Leading up to Thursday's crucial Republican precinct caucuses, presidential candidate Mitt Romney has cut a second ad in as many weeks in support of Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch.
The former Massachusetts governor, a popular figure in the Utah, is featured in a new TV ad for Hatch, who hopes Romney's endorsement can help him survive a competitive convention challenge. In the one-minute TV spot, Romney assures voters that they can count on Hatch to represent them for a seventh term.
"We need strong leadership in Congress to fix the economy, and we can count on Sen. Orrin Hatch in the fight to lower taxes, to balance the budget and to repeal the federal government takeover of health care," Romney says in the new ad.
In the previous radio ad, Romney touted Hatch's Senate clout and potential to chair the Finance Committee. Romney says in both spots that Hatch will help overturn the Democratic-written health care legislation and encourages voters to attend local precinct caucuses March 15 to elect delegates to the state convention.
The Hatch campaign has been preparing for more than a year to elect Hatch-supporting delegates at this week's caucuses, taking place in neighborhoods across the state. Those delegates will attend the April 21 state convention, where either a nominee can emerge with at least 60 percent of the vote or the top two finishers advance to a primary.
Hatch's top GOP opponents are former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist and state Rep. Chris Herrod, who are running to his right.
Hatch, whose conservative credentials have been attacked by outside groups seeking his ouster, says in the TV ad that "we must elect those who have at their core a lifelong commitment to the conservative principles and personal liberties that built our country of America."
"It will start with unprecedented discipline from my leadership, and I will force all necessary reductions in spending," Hatch says.