NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's presidential campaign is spending nearly $500,000 airing its first television ad in the early-voting state of New Hampshire.
The ad, which begins airing Friday, highlights Christie's unscripted announcement speech in his old high school gymnasium last week. The Republican governor, who has so far struggled to gain traction, calls for strong American leadership and praises his straightforward style.
"I am not looking to be the most popular guy, who looks in your eyes every day and tries to figure out what you want to hear, say it, and then turn around and do something else," Christie says in the ad, which includes footage of what appear to be everyday Americans at work and going about their lives. "I mean what I say, and I say what I mean. And that's what America needs right now."
A spokeswoman for Christie's campaign said the ad will be shown over the next four weeks on broadcast television stations in Boston and Manchester, New Hampshire, as well as on cable and radio stations and online.
Christie is staking his campaign on doing well in New Hampshire, which holds the nation's first primary and typically rewards more moderate Republican candidates who invest significant time on the ground. Underscoring his strategy, Christie traveled to the state immediately after his announcement and spent five days meeting potential voters and holding town hall events.
Television stations are preparing for an onslaught of advertising as the 17 expected Republican presidential candidates begin to introduce themselves to voters in states like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz have already been airing ads, while Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's campaign has invested more than $12 million in ads that start airing at the end of the year in Iowa, New Hampshire and other states.