Santorum ad says he has ‘best chance to beat Obama’

The Michigan ad wars are heating up.

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum is out with his first ad in the Rust Belt state, a positive spot arguing that he’s best positioned to take on President Obama.

Recent polls have Santorum in the lead in Michigan’s Feb. 28 primary.

It’s a slightly retooled version of an ad Santorum aired in Iowa and New Hampshire.

“Who has the best chance to beat Obama? Rick Santorum,” the narrator says over upbeat music. “A full-spectrum conservative, Rick Santorum is rock solid on values issues, a favorite of the Tea Party for fighting corruption and taxpayer abuse, more foreign policy credentials than any candidate ... a trusted conservative who gives us the chance to take back America.”

A Pew poll released Monday found that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney still performs slightly better than Santorum in a head-to-head matchup with the president. Right now, Obama would beat Romney by 8 points and Santorum by 10.

While both Romney and Santorum are kicking off their Michigan campaigns with positive spots, the good will likely won’t last. Ads this cycle have been overwhelmingly negative. Romney and his allies are sure to go on the attack soon, and Santorum will most likely respond in kind.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.

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