Republican Rep. Ron Paul will run a television ad, "Trust," nationwide Wednesday night while he and seven other presidential candidates are debating on MSNBC, his campaign says.
Theme: Paul, a liberatarian, is a real conservative, while Gov. Rick Perry, a fellow Texan, is a poser who supported Al Gore.
“Other candidates are parroting Dr. Paul's principles in their rhetoric, but their records prove they cannot be trusted to live up to their words," said Jesse Benton, chairman of the Paul campaign, in a statement.
The ad equates Paul with the sainted Ronald Reagan, noting that the Gipper had been dismissed as "too extreme" to be elected president. Paul receives the same treatment from much of the Republican establishment and media pundits, who discount his strong showing in polls as a function of an intense libertarian following and argue he could not win in November 2012.
The debate is being held at Reagan's presidential library in Simi Valley, Calif.
Paul ran the same ad in Iowa and New Hampshire on Tuesday, kicking off a spat between his campaign and Perry's.
Noting that Perry, as a Democratic state legislator in Texas, supported early presidential campaigns of Ron Paul, the ad says, "Al Gore found a cheerleader in Texas named Rick Perry. Rick Perry helped lead Al Gore's campaign to undo the Reagan revolution." (Perry was a cheerleader at Texas A&M.)
Perry's campaign countered by citing a letter that Paul wrote in 1987 "resigning" from the GOP. "Ronald Reagan and the Republican Party have given us skyrocketing deficits and astoundingly a doubled national debt," Paul wrote. (He was the Libertarian Party's presidential nominee in 1988.)