Ron Paul has officially hit the airwaves in Iowa with two TV ads–one positive and one negative. At this point, most Iowa Republicans know who Ron Paul is between his run this year and his campaign in 2008, and the first ad trumpets Paul’s conservative credentials. The unconventional spot boasts that Paul will cut $1 trillion from the budget in year one as president, mostly by eliminating five federal agencies. As the ad says, “Later Bureaucrats.”
The other ad takes a pretty hard swipe at Newt Gingrich, the latest frontrunner in the Republican presidential primary. We’ve seen Gingrich skyrocket to the top of the polls recently, especially in Iowa, and this ad from the Paul campaign is one of the first attacks to try and blunt Gingrich’s momentum. A lot of people have been waiting to see when/if Mitt Romney would take off the gloves and go after Newt, but it looks like Paul might be willing to do the dirty work for him.
The latest New York Times/CBS News poll in Iowa shows Gingrich way out in front with 31%, followed by Romney at 17% and Paul at 16%. Paul clearly sees an opening here if he can knock off Gingrich and sneak ahead of Romney, and this round of ads might be the opening salvo in the Iowa air war. The battle for Iowa is so important to capturing momentum in the primary that the race is sure to get uglier as we approach the January 3rd caucus date.