Tales from the Trail

Perry attacks more conservative rivals, ignores Romney

December 29, 2011

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s latest ads don’t even bother attacking Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney. With polls showing him in fifth place among Republicans in Iowa and seventh in New Hampshire, Perry’s aim is now to emerge as one of the top two conservative options to Romney.

To get there, he needs to knock off some of the other candidates polling immediately in front of him — which is why his latest TV ad in Iowa attacks Rep. Ron Paul, Rep. Michele Bachmann, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and ex-Sen. Rick Santorum, but doesn’t mention Romney.

“The fox guarding the hen house is like asking a congressman to fix Washington,” the ad’s narrator says. “Bad idea. Their years in Congress left us with debt and bailouts.”

Here’s the video, via RPerry2012/YouTube:
YouTube Preview Image

With Santorum seeing a boost in Iowa polls — a CNN/Time magazine poll yesterday found him in third place in Iowa, with 16 percent — Perry is doubling down on the former Pennsylvania congressman. In a new Iowa radio ad, which takes the format of a TV game show, Perry highlights Santorum’s record of supporting earmarked federal monies for his constituents:

“Who personally demanded more than $1 billion of earmarks in his 16 years in Congress?” a narrator asks. “Jay, from Ames?”

“Rick Santorum?” answers the fictitious Jay.

“Right,” the narrator says. “Santorum grabbed for a billion in earmarks, until voters kicked him out of office in a landslide.”

Watch a video version of the radio ad, courtesy of RPerry2012/YouTube:

When Perry was considered the main Romney alternative two months ago, by contrast, he was hitting the former Massachusetts governor with ads like those below:

Credits: RPerry2012/YouTube

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