Replican Political Slam Campaigns Continue Mitt and Newt Are At It Again…
Florida Ad War: Mitt Pounds Newt
We look at the flood of TV ads attacking Gingrich in Florida’s key primary
Posted on January 26, 2012
The air wars in a pivotal Florida Republican primary race have so far been a decidedly one-sided affair, with Mitt Romney and a pro-Romney super PAC saturating the airwaves for weeks with a slew of attack ads aimed chiefly at Newt Gingrich.
Many of the attacks are accurate. But the avalanche of negativity also contains a few distortions, including some that are being recycled.
One claim that is repeated in several of the ads is that Gingrich supported funding for “China’s brutal one-child policy.” The truth is that the bill in question specifically prohibited the use of funds for “involuntary sterilization or abortion,” or “the coercion of any person to accept family planning services.”
Another claim is that Gingrich “supports amnesty for illegal immigrants.” He does advocate allowing some to gain legal status — but only those who have resided in the U.S. for years, are employed, and have ties to their communities. It’s not known how many could meet the tests Gingrich proposes.
One of the newest attacks makes fun of Gingrich for his constant mentions of Ronald Reagan, noting correctly that the former president mentioned Gingrich only once in his published diaries. But the ad slightly exaggerates when it claims Reagan said Gingrich’s “ideas” — plural — would “cripple our defense.” It was only one idea — to freeze all federal spending at 1983 levels. Plus, we found that Reagan in public speeches voiced support for Gingrich’s ideas on taxes and school prayer.
But accurate or not, the pounding has been going on for weeks on Florida television, with no response from Gingrich or his allies. Romney and Restore Our Future, a pro-Romney super PAC, spent $6.7 million on TV ads in Florida from Dec. 26 to Jan. 24, according to the Campaign Media Analysis Group, a unit of Kantar Media. Restore Our Future went on the air the day after Christmas and spent $3.3 million through Jan. 24. The Romney campaign followed on Jan. 4 and spent $3.4 million, the data show. Most of Romney’s ads are positive, but one recent addition is a pure attack on Gingrich.
Gingrich won’t be so defenseless in the final days before the Jan. 31 vote, however. The pro-Gingrich super PAC, Winning Our Future, entered the fray Jan. 25 with a promised $6 million ad campaign. We’ll check its ads in a later article.
Meanwhile, we offer in our Analysis section a sampling of the ads that have been hammering away at Gingrich, along with our comments on what’s accurate, what’s not and what additional context voters might find useful.
Note: This is a summary only. The full article with analysis, images and citations may be viewed on our Web site: