With the Iowa caucuses looming just over the horizon, Governor Perry is swinging hard at Rick Santorum. The former Pennsylvania senator leads the pack among the more socially-conservative GOP presidential candidates.
In this new advertisement, the Perry campaign literally shows pigs in an effort to draw a comparison between pork barrel politics and Santorum’s three-year-old comment on Fox News that “I’ll defend earmarks." Earmarks are provisions added to bills that direct funds to projects in lawmakers' home districts.
The ad repeats Santorum's one-second comment six times, each time highlighting an earmarks Santorum put into bills while serving in Congress. Unsettling carnival music plays in the background, while a portrait of President Obama slowly transforms into the face of the former Senator.
Santorum has rebuffed Perry's attack on earmarks, saying he's "proud" of money he brought back to his state.
"If you look at the Constitution, the Constitution gives the power of the purse to Congress; the Congress is the one that's supposed to spend the money," Santorum said last week, according to MSNBC.com. "So the idea that earmarks is somehow against the Constitution or something that is illicit, that the congressman can or shouldn't do is simply, factually incorrect."
The latest Real Clear Politics polling average shows Perry in fifth place with 11.5 percent support among Iowa Republicans. Santorum is in third with 16.3 percent. Both are competing for a pool of socially conservative voters, predominantly Evangelical Christians.
KUT News and NPR will have live coverage of the Iowa caucuses tomorrow night, with reports from the campaign headquarters of both Governor Perry and Congressman Ron Paul. It starts tomorrow night at 8 p.m. on KUT. And we’ll be posting results here at kutnews.org.