(CNN) – The battle between two Texans running for the Republican presidential nomination appears to be heating up.
Rep. Ron Paul's presidential campaign said Tuesday morning that it's going up with a new ad that contrasts the long time congressman's support for Ronald Reagan in 1980 to Texas Governor Rick Perry's support of Al Gore's bid for the Democratic presidential nomination eight years later. And a few hours later the Perry campaign responded.
The Paul campaign confirms to CNN that they will spend six figures to run the commercial in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states to vote in the primary and caucus calendar, and that they'll email a web version of the ad out to a couple of million supporters.
The ad starts by highlighting Paul's endorsement of Reagan in 1980.
"The establishment called him extreme and unelectable, they said he was the wrong man for the job. It's why a young Texan named Ron Paul was one of only four congressmen to endorse Ronald Reagan's campaign for president, believing in Reagan's message of smaller government and lower taxes," says the narrator in the commercial.
Then the ad focuses on Perry's endorsement of Gore's first bid for the Democratic nomination, in 1988. Perry was a conservative Democrat until switching parties in 1989.
"After Reagan, Senator Al Gore ran for president, pledging to raise taxes and increase spending, pushing his liberal values. And Al Gore found a cheerleader in Texas named Rick Perry. Rick Perry helped lead Al Gore's campaign to undo the Reagan revolution, fighting to elect Al Gore President of the United States," says the narrator.
The ad closes by saying "now America must decide who to trust. Al Gore's Texas cheerleader, or the one who stood with Reagan."
Paul, who's making his third bid for the White House and who has strong backing among libertarians and many in the tea party movement, doesn't appear to be much of a fan of Perry, recently characterizing the Texas governor as an establishment candidate.
Responding to the Paul ad, a source close to the Perry campaign points out that Perry was a conservative Democrat at the time, and Gore, then a senator from Tennessee, was considered the most conservative of all the candidates running for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination.
And the campaign itself put out a statement Tuesday afternoon saying "Rep. Ron Paul's newly released attack ad refers to the congressman as, 'the one who stood with Reagan.' But his 1987 letter announcing his resignation from the Republican Party indicates Reagan drove him from the party."
The Perry campaign email release includes Paul's resignation letter. Paul ran for president in 1988 as a libertarian.
After jumping into the race for the White House less than a month ago, Perry has risen to the top spot in just about every national poll of the GOP nomination horserace. Perry and Paul should appear on the same stage at a Republican presidential debate Wednesday at the Reagan Presidential Library in California.
Politico was the first organization to report this story.
- Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PSteinhauserCNN.
Wait– Perry's backing of Al Gore is supposed to scare voters away from Perry? Al Gore might have been boring, but my guess is our country would be in a much better state had he been elected in 2000. Granted, you'll never catch me in a million years voting for Perry, but c'mon, Paul, Al Gore as the bogeyman?
For the person who said that Ronald Reagon was a great example of small government and no taxes - guess what – Mr. Reagon raised taxes - more than once!
We are actually witnessing a battle of wits between unarmed opponants.
Both Paul and Perry have been in government for decades , taking pay, benefits, and whatever other perks they can lay their hands on. Paul supporters, please don't lecture anyone on the evils of government: your prophet has been, well, profiting from his position of saying no and being returned to Congress, term after term: its given him a wonderful platform to slam the very thing that has enabled him to make a career outside of medicine, and all he has to do is just say no to everything. Would Dr. Paul think its a great idea not to have your child vaccintaed? I could say plenty of kids survived epidemics, so why do medical research? That's Paul's approach to everything. Libertarianism is the lazy citizen's way of getting out of responsibility, and they wrap themselves in the Constitution while ignoring the history of how the Founders set the precendent of "Implied Powers" to justify certain actions. Would he like us to give back Texas to Mexico, since annexation is clearly not listed in the Constitution? Of course not, but we have to follow the Constitution explicitly, right? Can we give back FL, AK, HI, because it does not pass the Ron Paul Constitiutional smell test? Nope, won't happen, because I'm sure Paul would find a reason or two not to change that. We are allowed to have constitutional interpretations, aren't we?
Perry, on the other hand, is an easier fraud to spot: is there any dictator he would not cosy up to in order to make a buck for his corporate friends? Nope. I'm loving the fact Perry is being exposed for the fraud and weak-minded fool he is. The sad thing is, he can't even balance a debate and his responsibilities as governor, and he's " a constitutionally weak governor", as Orrin Hatch called the chief executive of Texas during a primary debate in 2000. He's a figurehead, nothing more, and only 39% of Texans voted for him in a 3-way race, hardly a ringing endorsement.
I'm not republican nor do I lean to the right on any relevant issue. But I've always had this spot in my heart for Ron Paul. When I saw this ad, I couldn't help but think, "Come on Mr. Paul... you are too good for this." I guess it is the price he'll pay in actually trying to run with the big boys this time around... he'll have to sell his soul a bit. I disagree with much of what he says, and while many of his ideas "sound" good, they are unimplementable and nothing more than theories based on a political world that simply does not exist (fantasy). All of that being said, I respected the man. I wouldn't vote for him, but i respected him. He has this naivete where you think, "He's wrong. None of his ideas could even get to the implementation stage. But he shows a heart-felt conviction and doesn't seem to have any shadowy motives." This commercial just makes him like everyone else.
Hahahah! All of this bickering about Reagan has exposed the truth that few Republicans want to hear: Reagan wasn't the god they're making him out to be. In fact, they're twisting his legacy to fit their current agenda. Just read the Ron Paul resignation letter from 1988, where he complains that Reagan has doubled the national debt, increased taxes, etc. Somehow Republicans forget about these facts every time they invoke "His" name.
Ron Paul is the best choice, no doubt.
1. Deftly addresses the "unelectable" charge in the beginning
2. Engages Perry directly when I'm sure he wants nothing to do with Paul, because his conservative credentials will be exposed
3. Timing is perfect; just before the debates where the public will get their first real glimpse at what Perry's about and this is certain to come up in some form or another
4. Perry's camp took the bait – Obviously Paul's campaign knew that he eventually left the party and wanted to disassociate with Reagan. By releasing Paul's resignation letter, Perry shows to the public how Paul endorsed Reagan's limited govt message in the late 70's and how he eventually resorted to big govt and running up huge deficits, which was the reason Paul had a change of heart. This only reinforces Paul's conservative, limited govt credentials.
5. The cheerleader jab was hilarious
If Ron Paul is electable ... the United States might survive after all. I'm a skeptic ... but I hope I'm wrong. Ron Paul 2012!
Rick Perry is a hypocratic fellow. Can not be trusted. We know that in Texas. He do whatever it takes to win elections. It is intereting to see how many Tea Party hobbits he can put in his basket of deception so he can fool them to get him nominated in the primary.
Finally the USA may be getting a break. What this country needs most of all right now is for the rabid-dog right wing extremists to start tearing at each other – because then at least for a short while, they will have to stop eating the middle class alive.
Keep wasting your vote on Paul.. That's what Obama wants...
"Ron Paul never endorsed Ronald Reagan as a President, he endorsed his campaign for President, in which Reagan said that he wanted a smaller government and lower taxes. "Believing in Reagan's message of smaller government and lower taxes." Ron Paul believed him, but Reagan never did what he promised.'
Then I guess that just makes Paul someone with poor judgement then doesn't it?
Well the lesser of the two evils is definitely Paul. Perry has taken the pride out of Texas Pride. He has ruined our state. He took office with Texas having a revenue surplus and within the year, he put us in debt. Then he takes all of the funding the government gave the state for education and redirected it to other areas to make it appear he balanced our budget. Now teachers have 60+ students per classroom and out-dated school books. All extra-cirucullar activities are quickly vanishing (except for football of course). Police departments are cutting their law-enforcement officers due to lack of funds and nobody is able to find jobs. All the while, Perry keeps stating that Texas has a good job market and that the Texas economy is doing fine. THIS IS A LIE!!! I just don't get why we continue to let parties run for president. A party (Republican or Decomcrat) can't reflect the views of everyone. Most people don't think so black and white. Personally, I believe in little government but also believe religion has no place in government (as our fore-fathers did) and believe Gays should have equal rights. So I don't identify with Republicans or Democrats. I just share certain points of view as both of them. I trully hope we have a new candidate enter the race that has America and all of it's people's best interest at heart and not the interests of their party or special interests groups. If Perry, Romney, Bauchman or Obama are elected to the presidency this next term, AMERICA WILL FALL!
wait a minute ... ha ha ... Ron Paul's letter is very nicely written and puts Ron Paul is a great light as a man of integrity, and put the "Reagan is great" chorus to shame for their double standards. Go Ron Paul! (I am a democrat, but at least Ron Paul has guts and integrity that I admire!)
Agree with him or not, you have to respect Paul for joining a party and supporting a then-unpopular candidate, based solely on the candidate's ideology, yet also having the humility to leave the party and rescind the endorsement when that now-popular candidate abandons the ideology. If you read the resignation letter from Paul and listen to him speak, he hasn't wavered from his own convictions in the 25 years, since. Convenient, too, considering he was warning then about all the things everyone is suddenly concerned with, now.
Believe me when I say that Ron Paul is the better choice between the two Texans. I am from Houston...but with that said, I would not vote for either of them.
yea......because supporting Al Gore – who won the popular vote in 2001 btw – was such a baaaaadd thing...run – be scared – be worried....OMG You supported a Democrat!!!! ..........get real.... The only real person in the room is Your President Barack Hussein Obama
Republicans are united in their stand to defeat Obama. But to get there, they will have to drag each other through the mud. This is only the beginning.
By the way, Ron Paul has a small but very dedicated group of supporters. And he is not the answer.
Careful, or Perry will send his buddy Jesus after you. But of course Paul has the Lucky Charms Elf on his side. Bachmann is too busy destroying her permanent record at school and converting heterosexuals away from normal sex by showing them pictures of Palin.
The American people simply have to stop confusing sleaze with so-called conservatism. Perry has the moral standards of a pimp and his philosophy of "pay to play" government has nothing to do beyond give me money and I'll let you set up a "low level' nuclear waste facility in Texas, for example. Perry is the cartoonish, crooked politician out of a bad Steven Seigal movie. Besides, as shown by the continuing drought and fires, God hates Perry and Texas is paying for reelecting a snake oil salesman who keep invoking His name.
I'll shoot myself in the face before I cast a vote for any republican.
Of course Perry is the current GOP establishments candiadte, "hired" to run. All the money now goes to him that is why Loony Bbachmann is quite DONE. The GOP moves the players around until one sticks. Romney being a MORMON is a risk, Bachmann riding the crazy train and female, no way will work for the establishment. Paul Ryan is VERY UNPOPULAR and also is a risk so was not "hired". Perry is now the chosen one-however most Americans do not want an extremeist Right in office. Obama will likely win in 2012.
vote Paul 2012! let's make America free and prosperous again!
Ron Paul may have small gov't ideas which is good. The problem is he was not electable last time and not electable now. He comes across as a loon, even though I'm sure he isn't. He needs to accept that and get behind the candidate who can unseat Obama. The GOP must unite.
I had to re-read the article, I thought Ru Paul was running for President, not some senile old fool.