In the last GOP presidential debate, Mitt Romney expressed aloud that he wished he had spent more time criticizing President Barack Obama rather than his fellow Republicans. This happened prior to his 12-point loss in the South Carolina primary.
Now he is facing a contest in Florida in which two recent polls show him trailing behind former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. As a result, Romney is running a slew of negative messages on the Florida airwaves.
During the past few weeks, the Romney campaign and groups in support of his candidacy have spent millions on radio, television, and direct-mail advertising. As of Jan. 19, the campaign had already spent $2.4 million on television ads in the Sunshine State, according to the Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG) of Kantar Media.
Restore Our Future, a super PAC that supports the former Massachusetts governor, had already spent an additional amount of approximately $2.4 million, most of which had attacked Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
Romney’s campaign ads have run most frequently in the Orlando and Tampa markets, where 45 percent of the state’s 4 million registered Republicans live.
The ad campaign sought to influence the early voting in Florida, where roughly 200,000 people have already cast early and absentee ballots at a time when Romney appeared to have the momentum.
A new 30-second ad released on Monday, which the Romney campaign is calling “Florida Families,” slams Gingrich for having “cashed in as a D.C. insider.”
In television footage, the narrator and displayed text state, “While Florida families lost everything in the housing crisis, Newt Gingrich cashed in.”
The ad then has Gingrich saying that he gave advice as a historian, after which the narrator asks, “An historian. Really?”
Television ads are paramount in Florida, a state that extends 500 miles from north to south and covers close to 66,000 square miles, diminishing the influence of retail politics on the electoral outcome of the upcoming primary.
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