Paul Attacks Santorum in New Hampshire With Web Video Ads

ronpaul-nh-unionleader2Ron Paul’s campaign is going negative online in the hopes of siphoning New Hampshire Republican primary votes away from Rick Santorum. Paul is extending the “Serial Hypocrite” message he’s been using against Newt Gingrich. Now, he’s slapping the same label on Santorum – who came in a close second in the Iowa Caucuses last week. Paul is running video ads featuring the TV attack ad on UnionLeader.com, an important paper of record in the early primary state, which has endorsed Gingrich.

As Paul relies on negative messaging in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney is staying positive online. Ads from the GOP primary frontrunner dot the UnionLeader.com homepage, and are seen elsewhere on the site as well as on NashuaTelegraph.com, another New Hampshire newspaper site.

A banner at the top of the Union Leader homepage reminds voters that Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Arizona Senator John McCain – a Romney rival in the 2008 GOP primary race – support Romney this time around. McCain won the primary in 2008.

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Another homepage ad simply states, “Vote for Mitt,” and encourages voters to click to “Learn More.” The ads link to a New Hampshire primary-specific page on the Romney campaign site including campaign event information and a link to find polling places.

Those Union Leader ads are reminiscent of President Barack Obama’s 2008 primary campaign ads online. Throughout the Democratic primary, the Obama camp ran state-specific ads on local newspaper sites that gave voters information on how and where to vote. In states such as Ohio and Texas, where early primary voting is allowed, the ads prodded people to vote before primary day, and let them click through to find their closest early voting locations.

Romney appears to be sticking to positive and practical messaging in his official online campaign ads. Paul, however, is expanding on negative messaging his campaign launched in Iowa. The Paul video ad focuses on Santorum, calling him “another serial hypocrite who can’t be trusted,” and noting the former Pennsylvania Senator “sided with big money union bosses” and voted to raise the debt ceiling.

Pro-Romney Super PAC Restore Our Future has been running TV ads attacking Gingrich, though the group does not appear to have done any advertising online.

natlorgmarriage-nh-unionleaderPaul’s own opponents are joining in on the New Hampshire fight, too. National Organization for Marriage opposes marriage equality laws, and argues Paul is the only “major” presidential candidate who has not “pledged to preserve traditional marriage.” The group is running ads on UnionLeader.com suggesting, “Ron Paul would do nothing if the Supreme Court imposed gay marriage.”

According to Federal Election Commission filings, the organization has spent $40,000 on online ads opposing Ron Paul since late December. The ad buy – which went through Republican digital agency Connell Donatelli – appears to be dedicated to promoting WrongOnMarriage.com, a microsite featuring a TV spot claiming that “Paul has said ‘sure’ to gay marriage” and “even called for abolishing marriage all together.”

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