South Carolina TV already awash in GOP attack ads

By Brian Bakst

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Jan. 12 2012 11:32 a.m. MST

Some South Carolina voters cringe over what they've already seen and heard — and what they know is still to come over their TV sets and radios, and in their mailboxes.

"I wish we didn't have any negative ads," said Colleen Morrow, a retired state social worker from Columbia. "Talking about somebody's record is one thing, but attacking them on a personal level, I don't think that's right."

Not everything has had a dark edge.

Lagging in the polls, Perry has two commercials touting his Christian faith, small-town values and military background.

Santorum, the Iowa runner-up, is airing one that says he's "a trusted conservative that gives us the best chance of taking back the White House." A political action committee promoting the former Pennsylvania senator is striking the same theme.

And Paul, the candidate with arguably the hardest-hitting ads, is offsetting those with a softer spot featuring testimonials from veterans describing the former Air Force officer as "a veteran's best friend."

The ad wars aren't limited to South Carolina.

Candidates and their backers are already turning to Florida, which votes Jan. 31. The pro-Romney group has bought $3.6 million in airtime for commercials there.

Associated Press writer Thomas Beaumont and Julie Pace in South Carolina contributed to this report.

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