Mud gun aids Santorum bid in new ad
February 15th, 2012
08:47 AM ET
3 years ago

Mud gun aids Santorum bid in new ad

Washington (CNN) – The political back and forth between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum heated up Wednesday with new ads in the next states to vote in the Republican presidential primary.

Santorum's campaign took a comedic turn in a new spot literally taking aim at Romney's record, including the health care legislation passed in Massachusetts. The commercial airing in Michigan uses an actor wearing a tie to portray Romney shooting mud at a cut out of Santorum, but missing his target.

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"This time Romney's firing his mud at Rick Santorum … Romney's trying to hide from his big government 'Romneycare,'" the narrator says.

"In the end Mitt Romney's ugly attacks are going to backfire," the ad continues before mud splatters over the faux-Romney.

Responding to the ad with a chuckle on Fox News Wednesday, Romney said "that's the nature of politics, which is that you always accuse the other guy of what you're doing yourself."

The former Massachusetts governor said his campaign has yet to run negative ads against Santorum, who he said went negative in South Carolina and whose PAC did the same in Missouri. Santorum is also up with biography-touting spots in early voting states.

Although Romney's campaign has run positive spots, especially in his native Michigan where voters head to the polls on February 28, the super PAC supporting his candidacy has not been so kind.

Restore Our Future released a spot in Michigan as well as Arizona, which also votes on February 28, and Ohio, where ballots will be cast on March 6 that characterizes Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, as a "big spender Washington insider."

The new commercial is consistent with Team Romney's line of criticism that Santorum supported increases to the debt ceiling and pork barrel spending while serving in the Senate.

"Santorum voted to raise the debt limit five times and for billions in wasteful projects," the ad's narrator says. "In a single session Santorum co-sponsored 51 bills to increase spending and zero to cut spending."

The group has purchased $640,000 worth of air time in Michigan, in addition to the $121,000 in Arizona, as previously reported by CNN.

The uptick in TV spending comes as Santorum has experienced a surge following wins in Missouri, Mississippi and Colorado. Recent polling shows Santorum is on top of Romney, but within the sampling error, in Michigan and Ohio polling. The two candidates will next meet on stage at a presidential debate co-sponsored by CNN in Arizona on February 22.

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 • Ads • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (158 Responses)
  1. Tony

    Responding to the ad with a chuckle on Fox News Wednesday, Romney said "that's the nature of politics, which is that you always accuse the other guy of what you're doing yourself."

    Romney knows what he is talking about. He wants to repeal Obama's health care plan that was based on his Massachusetts health care plan.

    February 15, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  2. rika33

    Romeny is tame compared to the hate our intellectual elites are spewing at Santorum and his family. Anyone who disagrees with their beliefs is in serious needs or reducation – and given a chance they would be setting up facilities to make sure we all think correctly. Vote Santorum.

    February 15, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    I'm enjoying this. The fact is, neither of these two moral cripples deserves the nomination, much less the presidency. Santorum's attacks are symptomatic of the process the Catholci Church uses to make someone a saint: he's looking for proof of at least one miracle. The miracle is that anyone would willingly choose a failed one-term governor who ruuns from his signature accomplishment, a disgraced Speaker, and a Senator who was branded among the most corrupt Senators in DC, and yet paints the president as an " elitist snob"( as if being a Senator does not place you in very elite company). Proof of the lack of faith amongst the GOP and Independents is the rapid decline in enthusiasum for their choices, and the increase in support amongst the Independents for the President: even Rassmussen is taking note of this. No faith, no miracle, no GOP win in 2012.

    February 15, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  4. Max.

    What a JERK !!!!!

    How can Romney who previously wished that Michigan go 'Bankrupt' as the 'Motor City', and expect them to support him now? Isn't he a true representative of what a 'JERK' is?

    Oh! what a JERK!!!!

    February 15, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  5. ShawnDH

    Both Romney and Santorum (oh and Gingrich, Perry, Bachmann...) are a total embarrassment to the United States. THESE are serious candidates in a modern, 21st-century country? Though it IS kind of fun to watch all this childish and pathetic fighting over who will have the privilege to lose to Obama in November. Republicans, you should be truly embarrassed by these clowns. As an American, I sure am.

    February 15, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  6. Terry

    Romney was heard to say, "I don't mind throwing mud at Santorum, but some of this crap is getting on me". "Can I wear a clear plastic raincoat during my speeches?"

    February 15, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  7. BE in TN

    Both of these guys are scary; if either is elected, the education system in this country is a total failure!!!!!!

    February 15, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  8. knowndoyen

    I sure hope people can see the difference between the healthcare in Massachusetts and the one pushed down our throats by the Dems and Obama. Youn need to ask yourself these questions: Did it add to the national debt? NO. Was the healthcare passed years ago in Masachusetts affecting my healthcare? NO. Was I forced to get healthcare living outside the state of Massachusetts? NO. Romney got it right healthcare should be a state issue and not on a national level. It would create competition which would lower cost and if your state offered better healthcare than you might see growth that is needed. Obamacare added to the debt in the Trillions and it will affect my healthcare and it will be forced on me or my employer. Santorum is running down the wrong path with this line trying to attack Romney for something the people in his state wanted. One last thing has the Massachusetts healthcare been repealed? NO. Becuase it is working although it might not be perfect. Think about it. Apples and Oranges to bad Santorum cannot see the difference.

    February 15, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  9. Thomas

    Anyone that switches their vote from Romney to Santorum due to some stupid advertising has serious issues anyhow...

    OH WAIT! That's America!

    We're doomed.

    February 15, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  10. v_mag

    Millions of years ago, creatures crawled out of the mud to walk on dry land, in the sunshine, for the first time.

    I thought the Repugnants only wanted to take us back to the 19th century, but it looks like they have a much earlier period in mind. Maybe by the end of this primary season, they will have evolved into a higher life form, but don't count on it.

    February 15, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  11. Tom

    Are Romney and Santorum throwing mud or crap? I think the latter, 'cause they both stink.

    February 15, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  12. republican party = septic tank

    Is there a "bigotry" gun that Mr. Romney could point at Santorum?

    February 15, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  13. Andy Smith

    knowndoyen, your argument is flawed. Maybe the Mass. healthcare didn't add to the national debt (maybe because it's a state and not a nation), but did it add to the economic burden on Mass, probably yes (so both healthcare plans do the same). Maybe the Mass healthcare isn't impact you, but to others in Mass, it probably is (so both healthcare plans do the same, with "Obamacare" affect some in the population differently than others). Maybe the Mass. healthcare doesn't mandate the purchase of healthcare for other states (you do know that another state can't mandate laws for other states), but if I lived in Mass., I have a mandate from the state gov't (both healthcare plans do the same for the people living in geographic area under their control). As for the healthcare issue being a state issue, what give states more of right to "tread on me" than the national gov't? The "treading on me" aspect is the same for a family whether it comes from the national or state gov't. And how would the states' right thing work anyway? So if my state doesn't mandate that all get insurance, I'm supposed to live in the "tryanny" of my state gov't? Or if my state's healthcare plan doesn't cover certain prescription medication I take, I should become "less of a citizen" in that state and get punished for where I live? That seems to be a bigger infringement of my citizen's rights than any mandate in the national healthcare plan.

    February 15, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  14. The Refudiator

    @BE in TN You got it right.
    Education is kriptonite to the GOP. They've even coined a term for educated people "ELITIST".

    February 15, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  15. The Real Tom Paine

    knowndoyen, Romney has gone on record any number of times stating how he felt MA should be a model for the country and that the approach in MA could be adapted on a national scale. In addition, the MA program does not add any significant amount ( if any)to the national debt because its a state program. By the way, the mandate is a GOP brainchild, championed by Gingrich and implemented in MA by Romney, along with similar programs pushed by other GOP governors like George Pataki of New York. A national program sets a standard the state programs should meet: if the state program is better than the federal standard, its the law of that state, then your comment about campetition might actually make sense. Having one consistent standard for health insurance across the country makes perfect sense: too bad the GOP does not see the wisdom of its own idea.

    February 15, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  16. Puddin

    Except for Ron Paul (bless him) everyone of them should be slowly lowered into a mud pit, and left there for a few minutes for their mud-slinging. The mud pit is there by their own doing. President Obama won't have to sling mud in the election; he can just stand at the podium, tell it like it is and grin while he points out the truth.

    February 15, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  17. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    Way to fight fire with fire Ayatollah Santorum. All you have to do to beat Willard is show clips of him taking different positions on different issues. He can't run from his record.

    February 15, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  18. diridi

    what is wrong in mandating health care? Are you not mandated to buy your car insurance? Are you not mandated to pay taxes? Are you not mandated to pay for FICA? Are you not mandated to drive in right lane? This health care is stopping insurance idiots from Pre-Existing conditions. You do not know this, ask any one that underwent this. Do not cry on health care. I am glad this law is passed. You cry because none of the white presidents passed. It is a law, law of the land. OK. Just because Republican idiots cry, do not cry. We need this health care law and we needed for long time. Obama2012.

    February 15, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  19. Bessy

    These clowns have made it an absolute embarrassment to even watch their campaigns. The US is the laughing stock of the world. Not one of them, or the clowns who already pulled out, are even worthy of the great honor of being the POTUS. I think it will be many years before the Republicans will be able to run a qualified candidate if this is the best they have to show the country.

    February 15, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  20. Anonymous

    You're absolutely right rika33. Frothy does believe that anyone who disagrees with his beliefs is in need of reeducation, and if given the chance would be setting up facilities! Fortunately for us, he'll never get that chance!

    February 15, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  21. ShawnDH

    knowndoyen: Nothing was "shoved down your throat." We elected Dems and Obama who promised healthcare reform and they delivered. Most Americans support the provisions in the Affordable Care Act, and of course, I guarantee you can't come up with a single provision that negatively affects your healthcare. Specifics, please. You don't have any, and we will NOT go back to allowing insurance companies to refuse coverage to anybody who has ever been sick in their lives. Obamacare saves lives and doesn't cost yuo a dime, so stop whining.

    February 15, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  22. Expat American

    When is this country finally going to wake up?
    The Romney and Santorum battle is a mere distraction and a sideshow.
    The future of America lies in the hands of a Republican Sarah/Todd Palin / Michelle Bachmann 2012 ticket.
    I watched part of Palin’s speech at the CPAC Cross Burning, and I was moved to tears.
    Her and Todd even handed out free hot dogs and t-shirts, just like she did back in '08....

    February 15, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  23. Malory Archer

    knowndoyen, if healthcare was a state issue vs. a federal issue, and you were injured while on business or vacationing in another state, who is to say that your state policy would be valid in the host state? Who would be responsible for paying for your medical care; you or the host state? What if the host state doesn't offer healthcare to its residents? Who is going to tell the host state that they are required to accept your homestate's healthcare – the government?!

    February 15, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  24. ron

    And you can't get out of debt if you make make up fake number in thin air and there is not that amount to go around...its decline...sorry that a 23 year old guy knows more on finance then you key board warriors...

    February 15, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  25. Larry in Houston

    @DIRIDI – I Totally agree w/ You !! You are Spot on. btw – love all of your posts !!

    February 15, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
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