Tales from the Trail

Perry attacks more conservative rivals, ignores Romney

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:
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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?”

New Hampshire paper, Huntsman launch fresh attacks on Ron Paul

New Hampshire’s largest newspaper, the Union Leader, suspended its attacks on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on Thursday to turn its editorial fire on Texas Rep. Ron Paul.  The newspaper, which helped fuel Newt Gingrich’s rise in the polls in late November after it endorsed the former House speaker, published a front page editorial, titled “Ron Paul is truly dangerous,” criticizing Paul’s dovish views on Iran and the treatment of captured terror suspects. Paul’s views, in the words of publisher Joe McQuaid, are “warped” and “nuts.”

McQuaid writes:

Never mind Paul being the favored candidate of the lunatic fringe (see white supremacists, anti-Semites, truthers, etc.). Never mind his refusal to disavow a third-party run (which would only help President Obama’s reelection). His defenders say they admire Ron Paul’s “consistency.” It is true, Paul has been consistently spouting this nonsense. It is about time New Hampshire voters showed him the door.

Meanwhile, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who has staked his entire campaign on the Granite State but has seen Paul surge ahead of him in polls there, is out with a hard-hitting new ad highlighting some loony statements contained in Paul’s newsletters. Among them: a claim that Martin Luther King was a “pro-communist philanderer,” another claim suggesting “90 if not 95 percent of black males in [Washington, D.C.] are semi-criminal if not entirely criminal” and the suggestion of a “federal-homosexual cover-up of AIDS.” Paul has said he wasn’t the author of the controversial statements, which appeared in letters with names like  Ron Paul’s Freedom Report, the Ron Paul Survival Report and the Ron Paul Investment Letter.

from Political Theater:

New ad from pro-Romney SuperPAC hits on Gingrich’s weaknesses

The pro-Romney SuperPAC Restore Our Future has released a video ad warning that Obama's "plan" to "brutally attack Mitt Romney and hope Newt Gingrich is his opponent" because "Newt has a ton of baggage" is working.

The video goes on to outline Gingrich's potential vulnerabilities, including ethics violations, lobbying profits, flip-flopping on issues, and immigration. Check it out:

Credit: RestoreOurFuture and YouTube.