Rick Perry will blanket the national cable airwaves with a nearly $1 million ad campaign set to air on Fox News. The New York Times reports that Perry has purchased the advertising time, a large amount for a national cable network that is not directly aimed at any early-state voters in Iowa or New Hampshire.
The strategy comes as Perry has nearly been written off by prominent Republicans who see a tough road ahead for the Texas governor, who badly flubbed a debate answer on Wednesday night and has squandered an early lead after several weak debate performances and flirting with birtherism.
The ad buy would put Perry in front of conservative audiences across the country and likely try to change the subject and re-introduce Perry, who banked $15 million in just over a month.
The Texas governor’s first few ads have been largely biographical, introducing Perry as a son of Paint Creek and true conservative. In most recent polls, Perry has fallen way behind Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich, who has had a mini-surge over the last few weeks.
Even Perry’s donors have suggested that his campaign has been badly damaged by the candidate’s failure to remember which three federal agencies he would eliminate. With this ad buy, Perry will be in front of potential conservative donors, large and small, who have yet to commit to a candidate.
If his campaign against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R) in the 2012 governor’s race is any measure, Perry is especially good at negative campaigning and it is likely that at some point, as Mitt Romney begins to step up his activity in South Carolina and Iowa, Perry will begin to go negative on the former Massachusetts governor who has yet to consistently poll above 30 percent in nationwide surveys.
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