Another sign Romney is beefing up in Iowa
December 1st, 2011
09:53 AM ET
6 years ago

Another sign Romney is beefing up in Iowa

(CNN) - In another signal that he is becoming more aggressive in Iowa, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is going up with his first television commercial in the first-in-the-nation caucus state.

In the 30-second spot, the former Massachusetts governor touts his business world experience, saying "I spent my life in the private sector. I've competed with companies around the world. I've learned something about how it is that economies grow."

Romney, who's making his second bid for the GOP nomination, also says "I'm in favor of cutting spending, capping federal spending as a percentage of GDP at 20 percent or less, and having a balanced budget amendment." And he ends the ad by saying "the right answer for America is to stop the growth of the federal government and to start the growth of the private sector."

The Romney campaign says the ad will begin running on Iowa TV on Thursday, but didn't answer questions about how long the commercial will air and how much money the campaign's spending to run the spot. The commercial is similar to a new Romney campaign ad that is scheduled to begin running on Thursday in New Hampshire. Iowa's January 3 caucuses kick off the presidential primary and caucus calendar, with New Hampshire voting second, one week later.

This past weekend Iowa voters received flyers in their mailboxes promoting Romney's positions on immigration, marriage and other social issues. Those topics are crucial for many of the conservative activists who comprise a large portion of the people who will attend the Republican caucuses.

In one of the flyers, the campaign emphasizes Romney's tough stance on the hot-button issue of immigration, with the handout saying at the top: "Mitt Romney. The strongest Republican to beat Barack Obama and end illegal immigration."

Romney has criticized fellow candidates including Rick Perry, who has supported in-state college tuition for the children of illegal immigrants and has criticized a border fence as ineffective, and Newt Gingrich, who last week at a CNN National Security Debate repeated his support for moving some of the approximately 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States toward some form of legal status as the "humane" option for dealing with the problem.

The Romney campaign recently opened new headquarters in Des Moines, and next week Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey will campaign for Romney in Iowa, a source close to the Romney campaign tells CNN. Many top Republican voices previously urged Christie to run for White House, but in October the New Jersey governor said he would not mount a campaign for the nomination and soon after endorsed Romney.

Romney has only spent six days campaigning in Iowa this year, which pales in comparison to the number of stops he has made in New Hampshire. Last month Romney skipped two high-profile events in Iowa that were attended by most of the other major candidates.

Four years ago Romney went big in Iowa, spending a lot of time and money there. But the strategy backfired when one-time long shot Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, won the January 2008 caucuses. Wounded in Iowa, Romney was then defeated by Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the eventual nominee, one week later in New Hampshire.

Even though he's only made cameo appearances so far in Iowa, until last week Romney was tied at the top of the pack in polls of likely Republican caucuses goers in the Hawkeye State. But the most recent poll, released last week by the American Research Group, indicated a surge by Gingrich, with the former House speaker holding a seven-point margin over Romney, who was in second place in the survey.

"In the closing weeks before the caucuses, we will continue to make the case that Mitt Romney is the best candidate to beat Barack Obama. Mitt Romney has always said that he would campaign and compete in Iowa. He looks forward to participating in the two upcoming Iowa debates," says Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul. "Going on television is just another tool in getting Mitt Romney's message out that Barack Obama has failed as a president, and that he is the best choice to grow the economy, cut spending and create jobs."

Romney is still answering questions about his first television ad, up last week in New Hampshire, which outraged Democrats by quoting then presidential candidate Barack Obama out of context. The advertisement showed Obama campaigning in 2008 saying: "If we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose."

Obama was quoting his then-opponent, Sen. John McCain. Romney's campaign has strongly defended the ad, saying "now, the tables have turned - President Obama is doing exactly what candidate Obama criticized."

Romney waited until November to go up with paid television ad buys, which contrasts with the strategy used in his first bid for the White House. Four years ago, Romney went up with his first paid commercials in March of 2007.

- CNN's Kevin Bohn and Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report

- Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PSteinhauserCNN

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Mitt Romney
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. 5041360

    someone in Iowa should ask Mitt about the jobs he sent off shore – putting americans out of work-

    December 1, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    Oh, goody. Another "Willard" Romney loves "Mitt" Romney ad. I like nothing more than watching a millionaire waste other millionaires dollars in silly campaign ads promoting millionaire candidates going no where. Willard is falling apart. He's become John McCain-lite with his "look at ME ... I am SOMEONE, too (really I am)". Probably not a good idea for Willard to keep dissing his constituents in MA, though. Or, is HE running from HIS record with this insistence of his that he's been private sector his entire life? Well, not sure what we can expect from the man who gave us, "Hi, Wolf. I am Mitt Romney, and, yes, Mitt is my first name!" Looks like we've got us a real Willard/Mitt (Sybil) identity crisis going.

    December 1, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  3. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAhadists

    I get sick to my stomach everytime Willard states "I spent my time in the private sector." Well, explain exactly what you did in the private sector Willard. What was your role at Bain Capital? It sure wasn't creating jobs.

    "Mitt Romney. The strongest Republican to beat Barack Obama and end illegal immigration." HA!!! The first part may be true, but the second part is complete BS. This is the same guy who said "I can't have any illegals. I'm running for office for pete's sake." And this is the guy who is gonna end illegal immigration? What a crock.

    December 1, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    "the right answer for America is to stop the growth of the federal government and to start the growth of the private sector."
    Listen to what that says, along with the rest of it. It is a most reasonable and agreeable sounding statement. The words have been very carefullly chosen. What words were used are just as important as those that were not. He avoids "job creators."

    "Growth of the private sector" does not mean the "growth of the middle class" at all. Romeny is talking about the status quo ideology that conservatives have fooled us with for decades. He's talking about making sure that investors are happy and protecting the wealthy.

    "Stop the growth of the federal government" does not mean "cutting spending" at all. Romney's talking about getting rid of the protective regulations that level the playing field and keep us safe from unscrupolous greed. He's talking about making sure that investors are happy and protecting the wealthy.

    Everything he says means the same thing. He's talking about making sure that investors are happy and protecting the wealthy.

    December 1, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  5. Publius Novus

    Willard Romney, conservative businessman. Government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations.

    December 1, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  6. ThinkAgain

    "Conservative businessman" Translation: Make money like I did, by breaking up American companies, laying off American workers and shipping American jobs overseas.

    December 1, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I can see the race for the nomination coming down to Romney, Gingrich with another two like Cain, Santorum and Huntsman hanging on for dear life. Perry may have the money, but his flubs won't win him votes. Bachmann lost the tea partiers enthusiaism when Perry showed up. Ron Paul has never been enough there to get the votes; lots of people like the ideas, but they don't vote.

    December 1, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. Marie MD

    Conservative??? The flip flopper conservative? The man who fired American workers to send thdif jobs out of the country. Then again, promises of Jobs not kept.

    December 1, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  9. Corporations R. People II

    Lie #1: Life in private sector....not so, been campaigning for a long time. Mitt's second career has been as the weathervane candidate perpetually running, his first career leads us to....
    Lie #2: ..."competed with companies around the world. I've learned something about how it is that economies grow" Willard has not competed with companies around the world, he's surrendered and slashed (cough cough Bain) but not competed and grown middle class incomes. Unless Willard is talking about outsourcing jobs overseas, he and his poor record of job growth in the Commonwealth of MA is full of it.

    December 1, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  10. Former Republican, now an Independent

    This ad should read "Mitt Romney, Bad American Businessman". There is not one shred of evidence that Romney ever created jobs as a businessman. There is however, evidence that he reduced jobs in this country.

    December 1, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  11. Mikey

    Being a corporate raider who acquired companies stripped off parts, sent jobs overseas, squeezed out all the value, and then left the shell to rot and send the remaining employees to the unemployment line may sell well in the GOP primary, but probably not so much in the general election.

    It is easier to destroy than to build. Mitt specialized in taking the value that others had built, sucking it out, and then leaving the reaminder to implode. He does not have a record of actually creating value or creating jobs. He was a corporate parasite.

    December 1, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  12. Andrew

    Go MItt! We support you all the way to the White House. ROMNEY 2012!

    December 1, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  13. A disgusted former Republican

    Willard, the man with all the answers. What will his answers be next week?

    December 1, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |