WASHINGTON, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Republican presidential
candidate Mitt Romney on Wednesday unveiled his first
television ad to be aired in Nevada - one that links his rival
Newt Gingrich with the housing crisis that has racked Nevada for
"While Nevada families lost everything in the housing
crisis, Newt Gingrich cashed in," the announcer said in the ad
entitled "Nevada Families".
The ad focused on a topic close to the heart of Nevada,
which has had the highest rate of foreclosure filings in the
country for the past five years, according to data firm
RealtyTrac. The Nevada Republican caucus is on Feb. 4.
"Gingrich was paid over $1.6 million by the scandal-ridden
agency that helped create the crisis," the announcer said,
referring to Gingrich's ties with mortgage giant Freddie Mac.
The ad also pointed out that when he was speaker of the U.S.
House of Representatives, Gingrich was sanctioned for ethics
violations and ordered to pay a fine of $300,000.
The ad ends with a picture of Gingrich alongside a picture
of Democratic President Barack Obama and the announcer says "If
Newt wins, this guy would be very happy."
Romney and Gingrich are in a fierce battle for the
Republican presidential nomination to try to prevent Obama's
re-election. Both are spending most of their money and efforts
right now in Florida, which votes on Tuesday.
As a sign that the campaign for the Republican nomination
could drag on for a while, the "Super PAC" that supports Romney,
but is legally independent from his campaign, has already bought
air time in Nevada as well as Michigan and Arizona, which do not
hold presidential nominating contests until Feb. 28.
(Reporting by Deborah Charles and Alina Selyukh; Editing by
© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.