Attention Republican primary voters opposed to raising the debt ceiling and fed up with the men running the party in Congress: Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) wants you to know he’s been there for you before, and he’ll be there for you again.
Just days after announcing his retirement from Congress to focus on his 2012 presidential bid, Paul is going up in Iowa and New Hampshire with his first TV ad.
And he’s taking direct aim at the men running his party in Congress.
The minute-long ad focuses on the debt ceiling fight, which is cast in the ad’s movie preview theme as an epic struggle between the forces of good and evil (or “compromise” as the ad says) lasting for decades. With a grainy shot of House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on screen, Paul’s campaign makes it clear which side he thinks the current crop of Republican leaders comes down on.
“We know where they stand,” the narrator says as images of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filling the screen.
“But will our party’s leaders repeat the mistakes of the past?” the narrator asks. “Will they choose compromise? Or conviction?”
Watch the spot, first posted by Politico Thursday:
The TV ad is the culmination of weeks of Paul campaign attacks on the leaders of the Republican party. Banner ads that have appeared all over the Internet (including TPM) point to this site urging folks to get on board with Paul to prevent “John Boehner and other Washington insiders” in their attempts to “sell the Tea Party and our nation down the river by caving in to President Obama on increasing the debt AND raising taxes.”
“I refuse to sit still while another Big Government-empowering compromise to raise the debt ceiling is forced on the American people,” Paul says in a letter posted to the site, “but limited government patriots will only prevail if our elected officials hear from us right away!”
Paul’s not the only candidate to run hard against an increase in the debt ceiling — both Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and others have taken a strong stand against hiking the nation’s borrowing limit — but Paul is the only candidate running this hard against his party’s national leaders.
It’s classic Paul and it comes just as conservative and tea party voters are in full-on freakout mode over Mitch McConnell’s plan to end the debt ceiling dispute.
Polls in both Iowa and New Hampshire show Paul’s still got the juice to make a sizeable impact in the 2012 race. His fundraising has been decent, and of course he’s still got his base of ravenous Paul supporters who’ve been storming their way into conservative events for months.