Mud gun aids Santorum bid in new ad
February 15th, 2012
08:47 AM ET
2 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. Kris

    How can anyone not be frightened of Rick Santorum? OMG? Romney is bad enough, but Rick Santorum? Can't you just smell him from a Mile away? He hates women, blacks, gays and any non Christians. Do you think that with his ideas he would actually reach out his hand to Jesus on the street if he met him today? The GOP is a Clown Car!

    February 15, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  2. Randy, San Francisco

    Fun to see these family values candidates sling the mud around with so much glee and enthusiasm. So much for turning the other cheek.

    February 15, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  3. Al-NY,NY

    it ain't dirt they're throwing.....or shoveling

    February 15, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  4. Taran

    The healthcare issue should be a state issue, not federal government. Per a certain document, the "federal government" cannot mandate the general population purchase anything. The other things mentioned, car insurance, et all, are an apples and oranges comparison. It is not a right or a mandate that people drive cars. Driving a car is a privilege, not a right. So the state says that in order to use the privilege of driving a car, you have to have car insurance.
    That being said, I do agree with some aspects of the healtcare law, i.e. not refusing health insurance due to pre-existing conditions. The healthcare system does need to be fixed, but not the way the healtcare law does it. By the way, my health insurance has almost doubled in cost due to the new law.

    February 15, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  5. Taran

    Really, who is going to pay for it? Per a certain document, the "federal government" cannot mandate the general population purchase anything. The other things mentioned, car insurance, et all, are an apples and oranges comparison. It is not a right or a mandate that people drive cars. Driving a car is a privilege, not a right. So the state says that in order to use the privilege of driving a car, you have to have car insurance.
    That being said, I do agree with some aspects of the healtcare law, i.e. not refusing health insurance due to pre-existing conditions. The healthcare system does need to be fixed, but not the way the healtcare law does it. By the way, my health insurance has almost doubled in cost due to the new law.

    February 15, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  6. Patrick

    This guy just can’t help but be a hypocrite. Must be part of the indoctrination.

    February 15, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. Taran

    Per a certain document, the "federal government" cannot mandate the general population purchase anything. The other things mentioned, car insurance, et all, are an apples and oranges comparison. It is not a right or a mandate that people drive cars. Driving a car is a privilege, not a right. So the state says that in order to use the privilege of driving a car, you have to have car insurance.
    That being said, I do agree with some aspects of the healtcare law, i.e. not refusing health insurance due to pre-existing conditions. The healthcare system does need to be fixed, but not the way the healtcare law does it. By the way, my health insurance has almost doubled in cost due to the new law.

    February 15, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    Interesting commercial. One mud-slinging candidate throwing mud (?) at another mud-slinging candidate. Keeping it classy. For the pig-pen voters anyway.

    Morally and mentally bankrupt in GOPerville ... one day at a time ... one state at a time.

    February 15, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Romney said "that's the nature of politics, which is that you always accuse the other guy of what you're doing yourself."
    ------------------------
    One of the most idiotic statements Mittens has made based on what he accuses the President, and his fellow candidates of doing.
    Obama 2012. Seriously America.

    February 15, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @JMM: Expat American posts on this site quite regularly. I assure you that he was most definitely being sarcastic.

    February 15, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  11. fairandbalanced

    I think it's pretty disingenuous of Romney to try to say "his campaign" hasn't run negative ads against Santorum, when the PAC run by his ex-campaign staffers is running a TON of negative ads (first Gingrich when he was gaining in Iowa, now Santorum after he won in 3 states – sounds like a whiny bully, ticked off that someone dares to challenge the "presumptive" frontrunner).

    He could get those "supporters" to change their actions in a heartbeat – or at least disavow what they are doing in his name – but he does neither. How disgusting!

    Put me down in the "anybody-but-Romney" column!

    February 15, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  12. Solid

    Part of me actually hopes Santorum wins the nomination just to see the look on his crazy religious face as he's giving the biggest landslide election ever to Obama.

    February 15, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  13. GI Joe.

    Notice how it's always guns and violence with the republicans?

    February 15, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  14. GI Joe.

    @Taran

    Read once in awhile. The NEW healthcare can't be causing your premiums to be higher. IT DOESN'T GO INTO EFFECT UNTIL 2013 AND 2014.

    Your Insurance companies are gouging you. Grow up.

    February 15, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  15. The Real Tom Paine

    Taran, most of the provisions in the healthcare law have not taken effect, so if your insurance has doubled, its not because of the law. The one you cited you like, namely the provision of not denying people because of pre-existing conditions, took effect almost immediately: I seriously doubt that is responsible. More likely than not, the decision to increase your premiums was made where such decisions are always made, by people who could care less about our health and more about taking our money.

    February 15, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  16. bookworm

    Santorum was named one of the most corrupt senators by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). There was a reason the folks in PA did not want to re-elect him. Stop falling for his "Ritchie Cunningham" persona.

    February 15, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  17. indyreader

    A please to the media and anyone in any audience who has the chance to address Santorum directly: DO NOT let him get away with hiding his theocratic ambitions and his contempt for anyone who doesn't subscribe to his precise brand of religion. He wants to focus on economic issues lately, but it's a distraction, because he knows there are too many sensible people who don't want even their own religion codified into civil law in order to coerce citizens to conform with dogma they don't believe in. This man is not fit for an office that has to represent ALL citizens of the country equally. He got booed off the stage in New Hampshire – let's make that a more common occurrence.

    February 15, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    "I'm sure these commercials will prompt Rom-money to start wearing white gloves in public to proclaim his innocence. "

    Not sure about the white gloves, but I did notice he's starting to wear v-kneck "sweaters" over his oxford shirts now. Might be good for a few "Santorum" votes down the road...

    February 15, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  19. logicnLA

    So the Republicans currently prefer a a backwards man with 19th century ideas to the Stepford candidate.I only hope this sticks so we can end this arly. Obama will sirge in the polls against this hateful man and the race will be over.

    February 15, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  20. Seattle Sue

    Although Santorum will go as deep into the gutter as any of them, just to gain a few points.

    February 15, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  21. Tony

    Teran,

    That certain document, the U.S. Constitution, says nothing on the subject. True, the federal government cannot regulate intrastate commerce. But Insurance companies are national or regional, so they don't sell their service within a state. Beside, in the Raich v. Gonzales case (2004), the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government can regulate someone growing marijuana in her own backyard, with no intention of selling it. Justice Scalia concurred in the opinion. He is a conservative.

    February 15, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    The Real Tom Paine - Taran, most of the provisions in the healthcare law have not taken effect, so if your insurance has doubled, its not because of the law. The one you cited you like, namely the provision of not denying people because of pre-existing conditions, took effect almost immediately: I seriously doubt that is responsible. More likely than not, the decision to increase your premiums was made where such decisions are always made, by people who could care less about our health and more about taking our money
    ============================================================================================
    Are you serious? Show some facts to back up your statement. Forcing insurance companies to accept everybody and cover all pre-existing conditions could do NOTHING BUT drive their costs UP and the costs for everybody UP. Personally, I have no problem with eliminating this sort of abusive loophole from the insurance companies but I accept the fact that it will increase healthcare costs to EVERYONE. If you are denying this reality, then you are being dishonest.

    February 15, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  23. Dan, TX

    Romney said "that's the nature of politics, which is that you always accuse the other guy of what you're doing yourself." OK, so that's good to know. I will not be voting for Romney in November.

    February 15, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  24. Erik

    Wow this ad is stupid. Incredibly uncreative. Not that political ads are ever very creative, but I think the disturbing bit is this ad tries to be creative and just fails miserably.

    February 15, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  25. Dan, TX

    Taran – I agree with you. But if the federal government can't mandate people buy insurance it also can't mandate that hospitals treat people who can't pay. Hospitals should have the right to let people die in the emergency room who can't provide proof of insurance. But, then our society doesn't allow that, does it? So, if we aren't allowed to let people die, why would we allow people to not pay the cost of their health care and let them get a free ride off of everyone else?

    February 15, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
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