(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.
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