Ben Carson's super-PAC created a new commercial in response to the Paris terrorist attacks, highlighting the retired neurosurgeon's hardline opposition to allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S.
In the ad — titled "Courage," which is expected to be run alongside two others as an online or TV commercial in the early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — Carson criticizes President Obama for welcoming refugees from Syria.
Carson's voiceover declares: "When the president says things like, you know, through an executive order, 'I'm going to bring 100,000 people in here from Syria,' Congress needs to say 'you do that and we're going to defund everything, including your breakfast.'"
The 100,000 figure does not reflect Obama's current policy. The president has said he plans to resettle at least 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year.
The chairman of the pro-Carson super-PAC, John Philip Sousa IV, said in a telephone interview that Friday's terrorism caused his super-PAC — named The 2016 Committee — to insert the Syrian refugee message and get the ad out quickly.
"This is our first step of putting our big toe in the water," Sousa said of the three ads, which also feature Carson talking about the scourges of drug addiction, national debt and political correctness.
The ad buy — the value of which Sousa would not confirm — was first reported by Bloomberg Politics.
Sousa said his super-PAC — which formed out of an initial committee to draft Carson to run for president — has raised between $20 million and $25 million since its founding in late August 2013.
Most of that money has been spent already, Sousa said, adding that he has about 35 full-time staff members, a number of whom are doing grassroots organizing on Carson's behalf in important early voting states such as Iowa.
The super-PAC — which the Carson campaign credits for building strong momentum particularly in Iowa — has run billboards, but this will be its first major TV and online advertising, Sousa said.
Sousa added that the super-PAC had also spent significant money printing and distributing some 1 million copies of the book he wrote to promote Carson, titled "Ben Carson: Rx for America."