Romney ad goes on the attack in Ohio
March 2nd, 2012
01:02 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney ad goes on the attack in Ohio

Washington (CNN) - Mitt Romney's campaign unleashed a new attack ad on Rick Santorum in the key battleground state of Ohio calling him "just another Washington insider."

The commercial, which started airing Thursday, emphasizes how Santorum has seemingly shifted positions on whether the government should support clinics that provide contraception and other health services for women.

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In the new spot the announcer first states that while in the Senate Santorum voted for funds for Planned Parenthood and then used an old clip of him saying "I support Title X."

Then the announcer says "Now he says differently" quoting Santorum from the CNN Republican Party of Arizona debate saying "I opposed Title X funding. I've always opposed Title X funding."

Santorum has explained the distinction by saying he voted for appropriation bills that included the Title X money because he supported what else would be funded. He said in the CNN debate "there were things in there I didn't like, things in there I did, but when it came to this issue, I proactively stepped forward and said that we need to do something at least to counterbalance it."

The spot hits Santorum saying "except he gets caught" and then uses this clip from the CNN debate: "I have a personal moral objection to it even though I don't support it, that I voted for bills that included it." What the former Pennsylvania senator then added that is not included in the commercial is that "I made it very clear in subsequent interviews that I - I don't support that," which was met by boos in the audience.

"I've never supported it - and - and have - and on an individual basis have voted against it. And that's why I proposed Title XX to counterbalance," which funded abstinence education, Santorum said.

The ad tries to paint Santorum as unprincipled when it says "Rick does this a lot" and then uses a different snippet of Santorum talking at the debate "It was against the principles I believed in, you know, when you're part of the team sometimes you take one for the team." There he was talking about his vote for the "No Child Left Behind" education reform bill. Now he says that vote was a mistake.

The super PAC pushing Romney, Restore Our Future, also released a new ad Thursday, hitting Santorum on the same themes. Airing in Ohio, Tennessee and Oklahoma, the spot argues "Santorum says he's the principled conservative, but that's not how he voted."

It then uses the same clip the Romney campaign commercial used, saying he had a "personal moral objection" to those funds but voted for bills including the money.

The ad ends with the tag line: "Twenty years in Washington changed Santorum's principles."

- CNN's Michael Waldon contributed to this story.

Also see:

Seattle Times supports Romney as 'default choice' ahead of caucuses

Paul flier hits the other candidates

Gingrich robo call labels Santorum 'union bosses' pal'

Michigan results provoke accusations, ire

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Ohio • Rick Santorum
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Washington-Insider...?

    Romney seems to paint serving in Washington for the People...a dirty word. So, why has he now campaigned for more than five year to become a Washington-Insider...? and oh yes Romney says: "I know how the economy works...which one? He has been away from it too long to know how todays economy works...!

    March 2, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  2. jmarie

    While Romney was approving the morning after pill, Santorum was authoring the halt to partial birth abortions. Romney is indifferent on this moral issue which happens to be at the root of our moral decay. An obvious assertion if one takes the time to look at the facts. This ad is phony out of context.

    Americans should not be afraid to vote the courage of their convictions!!

    March 2, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  3. Vic

    Santorum has no core convictions. He is just another dirty, corrupt politician playing politics like a sport. His senate voting record is abysmal. Shows he is a big goverment guy who loves his earmarks without any respect for the taxpayers. He is against public school but then cheated the PA taxpayers to fund for his children's cyberschool and without any shame, he will not reimburse the state of PA that costs almost $100,000. Do as I say, not as I do.... he is just another Obama. Difference is Santorum is a right wing religious zealot while Obama is a Radical socialist liberal whackjob! Neither are fit to be president. Romney is the only qualifed and the most competent candidate who can beat Obama!

    March 2, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. Reuel

    Romney is a BIG SPENDER.
    He spent 6X more money as Santorum to get more or less the same number of delegates in Michigan.
    So, if we need a President that CAN reduce the Budget spending – it has to be Santorum NOT Romney.

    Imagine the Federal Gevernment Spending only 1/6 of the money and getting the same results – when Santorum is President.

    March 2, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. Monica

    Willard, is the story breaking over at Huffpo really true that you had one of your guys collecting donations from Credit Suisse overseas for your campagin? Andrea Saul has to explain that e-mail regarding it, you know. Such a clean-cut look you have, too.

    March 2, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. T'sah from Virginia

    ►Romney ad goes on the attack in Ohio◄
    Nothing new – the attacks are for him to show
    how much money he has from the rich folks
    that's sponsoring a campaign that is really a JOKE!!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!

    March 2, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  7. Voltaire

    Admiral ann of the ss romney is trying valiantly to single handedly steer that already sinking ship towards only economy discussions. after all these months on the campaign trail only today have suffering women begun to tell her their stories and she will graciously condescend to listen to them so she can then direct her clueless husband on how to help them.

    March 2, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
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