Ron Paul has a new campaign ad, a 60-second spot, dubbed “Trust,” that rolls black and white images of Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry next to Al Gore, pointing out Perry’s support for Gore’s first presidential run.
“Al Gore found a cheerleader in Texas called Rick Perry,” the ad says. “Rick Perry helped lead Al Gore’s campaign to undo the Reagan revolution. Fighting to help Al Gore get elected as president of the United States. Now America must decide whom to trust. Al Gore’s Texas cheerleader or the one who stood with Reagan.”
Perry refutes that assertion; in fact, he endorsed Gore but never served as Texas chair of his campaign.
The Texas governor has been recently fielding a lot of questions about his support of Gore in the 1988 presidential race. When pressed, the Texas governor says it was Gore’s support for Reagan’s anti-ballistic missile initiative or what later became known as “Star Wars.” But Gore’s support for SDI was not nearly as enthusiastic as Perry implies.
In 1989 Perry announced that he had become disillusioned with the Democratic Party and was switching to join the Republicans.
Over the weekend Paul had some tough words for Perry, calling him “candidate of the week” and said his poll numbers would fall once voters got to know him better.
“The only thing I would advise is looking into him, looking at his record, and not just taking him at face value,” Paul said in an interview with the AP. “Texas has had a lot of changes in these last eight years, not exactly positive either.”
In response to the Paul ad, the Perry campaign released a statement Tuesday claiming that Paul’s letter of resignation from the Republican Party showed his disagreement with Reagan.
“Rep. Paul’s letter is a broadside attack on every element of President Reagan’s record and philosophy. Paul thought President Reagan was so bad, he left the GOP,” Perry spokesman Mark Miner wrote.
He also defended Perry, comparing him to the former president.
“Like President Reagan, Gov. Perry has cut taxes and freed employers from government regulations that kill jobs.”
This is Paul’s second TV ad to carry on the theme that he is the only candidate who can both defeat President Obama and carry on Ronald Regan’s legacy. Paul was an early supporter of Reagan, picking the California governor over incumbent Gerald Ford in the 1976 presidential primaries. The ad notes that Paul is facing some of the same criticism that was lobed at Reagan in his first presidential bid.
“The establishment called him extreme and unelectable,” the ad says. “They said he was the wrong man for the job. It was why a young Texan named Ron Paul was one of only four Congressmen to embrace Ronald Reagan’s campaign for president, believing in Reagan’s message of smaller government and lower taxes. ”
The television ad also comes full circle for Ron Paul. Back in August, Paul dismissed Perry’s candidacy as being beneficial saying the Texas governor would appeal to those who liked the status quo. But since then, the opposite has happened.
A recent CNN poll showed Perry’s ascendancy to the top of the GOP field is coming at a cost to Paul. The Texas representative dropped 6 points compared to early August and 8 points when tested without Sarah Palin or Rudy Giuliani.
The Paul campaign notes the new ad will appear in New Hampshire and Iowa with “substantial air-time buys.” Recent ad buys in New Hampshire and Iowa have been in the six figures.