Newt Gingrich, newly atop some of the polls in Iowa, is getting treated like a front-runner.
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul stepped up attacks on the former House speaker on Tuesday, unveiling a 60-second ad that accuses Gingrich of “serial hypocrisy.”
With haunting music in the background, the ad points to Gingrich’s previous support of a requirement that individuals buy health insurance, which has become a centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s health-care law. In addition, it notes he took $1.6 million mortgage giant Freddie Mac, now a frequent target.
Gingrich has soared to the top of some polls in Iowa, where the first-in-the-nation caucuses will be held in less than a month.
A Des Moines Register poll last week put him at 25 percent, followed by Paul at 18 percent and Mitt Romney at 16 percent. A new Public Policy Polling survey, conducted Dec. 3-5 had Gingrich at 27 percent, Paul 18 percent and Romney at 16 percent.
Thus far, Romney hasn’t aired any ads attacking Gingrich.
“The voters are looking for authentic conservatives who are able to show a decades-long career of consistently walking the walk of constitutional principles, limited government and promoting sound economic policies. Ron Paul is the only Republican presidential candidate with that record,” Jesse Benton, Paul’s campaign chairman, said in a statement released with the ad Tuesday.
The spot is a shorter version of a video the Paul campaign circulated last week taking on Gingrich.
Paul has been aggressively hitting the airwaves with ads lately, with his latest before Tuesday centering on a plan to cut $1 trillion, or about a quarter of the total, out of the federal budget in a single year.
Gingrich’s campaign declined to comment.