Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul today began running a new TV ad that attempts to turn the attacks of his rivals into positive credentials.
Paul's commercial, which is running in Iowa and New Hampshire, bills him as the only candidate who can stand up to a "Washington machine" that is "strangling our economy."
"Serial hypocrites and flip-floppers can't clean up the mess," the narrator says as stark photos appear of opponents Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. "One man stands alone … consistent, incorruptible, guided by faith and principle—Ron Paul, the one we've been looking for."
Paul, a U.S. representative from Texas, is under attack in Iowa by his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination as they try to slow his rise in the first caucus state, which holds the kickoff GOP nominating contest on Tuesday. New Hampshire holds the first primary on January 10.
Paul is leading in some Iowa polls with his message of increasing individual liberty, slashing federal spending, severely limiting government power, and pulling back U.S. troops from around the world.
Gingrich, who has been fading in Iowa polls, told CNN this week that he would not vote for Paul if the Texas congressman were to become the Republican nominee because his views are too extreme and he displays a "systematic avoidance of reality." This was Gingrich's response to weeks of negative television ads sponsored by Paul that criticized Gingrich as a flip-flopper who isn't a reliable conservative.
Paul also is taking flak from other candidates including former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. Romney on Wednesday criticized Paul for his willingness to allow Iran to build a nuclear weapon.The Paul ad argues that his longtime emphasis on libertarian principles, coupled with his being outside the "mainstream" in Washington, would allow him to confront the status quo as president and dismantle the power structure. Most Americans tell pollsters that they are very displeased with the direction of the country, so Paul's ad could resonate.