He broadcasts new television ad campaign. Rick Perry tries to get supports for his candidacy in Iowa and attack his competitor. Does it work???
Rick Perry makes aggressive play in Iowa as he looks to woo evangelical conservatives
With a massive new television ad campaign targeting social conservatives, the Republican presidential hopeful signaled Wednesday he intends to try to resuscitate his faltering candidacy in Iowa, which holds kickoff caucuses in less than four weeks. It’s a tall order for Perry, who entered the race to great fanfare in August only to see his popularity plummet throughout the fall.
Illustrating that, Perry’s campaign has launched a $1.2 million ad buy in the caucus state leading up to the January 3 contest. The campaign plans to spend more than $650,000 this week alone on a commercial showcasing the Texas governor’s Christian faith and attacking President Barack Obama for waging a “war on religion.”
Perry’s aim is twofold.
He’s reminding evangelical Christian voters, who typically make up a sizable share of the state’s GOP caucus-goers, that he is one of them. He’s also drawing a contrast with rival Mitt Romney, whose Mormon faith gives many evangelical voters pause, and with Newt Gingrich, who recently converted to Catholicism but has been divorced twice and has acknowledged infidelity in his first two marriages.
“The evangelical Christians are waiting to, you know, find that individual that they’re really comfortable with, that they think can win, that has their values,” Perry told CNN, adding: “I fit their mold quite well.”
“My faith is part of me,” Perry continued. “The values that I learned in my Christian upbringing will affect my governing.”
Perry is getting help from Make Us Great Again, a super PAC supporting his candidacy. The group is running ads depicting Perry as an outsider who will rescue the country from Washington “elites.”
All told, it’s a massive show of force for Perry in a contest that so far hasn’t seen much of an ad war.
Romney, the best-funded of the GOP field, has only recently gone up with ads in Iowa after running a modest TV campaign in New Hampshire, which hosts the leadoff primary January 10. Gingrich began running ads in Iowa just this week.
The $2 million that Perry’s campaign has already spent on ads in Iowa hasn’t done much to move him out of the bottom tier of candidates. A new TIME/CNN/ORC poll released Wednesday found Perry in fourth place with just 9 percent support among likely caucus-goers, trailing Gingrich, Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul.
Until now, Perry had stressed his state’s record in job creation. His pivot to social issues — including a sharp critique on gay rights — shows he is looking to his party’s most conservative base to find a second wind just as voters are tuning in.
“There’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school,” Perry says in his new TV ad. (AP)