WASHINGTON -- A Super PAC supporting Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann in the Republican presidential primary launched the first direct attack against Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the new frontrunner in the race, with an ad airing in the early primary state of South Carolina.
The ad, which comes from Keep Conservatives United, goes after Perry's perceived strengths: his standing with the conservative Tea Party and the economic record in his home state of Texas. The ad states that Perry "doubled spending in a decade" in Texas and is borrowing money for deficit spending.
The Perry campaign, in rapid response style, countered the ad in a press release, claiming that both of the ads' assertions on Perry's record are false.
“Gov. Perry is a proven fiscal conservative, having cut taxes, signed six balanced budgets, and led Texas to become America’s top job-creating state,” Ray Sullivan, RickPerry.org’s communications director, said in the release. “Congresswoman Bachmann’s front-group ad is patently and provably false. Unlike Washington, the Texas budget is balanced, does not run deficits and limits spending, even as Texas added jobs and population in big numbers.”
Keep Conservatives United is a North Carolina-based Super PAC, a political committee that can accept unlimited funds from corporations, unions and individuals as long as it uses the money on independent expenditures. It was founded in July 2011 by two consultants, Bob Harris and Luther Snyder, with the intent on securing the Republican presidential nomination for Bachmann.
The group's website is almost entirely devoted to the attacks on Perry, whose entrance into the race has stripped support from all of the other candidates, including Bachmann. The group blasts Perry for previously supporting the 2008 presidential bid of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, known for his liberal positions on social issues; for Anita Perry's work for Merck, the manufacturer of a vaccine for the sexually transmitted disease HPV, which Perry attempted to mandate for young girls; and for shady real estate deals that expanded the size of Perry's home.
VOICEOVER: Rick Perry says he's one tough hombre on spending.
PERRY: Number one is don't spend all the money.
VOICEOVER: But what's his record? Rick Perry doubled spending in a decade and this year Rick Perry's spending more than the state takes in, covering his deficits with record state borrowing. He's supposed to be the Tea Party guy? There is an honest conservative and she's not Rick Perry.