Ad wars to intensify
February 15th, 2012
06:16 PM ET
2 years ago

Ad wars to intensify

Washington (CNN) - The war of commercials from the presidential campaigns and various super PACs supporting candidates is expected to intensify in the coming days and to greatly expand in its scope.

Mitt Romney's campaign has now bought almost $1.2 million in ad time in Michigan, a source who tracks media buys told CNN. So far the campaign has up a positive spot in the state where the candidate talks about his Michigan roots. His campaign did not respond to a request for comment regarding its ad strategy.

With Rick Santorum vowing to vigorously compete in Michigan, which votes on Feb. 28th, the state will be a major focus of activity with all sides knowing the outcome there will be a key factor in determining how the race unfolds.

Santorum's campaign went up with its third spot in Michigan Wednesday going after Romney after releasing two positive ads in the state on Tuesday.

So far the campaign's ad purchases in the state have been small.

The Santorum team is planning on expanding its ad presence there and in other key states hoping it can start introducing the former Pennsylvania senator and also pre-empt attacks coming from the tremendous financial and organizational advantage enjoyed by the Romney team and the super PAC supporting him.

In the next several days, the Santorum campaign said it plans to start airing commercials in Arizona, which also votes on Feb. 28th, as well as key Super Tuesday states Ohio, Georgia, Tennessee and Oklahoma, according to senior campaign officials John Brabender and Alice Stewart.

Romney is getting a major boost from that well-funded super PAC supporting his candidacy, Restore Our Future. This week it bought $1.5 million in commercials in Michigan, Arizona, Ohio, Tennessee, Georgia and Oklahoma but also moderate buys in March 13th states of Alabama and Mississippi.

The group on Wednesday started airing an ad criticizing Santorum as a “Washington insider” in Michigan, Arizona and Ohio.

The super PAC backing Santorum, the Red, White and Blue Fund, will try to minimize the impact in Michigan. It will announce on Thursday it is launching a "substantial" ad buy in Michigan, its spokesman Stuart Roy told CNN. He did not provide further details.

Santorum will need the help in order to combat the dual barrage from Romney and his allies.

Newt Gingrich currently has no ads running. Winning Our Future, the super PAC supporting Gingrich, will launch a national radio campaign on Thursday but has no plans for television buys, according to its spokesman Rick Tyler

Also see:

Gingrich: Santorum 'misunderstands' modern warfare

Santorum slams Obama administration as 'elite snobs'

Romney surrogates attack Santorum's record

CNN Poll: Romney's likability fading

CNN Poll: Gender and income gaps in GOP nomination battle


Filed under: 2012 • Michigan • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Jake

    as BOTH of their unfavorable ratings PLUNGE lower and lower!

    February 15, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  2. Dave

    No matter how much super mormon pack money their is & there is & its a stupid amount, the people of this great nation, really dislike Mr Personality.

    February 15, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  3. Dave

    Super secret Packs, wrong , wrong, horrible decision by Scalia & Roberts & Co very bad for democracy

    February 15, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  4. jad

    when i listen to romney i think of mr crap from spongbob lol

    February 15, 2012 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  5. mirrorlogic

    This should not be ad wars...it should be called mud wars! Isn't that what Santorum says about Willard Mitt? And more importantly, isn't that correct?

    He plays the same playbook - attack, attack, attack...don't talk about what he will do, just attack everyone else. Is a HYPER-RICH guy like that what we really want? A mud slinger...a super-rich mud slinger.

    February 15, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  6. David Burnham

    Are they trying to stop people from going to the polls and voting. We are so inidated with the commercials that it makes us sick. We watch them and they turn our stomachs. If you look at voter turn out it is extemely low. Between 5 and 10% of the registered voters even bother going to the polls to vote. We as an American public are tired of having to vote for the least of two evits. We the American public are sick and tired of the corruption that goes on in politics. Any person that signs a petition to a special interest group is treasonist in my opinion. They take an oath on the Bible to defend the American People and all of them protect their special interest groups. When is this going to stop? When the American People stand up and say enough is enough?

    February 15, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Spend that money! If they spend all that money now, maybe there will be less spent during the general election. I can always hope.

    February 15, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  8. Rick

    I'm voting for Abo – Anybody But Obama

    February 15, 2012 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  9. Larry L

    The President's numbers go up as the former Republican faithful reject this ridiculous group of clown car candidates. The Tea Party made the Republicans believe all voters were radicals – but the actual numbers show the moderate Republicans and independents are running away from this political farce. All Republicans aren't hateful and crazy.

    February 15, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  10. cisco4

    MItt vs Ricky...or santa..?

    February 15, 2012 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  11. sonnie2

    Romney can only fight dirty. Where is a plank or two to show what platform he stands on. Or is his style just to run down his fellow man. Is this the morman cult in him showing??

    February 15, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  12. larry5

    If the ads are one's only source of information that makes them very important. It's a trend fostered by the media. It's a pretty good way to make a living and you don't have to be bothered with making a product or supplying a useful service or dealing with customers. Getting Obama elected to the office of the President of the United States is a demonstration of their power and influence. If you put forth getting Obama elected as a business plan you'd be laughed out of the conference room and drummed out of your job. But big money and the media did it and they plan on doing it again. The ads are very important and very expensive.

    February 15, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  13. Randy, San Francisco

    Great timing! Just when the public is sick of politicians in Washington, the three GOP/Tea Party candidates will go negative with campaign ads. The mud slingling with all the lies, deception, half-truths, and personal attacks will nauseate even the most ardent social conservative voter.

    February 15, 2012 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  14. J.V.Hodgson

    I want to Puke.If these ads influence voters when the candidate they support or oppose/ criticise AND SAY THEY cannot influence ( HA HA in theory what they say or do) It a) denigrates voters intelligence , but that said unfortunately has a negative influence if ANY KIND OF INFLUENCE, in the election process.
    THE REAL KILLER POINT IS THAT ROMNEY SANTORUM ET ALL MUST " IN THEORY " NEITHER SUPPORT OR REJECT THE ADS ( FREE SPEECH ETC) QED, is what is said by a SUPER PAC supported by a candidate I might vote for? He is denied his right to say yeah or nay apparently.... not by the law but a cop out as candidates are quite happy for the help!!
    I WANNA KNOW CANDIDATE x DO YOU AGREE OR NOT WITH THAT AD. OK YOU CANNOT STOP THEM SAYING WHAT THEY WANT BUT THEY CAN'T STOP YOU SAYING WHOA I DON'T SUPPORT THAT, OR GIVING VENT TO YOUR FREEDOM OF SPEECH, and qualifying what you think is Ok or not in the ad.
    Freedom of speech is two street and candidates choose to not exercise that when pacs are working toward thier personal ends.... hypocritical at least.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    February 16, 2012 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  15. Anthony

    Mitt Romney has lost the central argument for his candidacy: his electability. According to the polls, not only is Romney running behind Obama, he is now running behind Santorum in the swing states of Michigan and Ohio. All the money in the world and support from establishment Republicans cannot get the Republican rank and file to fall in line. Obama may have to start paying attention to Santorum. Santorum may have trouble winning over the independents in the general election, but it is clear that Romney has a tough time winning his own party.

    February 16, 2012 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  16. OrangeW3dge

    Is there anyone recording all of these "ads"? It would make an entertaining segment to play them side by side

    February 16, 2012 04:02 am at 4:02 am |
  17. Guess What

    if you want another obama, then vote for romney

    February 16, 2012 05:39 am at 5:39 am |
  18. Terry - Indiana

    "His mom wears combat boots." Wait, that might be true. We are only interested in throwing mud, not facts. "He is a liar." Come-on guys, the voters are not interested in the facts.

    February 16, 2012 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  19. T'sah from Virginia

    ►TRENDING: Ad wars to intensify◄
    Yep, between two men that doesn’t even qualify
    To reside at the WH – Just too much far-Right drama
    No Thank You – I'll just stick with President Obama!!!

    Obama 2012! Yes We Can!

    February 16, 2012 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  20. Nathadale@What to do in London

    Election is coming and the battle for the next president begins, it is up to the people of America to decide who is next president. But this year is more crucial that's why all the people must vote based on their heart on what they see and observed to each candidate.

    February 16, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  21. ardale

    The Koch Bros might go broke if this keeps up.....naw just wishful thinking

    February 16, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  22. Mk54

    Mud gun politics seems to be getting less effective...maybe because the Republican candidates are already soaked in mud.

    February 16, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  23. wgf

    As of last night Romney was outspending Santorum 30 to 1 in Michigan. So maybe it's true that money can't by everything - even in politics. What a refreshing thought.

    February 16, 2012 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  24. GROVER NORQUIST IS AN ENEMY OF THE STATE

    So far Ayatollah Santorum is winning this ad war with the Mud Gun ad. Hilarious!

    February 16, 2012 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  25. Truth

    I can not see any difference between Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. At least some of Obama's former supporters are waking up to all of our officials being puppets for cooperate interests since they noticed his administration is no different the Bush's. Others just are mismerized that someone with charisma is POTUS and don't fact check what he claims.

    February 16, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
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