(CNN) - Down in the polls in the crucial state of Iowa, 2012 presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty wants Americans to know he believes in miracles.
But ABC Sports has taken issue with the Pawlenty campaign for a new ad launched Wednesday in the Hawkeye state that airs parts of the famous Al Michaels "Do you believe in miracles?" telecast from the 1980 Olympics.
Mike Soltys, vice president of communications at ESPN, said Thursday that the Pawlenty campaign did not obtain permission to use the footage.
"Neither ABC nor ESPN licensed the video to them or authorized its use," he stated.
And though reports have circulated that ABC Sports issued a cease-and-desist letter, Soltys insisted that's not the case.
"Neither ABC nor ESPN has asked the Pawlenty campaign to remove the footage from their video," he told CNN.
The Pawlenty campaign explained that any footage was used fairly.
Spokesman Alex Conant said, "All of our campaign television advertising is carefully reviewed by the campaign's lawyers to ensure compliance with the copyright laws, the federal election laws, and other legal provisions."
Pawlenty, a former hockey player, speaks of life on the campaign trail in the spot. "Out here, you're tested," he says as scenes play from the historic Olympic hockey game when the USA team, made of up college players and amateurs, went on to win a gold medal, defeating opponents who were considered to be the best.
"You face an opponent experts say can't be beat. You fight, you bleed, you prevail," he continues in the ad titled, "The American Comeback."
"Our country's down, but we're not out."
A comeback is what he's hoping for. Pawlenty has been polling in the low single digits of support for several weeks.
And though ABC Sports has called a penalty on his campaign, the campaign spokesman assured CNN they are not yet out.
"The campaign's 'Miracle on Ice' advertisement was carefully reviewed for legal compliance and we believe fully complies with the fair use doctrine," Conant said. "We respect ABC's concern and look forward to responding to their inquiry."
CNN's Steve Brusk contributed to this report.
Yes I do believe in miracle!! then what?
Poor old pathetic Pawlenty. He is so dull even the people who make his campaign ads have to steal from real life
excitement. Too bad it blew up in his face. Quit now, while your behind, it can only get worse.
"Mike Soltys, vice president of communications at ESPN, said Thursday that the Pawlenty campaign did not obtain permission to use the footage."
Oops! Anyone who's ever seen a commercial sportscast knows by heart the "without express written permission" statement ...
T-Paw is more dense than I thought ...
Hopefully any hockey players from the 1980 Olympics will arise and club Pawlenty with their sticks! Next he'll be running ads about some terminally ill cousin of his . . . .This man will exploit anything to continue his campaign.
ALL the Republican candidates are LOSERS!
Give it up Timmy, you did enough damage in Minnesota so you don't get a chance in Washington, D.C.
This should be a lesson to any and all politicians - get permission to use the words or footage from private companies ahead of time even if there is a fair use law. It will cover your campaign so as to avoid the cease and desist letters.
Today on Jon Stewart's show, speaking on Michelle Bachman's migraine issues, he said, "Of all my issues with Michelle Bachman's brain, migraines are not even in the top 20." Too funny!!!!! Great show, I love it.
Republicans always steal songs and ads to use in their campaigns, nothing wrong with that when you are a Republican and above the law.............right ?
This has got to be the 3rd time a Republican politician has ripped off someone elses intellectual, copyrighted material. What do they just think they are entitled to steal form people? The arrogance is amazing.
Both Bachman & McCain/Palin did the same thing and were warned.
He should have infringed on some material copyrighted by Fox. They'd be happy to have their materials used by their employees.
Wow, just wow, its hard to imagine a more low down and dispicable act than doing something like this. He is literally comparing his campaign to the amazing achievment that those players made. The only way he could be more offensive is if he made some comparison between himself and former President Abraham Lincoln!
As a side note: isn't he championing PROTECT-IP and other legislation, some of which states that there is no fair use?
Yes, I think it is a miracle that you actually think that you can become president and that the republican party thinks that it is now fiscally conservitive. What a laugh.
Miracles? No, I don't! Hockey? Is that what he was playing, instead of golf like the weeper of the house boner, instead of taking care of MN's economy and those falling bridges and huge potholes appearing because of the excessive heat?
Yes, our country is down and as soon as 2012 rolls around and the rethugs go back home to cry in their soup we will rise like the Phoenix!
And another Republican candidate gets caught for using licensed material without obtaining permission. At least Democratic candidates ask permission before using copyrighted material.
By the way, T-Paw, how are those bridge inspections going?
Why do politicians have to be so dramatic? Their policies are what dictate how pwoplw will vote, not thier overly dramatic ads. People are tired of all the negativity. They want a positive message. Just tell us what you stand for and quit grandstanding. Your like George Bush who wasted tax payers money by flying on a fighter jet, landing on an aircraft carrier to tell the world a lie. By the way, as we have all seen, mission was NOT accomplished. Whatr a waste of money.