Paul hits Romney with negative ad in Iowa, New Hampshire

Ron Pauls campaign for the first time is directly attacking Mitt Romney with campaign ads. 

The Paul campaigns new ad in Iowa and New Hampshire features a picture of Romney with flip-flopper” stamped over it, as well as one of Newt Gingrich stamped hypocrite.

The ads come as a new poll shows Paul retaining a lead in Iowa less than a week before the states GOP caucus. Romney is a close second place.

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Gingrich and Romney are Pauls two main rivals for a win in Iowa. Paul had so far avoided attacking Romney, instead focusing on driving down the numbers of other rivals, but Romney has shown some momentum in Iowa, which endangers Pauls chances in the state.

Paul, meanwhile, has come under intense attacks from several candidates and notably from Gingrich, who said a choice between Paul and President Obama in the 2012 election would be a hard one.

Pauls ad likens Romney and Gingrich to serial hypocrites and flip-floppers.

The Washington machine is strangling our economy, a narrator says. Politicians who supported bailouts and mandates — serial hypocrites and flip-floppers — cant clean up the mess. One man stands alone: a real plan to cut $1 trillion in one year, balance the budget in three. Consistent. Incorruptible. Guided by faith and principle. Ron Paul, the one weve been looking for.

Paul has led in many Iowa polls and has a strong chance to win the state. But he has had a few rough news cycles as reporters probe his connections to sometimes-racist newsletters published under his name and a former staffer came out to attack his foreign policy views and detail his alleged discomfort around gays.

Watch the ad here: