed to change his story several times. He initially denied any involvement with the thedirty.com.
The site's founder alleged Quayle wrote a column in 2007 under the pseudonym "Brock Landers," a reference to a porn star character in the movie "Boogie Nights," about picking up attractive women at Scottsdale's bars and nightclubs.
The column he is alleged to have written was called "Brock's Chick" and included photos of scantily dressed women.
On Wednesday, Quayle told Politico that he "was not involved in the site."
Then, on the same day, he changed his story, telling a local news station he just "posted comments to try to drive some traffic."
On Thursday, he told ABCNews.com that his story had remained the same.
"My story has been consistent from day one," he said. "I'm not a co-founder of this website. I have no affiliation with website pushing this site. I did give a referral to the person who runs this website. I made a couple of comments a couple of years ago."
Asked if he wrote under the pseudonym Brock Landers, Quayle told ABCNews.com emphatically: "I am not Brock Landers."
He added that he knew the site's founder, Nik Richie, but his only involvement has been to refer him to an intellectual property attorney when he launched DirtyScottsdale.com.
Richie, whose legal name is Hooman Karamian, did not immediately respond for comment, but suggested several times in posts on thedirty.com that Quayle is Brock Landers.
"I have kept it a secret until right now ... the mystery man is Ben Quayle aka Brock Landers, the son of Vice President Dan Quayle," Richie wrote on Monday. "If you are a DIRTY ARMY Republican, vote for Ben Quayle because he was one of the original creators of DirtyScottsdale.com which evolved into TheDirty.com."
On Wednesday, Richie denied that he had been pressured by another candidate to reveal Quayle's involvement, writing, "Just to make this clear to all media: I have zero ties with any of Ben Quayle's opponents."
Thedirty.com reposted one of Landers' columns from the defunct original site. On May 30, 2007, Landers wrote of one Scottsdale woman: "Truth be told, I'm more of a brunette guy, so blonds have to be all the more stunning to gain my attention and admiration. That being said, this lady definitely passed the rigorous requirements that this site sets forth, and she is definitely foxy."
Quayle recently came under pressure for another ad emphasizing family values that depicted him playing with two little girls. His opponents and the media were quick to point out that Quayle had no children and accused him of renting a family. Things looked bad when a campaign spokesman told a reporter they were "just terribly cute kids," but two days later Quayle pushed back with a reasonable answer: The children were his nieces.
"To call my nieces a rent-a-family is pretty obnoxious," he told a local news station. "They are my family. They're my extended family."
The first piece of legislation Quayle said he would propose if elected to Congress would be a budget-slashing initiative he calls the 20/15 solution.
For every year the budget is not cut by 20 percent, Quayle proposes, executive and legislative branch politicians and bureaucrats will take a 15 percent pay cut.
"Everyone across America is tightening their belts," he said. "The only place it hasn't happened is D.C."