Thompson hits the airwaves nationally, in Iowa

Former Sen. Fred Thompson (Tenn.) is set to take to both the national and Iowa airwaves Wednesday with two spots that aim to portray him as the most conservative Republican in the race.

The 30- and 60-second spots, both entitled “Consistent Conservative,” are set to run statewide in the early-voting state of Iowa and nationally on Fox News Channel.

In the ad, Thompson is taking clear, though indirect, shots at his main rivals for the GOP nomination, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Thompson says he has been a conservative his whole life, and, in the shorter spot, he references his 100 percent “pro-life voting record.”

“In eight years in the United States Senate, I fought for tax cuts, and for conservative judges,” Thompson says in the ad. “And if we stick to our basic conservative principles, we will win next November and the United States of America will be better for it.”

Thompson’s campaign declined to discuss the size or the duration of the ad buy except to say that it is “substantial.”

The Iowa GOP caucuses are set for Jan. 3. Thompson has been consistently trailing Romney, the Republican front-runner in the state, and a recent poll in the state showed the former senator-turned-actor coming in in fifth place among his Republican opponents.

Thompson registered at 8 percent in an American Research Group poll from the end of October. Romney had 28 percent, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee had 19 percent, Giuliani had 16 percent and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) had 14 percent.

Despite criticisms that Thompson was overlooking the early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire after spending much of his time in Florida and South Carolina after an already late foray into the race, the former senator has been devoting more time and attention to the states in recent days.