ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf reports: Texas Rep. Ron Paul must have been a bit frustrated with his fifth-place finish at the Iowa Republican Caucus Thursday, but his campaign is showing no sign of slowing down.
Today he announced a media blitz throughout the early primary states. For starters, Paul will air a new ad in New Hampshire to cast his opposition to the war in Iraq as support for the troops. Based on similar ads he ran in Iowa, the New Hampshire ad points to a study earlier in the campaign cycle that found members of the military gave more campaign contributions to Paul than any other Republican candidate.
In South Carolina, Paul will buy time for an ad called "Defender of Freedom."
“He defends our freedom, and his record shows it… Ron Paul," intones a narrator. “Answering our country’s call, Ron Paul became a flight surgeon in the Air Force. As a doctor, Ron Paul delivered over 4,000 babies and is a leading defender of life. In Congress, Ron Paul never voted to raise taxes, never voted for an unbalanced budget, never voted to restrict gun rights or raise congressional pay. Protecting our God-given freedom… Ron Paul for President," it ends.
The ads seem tailored to the early primary states where war supporters like Arizona Sen. John McCain appear to be doing well and to make Paul more attractive to traditional Republican voters.
Paul bought radio advertising in Alabama, California, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Maine and North Dakota in anticipation of the states’ upcoming primaries and caucuses.
When Paul appeared tonight on a PBS program hosted by Bill Moyers the different tone was evident in his message. As a strict Constitutionalist, Paul has been dubbed "Dr. No" in Congress for opposing most legislation. When Moyers read a Chicago Tribune article that characterized Paul as saying "No to the federal reserve, No to the IRS…" and a litany of other federal or federally appointed agencies, Paul did not immediately agree. "I think all those no’s could be viewed as yeses," Paul said. "Yes to freedom and yes to sound money."
He will round out the week in New Hampshire, campaigning in the "Live Free or Die" state, which his campaign hopes will be a redoubt of libertarian-minded Republicans.
Paul will take part in an ABC-sponsored debate on Saturday, but may be excluded from a FOX debate on Sunday. Plans to counter Fox’s exclusion by purchasing an hour of TV time on a rival local affiliate in New Hampshire seem to have hit a snag; campaign staffers said the affiliate would not allow them to broadcast live, so they may be forced to put their forum on a public access channel and the Internet instead. But they would attempt to buy newspaper and radio ads to attract interest for it.