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Donald Trump, Rick Santorum Release New TV Spots

Rick Santorum and Donald Trump
Rick Santorum and Donald Trump each released their first TV ads of the 2016 presidential campaign on Monday. (Video Screenshot Composite Image)

With the first-in-the-nation Iowa Republican Caucus now four weeks away, it's crunch time for the remaining GOP presidential campaigns.

With several candidates hitting the trail in Iowa—there will be nearly four dozen appearances in the Hawkeye State this week alone—two candidates took to the airwaves for the first time this election cycle. Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, the 2012 Caucus winner, and businessman Donald Trump both unveiled new ads Monday morning.

Santorum's 60-second ad, titled "Fairytales," his campaign said in a press release Monday morning, is meant to highlight his "long track-record of accomplishment in defending America," which includes eight years on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Most viewers in Iowa, however, have seen it as an attack on Iowa front-runner U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

"Ted Cruz is wonderful at reading children's fairytales on the Senate floor," the ad states (warning: rough language) in its opening. "Rick Santorum spent his time in the Senate a little differently."

The ad goes on to suggest that "if you want someone to read you (expletive) a bedtime story," Cruz is "your guy." It continues: "If you want to protect America, and defeat ISIS, Rick Santorum's your president."

The ad doesn't have a wide buy in Iowa or New Hampshire, but the Santorum campaign did share it through its social media network. Several Iowa supporters, who refused to speak on the record about the ad, said they didn't like its tone.

"Earlier in the campaign, he said, 'I'm not going to violate Reagan's 11th Commandment,' then he comes out with this?" one Santorum precinct captain, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Sunday night after seeing the ad for the first time. "I'm not dropping him over something like this, but I'm very disappointed."

Trump's new ad has a much wider buy in Iowa and New Hampshire. He's paid $1.1 million to run the ad in Iowa, and another $1 million to run it in New Hampshire, just this week alone. In those markets, that's a lot of air time.

The 30-second ad, titled "Great Again," focuses on the key issues of Mr. Trump's campaign, including national security and illegal immigration, and his vision to "Make America Great Again." He also will continue to air radio ads in the early voting states.

"I am leading in every poll by wide, double digit margins. We have tremendous crowds, incredible support from all over the country and I am $35 million dollars under budget," Trump said in a press release about the ad buy. "We have spent the least amount of money and have the best results and this is the kind of thinking the country needs. I am very proud of this ad, I don't know if I need it, but I don't want to take any chances because if I win we are going to Make America Great Again."


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