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Candidates Sell Themselves—and Attack Each Other—in South Carolina

Friday, January 13, 2012

A still from a campaign ad for Mitt Romney.

With Iowa and New Hampshire in the rear-view mirror, Republican candidates are making their pitch to South Carolina voters with expensive ad buys and fresh attacks.

Mitt Romney is in everyone's crosshairs this week, as he fends off attacks about whether he rescued struggling businesses at Bain Capital or pillaged them. Newt Gingrich has led the charge in South Carolina, where his television spots feature the former Massachusetts Governor more prominently than the former Speaker. Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry attempt to brush off their rocky starts with super-patriotic ads. Ron Paul hammers Rick Santorum, for some reason, while the latter claims he's got the best chance of beating Obama in a general election.

Mitt Romney — "Bright Future"

Anti-Romney Republicans have released a thirty-minute advertisement in South Carolina shredding his experience at Bain Capital, adding "job-killer" to a list of charges that already includes "flip-flopper" and "out-of-touch, mega-rich robot." What's a battered former corporate turnaround artist to do? Remind everyone that he invented Staples or whatever.

Newt Gingrich — "For the Dogs"

People are going to start thinking Newt has a thing for Mittens. This "Romney Says the Darndest Things" ad is almost two minutes long, and it's exclusively the front-runner saying things that he probably shouldn't have said. "I like being able to fire people." "I'm also unemployed." "Ten thousand dollars?" It even digs up that clip from the 2008 contest when he sang "Who Let the Dogs Out." Also, something about how he kept his dog on top of his car?

The takeaway being that this guy couldn't possibly beat Obama in a debate. Guess who can.

Jon Huntsman — "Country First"

Forever trying to convince the GOP that he is the adult in the room, Jon Huntsman defends a blemish in his record: gaining first-hand foreign policy experience while in the employ of Barack Obama. This pales in comparison to the hurdles faced by the rest of the field, which include past extra-marital dalliances, inconsistent records, debate chokes, racist newsletters, and lewd neologisms.

Rick Santorum — "Very Best Chance"

Santorum says he has the best chance to beat Obama out of all the Republican candidates—which is kind of not true.

Ron Paul — "Betrayal"

It's consistent for a candidate known for his consistency to call out others when they're inconsistent. Santorum's on the menu this week.

Rick Perry — "Champion"

Fighter jets! Iwo Jima! "Don't Tread on Me!"

Ladies and gentlemen, the only positive, non-defensive campaign ad of the week.

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Comments [2]

listener

"Candidates Sell Themselves—and Attack Each Other" as they struggle to earn the nomination of their party to challenge a sitting President in an election is actually a merciful blessing our nation enjoys and it is a shame some are too ignorant and cynical to appreciate it.

During most of world history this kind of peaceful political contest in order to be the leader of a nation was almost unimaginable and today we take it for granted or have contempt for the process when we should be thankful for it.

Our churlish and derisive attitude to this primary should evaporate when one considers the brutal alternative that has been the norm for centuries and even to this day in many places in the world.

Jan. 16 2012 06:51 PM

Pol i tic ian, n. One who is designated by the people to receive the largesse of lobbyists and special interests.

Jan. 16 2012 07:25 AM

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