Crunch Time: Ads Fly in South Carolina

Guy Benson

1/19/2012 10:35:00 AM - Guy Benson

What a day: Iowa will never know who really won the Republican caucuses, Rick Perry's out and backing Newt, whose second ex-wife is preparing to drop a bomb on him tonight, just after another critical GOP debate.  At least one new poll shows Newt surging back into the lead -- but that result measures neither the Perry fallout, nor the personal baggage bubbling to the surface (a development about which the candidate is none too pleased).  If the rest of the field has any chance to stop Mitt Romney, this Saturday is it.  With polls bouncing around and voters up for grabs, the campaigns are making closing arguments over the Palmetto State's airwaves.  Rick Santorum is trying to cut through the clutter by warning against blindly walking off the 'establishment' cliff by backing Romney.  This ad that's a clear homage to Apple's famous 1984 spot (which Obama backers also re-purposed in the last cycle):
 

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The surging Gingrich is also using some of his last ad buys to slam Romney, calling his campaign tactics "desperate," and pulling clips from the 2008 campaign to make the point:
 


 

Team Romney is taking an entirely different approach, running a positive ad that splices together highlights from his excellent victory speech in New Hampshire, hits Obama's profound mismanagement of the economy, and enderscores the former Massachusetts governor's preparedness to lead:
 


 

It's going to be a bumpy ride from now until Saturday night.  Hold on to your hats, and prepare the popcorn for tonight's four-man debate.