The S.C. Democratic Party will spend $18,600 to air an ad on Charlotte TV mocking Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
The ad includes footage of Romney in 2002 saying he supports Massachusetts’ “tough gun laws.” It also references Romney signing an assault weapons ban in Massachusetts. The ad ends with a narrator saying, “Yep. Mitt kept his word. He supports gun control.”
A version of the ad, dubbed “Down Here” on the S.C. Democratic Party’s YouTube page, briefly misspells Romney’s name, which Republicans mocked Wednesday. The error will be fixed before the ad airs on Charlotte TV, said Dick Harpootlian, chairman of the S.C. Democratic Party.
This is the first time the S.C. party has paid to run ads in another state, according to Carol Fowler, former state party chairwoman. Harpootlian, a major Obama donor, said no one in the Obama campaign told him to buy the ad. “It was my idea, my decision, and I raised the money to do it.”
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Harpootlian declined to give specifics about the ad buy, saying only it will run on Fox News in “conservative markets” in North Carolina. A Republican media-tracking firm confirmed the buy was for $18,600 for the week of Aug. 15-21 in Charlotte.
Harpootlian said the ad is an attempt to define Romney for conservative voters in North Carolina, a state Romney must win in order to win the election, most political experts say.
“This guy is getting a free pass on the fact that he was pro-gun control, pro-choice and pro-(health insurance) mandate ... up until about 18 months ago. And now he’s ... pro-gun, pro-life, and anti-mandate,” Harpootlian said.
Rob Lockwood, spokesman for the North Carolina Republican Party, said Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan are “strong supporters of the 2nd Amendment.”
“The North Carolina Democratic Party has had major trouble fundraising since their alleged sexual harassment scandal cover-up became public, so it seems that the South Carolina Democratic Party has been forced to buy TV in North Carolina to distort the truth about Governor Romney,” Lockwood said.