GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul is the first of the Republican 2012 primary candidates to launch campaign ads in early voting states, going after Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, and Rick Perry in a money bomb attack ad campaign over the next two weeks.
U.S. Rep. Paul, 76, is targeting Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina, the first four states following the debates to vote for a Republican presidential nominee.
In a 60-second ad called Consistent, Paul criticizes Romney, Cain and Perry for supporting federal spending and bank bailouts. Consistent calls the presidential hopefuls spend-happy professional politicians, contrasting them to his stance as a true conservative.
Another ad, a short 30-second spot called Plan, advocates Ron Paul's own proposal for trimming spending, claiming he plans to cut $1 trillion from the budget, eliminate five Cabinet-level agencies, and cut almost all funding abroad, whether for aid or for war, that comes from U.S. tax dollars.
The Texas congressman, seen by many as the face and momentum of the Libertarian movement, is trailing far behind his GOP competitors: far below Romney and Cain, just below Perry and only slightly above Republicans Michele Bachmann and Newt Gringrich. RealClearPolitics, compiling data from recent national polls, shows Paul averaging 8.5 percent.
Despite the unlikelihood that Ron Paul will win the 2012 nomination, however, the Libertarian is still attempting to access voters' imaginations and wallets through debate sound bites and various money bomb tactics, including a Black This Out campaign announcement decrying Paul's admitted invisibility in the mainstream media and calling for voter contributions.
His latest fundraising and campaigning efforts will cost him $2.3 million over the next few days, and Paul has announced that supporters have raised $8 million over the last three months. According to The Washington Post, Paul's campaign had banked on $3.5 million in fundraising this October.
What does all this mean? Ron Paul's newly launched ads, while not securing him the presidency, do much to put the Air Force veteran, famous for his 'isolationist' views on foreign policy, in a position to influence the debate, and to take on a competition that he plainly feels is only playing at conservative values.
The Texan physician and representative's new run of attack ads join an anti-abortion ad running in Iowa and campaign mail arguing that Romney, Perry and Bachmann are in the pockets of unions and have shady records.
The sad truth, the Paul campaign said in an anti-labor mailing in South Carolina, is Dr. Paul's opponents have records that leave much to be desired.
Since Paul's presidential campaign in 2008, the rise of the Tea Party and growing bands of 'Ronulans' have come to see Ron Paul as the father of the 2012 libertarian conservative movement.
As a result, Paul has gone from a fringe candidate without a chance of reaching mainstream America to a primary candidate whose campaign contributors, according to his office, number over 100,000, far greater than the larger monetary donations made by some 10,000 or 20,000 supporters for Perry, Romney and Cain. His performance in the primary debates, meanwhile, has been very strong, and has garnered him much praise from conservatives and libertarians.
And while some like Bachmann appear to be positioning themselves as proxy candidates, attacking President Obama more than the primary candidates, Paul has called out fellow GOP hopefuls vocally and often, both in campaign materials and on the debate stage.
The Las Vegas debates saw him go after Herman Cain for his criticism of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, and in letters he has argued that Rick Perry, dropping in the polls, is just as soft on illegal immigrants as Perry claims Mitt Romney has been.
As the campaign heats up, a veritable crush of political campaign ads will launch on the airwaves, attacking candidates and touting philosophies in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, in an attempt to raise poll numbers and secure the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
As Paul pours millions into these campaigns however, it's enough to make one pause and consider die-hard Paul supporters' adherence to the Plan to Restore America despite low poll numbers. His money bomb strategy yesterday saw the Black This Out campaign raise more than $2 million so far.
I've been talking about these problems for a long, long time, Mr. Paul says in his ad. Now we are bankrupt, and we have to decide which way we are going to go. Will this push be enough to raise him in the polls? And if his popularity continues, and he's offered a VP nomination instead, would the Texas libertarian take it?