2016 Campaign Is Already Underway, on TV

PHOTO: The Foundation for a Secure and Prosperous America says its spending $1 million to air this ad attacking Rand Paul.Foundation for a Secure & Prosperous America/YouTube
The Foundation for a Secure and Prosperous America says it's spending $1 million to air this ad attacking Rand Paul.

It's never too early for campaign ads.

The 2016 presidential race has barely begun, with only two candidates officially in the race, but several TV ads have already run in key primary states, in some cases bashing potential White House aspirants who haven't even declared they're running yet.

Here's a look at what has already been on the air:

1. Rand Paul vs. the Foreign Policy Right

Rand Paul has only just become a candidate for president, but he’s already facing an attack ad.

A relatively low-profile group called the Foundation for a Secure and Prosperous America will follow Paul on his mini-tour of primary states this week with an ad that hits him for supporting negotiations with Iran.

“Rand Paul is wrong and dangerous. Tell him to stop siding with Obama,” a narrator says, to shots of Iranian leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei and a nuclear explosion.

In an interview with Fox News, Paul wrote off the group's backers as part of the "neocon community" and said almost everything in it was false. Paul has not said whether he supports the text of the Iran framework deal; he signed Sen. Tom Cotton's controversial letter asserting Congress should have the final say.

2. Ted Cruz Goes Positive

Soon after he announced his presidential candidacy last week, Sen. Ted Cruz was out of the gate early with a positive TV ad, quickly asking his supporters for more money to keep it on the air, both classic moves for newly announced candidates.

The TV ad highlights Cruz's Christian faith; the campaign ran it over the weekend, after Cruz announced.

3. Stop Hillary!

If it's not too early for attack ads, then it's definitely not too early for ads attacking Hillary Clinton, who figures to catch the most criticism from the right, as the Democratic Party's near-monolithic front-runner.

A PAC called Stop Hillary aired this ad all the way back in December, hitting her over the Benghazi attack during her tenure as secretary of State, telling the Washington Post it was spending six figures to run it in the early-primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

4. Hitting Hillary on Israel

Clinton can expect the attacks to come early and often.

The Emergency Committee for Israel went up with this ad in late February, timed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress, hitting Hillary on the Iran negotiations and the deteriorating U.S. relationship with Israel.

The group said it was spending $200,000 to air the ad, mostly on cable.

5. End Jeb!

As the establishment-backed front-runner, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush figures to take some fire from the right wing of his party, and the conservative Constitutional Rights PAC wasted little time in airing this ad that hits Bush's immigration and tax stances.

The group said it spent about $10,000 to air the ad on The Blaze and Fox News.