Former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) released the first advertisement of the 2012 presidential campaign Friday, another signal that the Republican field is moving into a new gear.
The 60-second radio ad, his first paid spot, will begin running Monday on national satellite radio and later in the week on radio stations in New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina, according to his campaign.
“Over half of America now receives some sort of government benefit and 40 cents of that dollar that they’re getting, they’re charging their children and their grandchildren for the rest of their lives,” Santorum says in the ad. “That is immoral. That is wrong. Someone has to have the courage to go and tell the American public we can’t afford the government we have now.”
A Santorum spokeswoman would not disclose the cost of the ad buy, but she said it would run for two weeks.
Santorum’s anti-spending message has a tone and focus likely to appeal to the tea party movement, which has yet to rally around a single challenger. It would be a long shot for the former Pennsylvania Senator, whose focus has long been social issues, to claim that mantle, but he will certainly try.
Santorum has been among the most active candidates on the ground in early states so far.
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.