After having made sharp attacks on his rivals in recent days, Rick Perry is striking a sunnier tone with a closing ad in the run-up to the Jan. 3 Iowa caucus.

In the new ad, a smiling Perry is seen greeting Iowans. The ad makes no reference to any of his rivals. It does, however, twice show images of Perry adjacent to a cross. 


The Texas governor has been making a big push for evangelical support, including saying Wednesday that he now believes abortion is wrong even in instances of rape or incest. On one occasion when the cross is shown, the voiceover from Perry proclaims “I’ve fought back against Obama’s war on religion.”

Despite an extensive public schedule and considerable ad spending in Iowa, opinion polls show no clear sign that Perry is catching on in the Hawkeye State. He is hovering around 10 percent in most polls, and his chances have been further endangered by some signs of a late boom for Rick Santorum. 

Perry aides still hope that undecided voters will break his way in the final days. A better-than-expected performance could deliver some momentum to Perry, who electrified the Republican race when he entered it in August, but has yet to recover from a series of widely panned debate performances.

The new ad seems likely to run in tandem with another commercial released Wednesday in which Perry attacks rivals who are current or past members of Congress — Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannEvangelicals shouldn't be defending Trump in tiff over editorial Mellman: The 'lane theory' is the wrong lane to be in White House backs Stephen Miller amid white nationalist allegations MORE — on the basis that they cannot change the Washington culture. The harsher spot compares the idea of asking any of the four to fix Washington to having a fox guard a henhouse.  

The new, more positive ad, however, places more emphasis on Perry’s job-creation achievements in the Lone Star State.

“You know my record: creating a million jobs while the rest of the nation lost 2 million,” Perry says.

Watch the ad here:

— This story was updated at 11:58 a.m.