(CNN) - Mike Huckabee, who has sometimes sounded a populist theme on the campaign trail, has released a new television ad in Michigan that addresses the economic insecurity that has hit the state hard, and reminds voters of his own working-class roots.
Huckabee is statistically tied with Michigan-born rival Mitt Romney in most recent surveys of the state’s GOP primary voters. The Michigan Republican primary is January 15.
"When you grow up and life's a struggle, you have a whole different understanding of what most people are going through," he says in the 30-second spot, titled “Understanding.”
"We're losing manufacturing jobs, homeowners face a credit crisis, high fuel costs are spiraling, and families are hurting," says Huckabee, over footage of factory workers and despondent homeowners. "I cut taxes, built highways, reformed health care and education, and achieved record job growth. I'm Mike Huckabee and I approved this message because I believe most Americans want their next president to remind them of the guy they work with, not the guy who laid them off.”
- CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand